posted by Mark Moore (Moderator) at Saturday, March 12, 2005
Representative Jodie Mahony (D) El Dorado, wiley 30-year veteran of the legislature, could conduct a clinic on how to increase taxes.His HJR 1016 employs quite a few techniques that deserve exposure. For one thing, the language is complex enough and oblique enough that many would not recognize that the bill will actually raise taxes by a substantial amount. Right now tax assessments can only raise tax collections by 10% per bi-annum (gosh, isn't a 5% annual increase enough?). What the bill would do is remove those limits from whole classes of property. Basically newly developed property could be hammered. Representative Mahony was even on the radio saying that the ledge just doesn't get it, that people just voted down big tax increases so people should vote for his bill. The only trouble is, his bill is a big tax increase in disguise. The government will collect money from our pockets far faster if HJR 1016 makes it into the constitution.So one trick is to make tax increases hidden. Call it a bill that will effect "adjustments and rollbacks" to taxes. That helps obscure the fact that under your language an "adjustment" is an increase and a "rollback" is a rarity.Mahony was one of the primary authors of our school financing formula. The word was that he deliberately designed it to be complicated so on one could figure out who was being short changed. Another neat trick is to remember that democracy, absent Christian principle, is just three wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner. In other words, Divide and Tax! His resolution would greatly increase taxes in the rapidly developing Northwest portion of the state. Other parts of the state, such as Mahony's own El Dorado, are stagnent or even declining. They would not see their taxes go up since there is little or no "development" or discovery of "new" - read cow pastures being made into subdivisions- property being done.Some folks see the way to prosperity as getting a better idea, starting a business, and serving people's needs well. Other people see the way to prosperity as putting on your coats and ties and driving to Little Rock to lobby the government to take money from other people and give it to you.One way produces real growth of wealth, the other forces everyone to constantly spend energy defending your chips from government confiscation to those who did a better job of lobbying.So another trick to getting a tax increased passed when people are sick of taxes is to propose a bill that will increase THE OTHER FELLOWS taxes, but not yours. Once that is in place the Mahony's of the ledge can propose taxes that will increase YOUR TAXES, but not the OTHER FELLOWS- knowing that he can count on the support of the various OTHER FELLOWS out there.Space does not permit a review of all the tricks of the trade. No doubt the esteemed represenative from El Dorado could teach us some more that we have not considered. Let us just part with the reminder that Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom.
Arkansas is firmly on the road to being a high tax state!
Arkansas is already one of the highest taxing states. We have property tax (real estate), income tax, personal property tax, a higher sales tax than many states, higher gas prices due to taxes, and in the Northwestern part of the state, some of the highest education taxes...millages. Arkansas...for the poor state it is, is already overtaxing its citizens. This can't be good for attracting businesses. But it's great for attracting illegal aliens who are building the new houses in our subdivisions. The housing prices haven't gone down...the builders bottom line has gone up.Compare this to Texas, Nevada, and Alaska which have no personal property nor state income taxes. The real estate tax on my house is the same as my brother's in California. It's also the same as my friend's in Texas and she has 500 more square feet and a 10 year newer house. With the way the building goes on in Arkansas...there isn't any way the Counties can justify the real estate taxes. Find a strip of land...but up ten new houses...in the middle of four streets of 30 year old houses. They have to hunt high and low and skirt the rules to make the taxation happen.It is Arkansas at its best....lie and justify!!!
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