Monday, January 18, 2010

New and Current Tax Evaluation Checklist

Understanding that some taxes are required in order to administer and maintain assets of the people in union, we must also consider carefully the equitability of each tax, fee and money generating regulation. The scope of the duties of government vary from state to state, as do the general philosophical characteristics of people based upon the geography, economic culture and general moral order. This geographic uniqueness of governments as allowed by and specifically reserved for the states in the 10th Amendment, is considered by some a brilliant act of our Founders, by others pure Providence. However, as we are warned by the past countless times, even the finest forms of government left to the hands of man, whether tyrant, aristocrat, altruist, or simply a complacent or distracted man, will eventually grow far beyond its intended purpose. The metamorphosis starts as a government for and by the People, to the inverse; the people for and by the Government. Often over many generations the change from servant to lord is nary noticed by the citizens.

As a remedy to this culturally debilitating governmental illness an intersession must take place before the tenants of Liberty, Industry and Thrift are forgotten or worse yet considered a fanciful ideal, unattainable by man. If this intervention is possible, the people must draw a personal connection to the government purse. They must understand and accept the full value of their monetary sacrifice for the government, and with that knowledge approve the expenditures thereof as a prudent substitute to their otherwise eminent higher economic condition. Sadly, the direct connection of he who fills the purse and he who demands it filled has been broken. Taxing structures once simple and direct, are now convoluted, confounding and take much effort on behalf of the benefactor to calculate with accuracy. Taxes become hidden in the gradual maturity of a product or service, from raw good to finished product, leaving no hand un-slapped. The result in many cases is a finished product, which caries a price largely a representation of the taxation and mandated regulation generationaly; yet the consumer is none the wiser. Would it not be in the best interest of the people to know how much of their bounty the government actually seizes? Might this encourage a new found desire to encourage accountability and thrift? Would the People take more ownership of their government if they paid a $.20 sales tax rather than the equivalent masked in the shadows? Following is a simple question and answer list each lawmaker should consider before any new tax is designed. Additionally, to simplify our existing tax code we must ask this of our existing laws. As long as the government by and for the People is broken it is not too late to fix it, but when Liberty is gone so is the last hope of repair.

1) Does the tax impede commerce?
2) Is the tax aimed at a specific industry or product?
3) Is the tax aimed at a specific people group; racial, religious, economic or otherwise?
4) Is the tax designed to discourage a specific behavior?
5) Are the revenues needed to support a specific government function as defined in the Constitution of the State?
6) Will the revenues of the tax directly, positively impact those who pay the taxes?
7) Is the tax or fee based upon usage of a publicly owned asset?
8) Does the tax place state industry at a competitive disadvantage?
9) Does the tax place business in a border town at a competitive disadvantage, based upon tax laws across the state line? If so is there a plan to make those effected businesses whole?
10) Has the tax or fee been used in other states, successfully and equitably?
11) Does the tax or fee require an additional logistical burden on a business or person(s) to collect?
12) Is the tax likely to be passed on to others as a cost of goods? If so how many generations of sales will the tax likely be passed?
13) Is this tax designed to be disguised from the end payer?
14) If the tax is designed to fund a specific service, has the private sector been give a fair opportunity to bid or compete on that service?

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