Taxes or fees?
This is kind of a poll. With all of the contentious discussion about taxes, one is compelled to wonder where people think the various government agencies are going to get the money they need to keep functioning.
I would like to preclude the issue of just how many of these agencies we need or how they could be made more efficient, thereby saving untold amounts of money. I’m just thinking about where that money is supposed to come from.
To my knowledge, there are only two sources of revenue available to the government (again precluding bribes, extortion and the like). It’s either taxes or fees. From where I sit, the more difficult it becomes for government agencies to raise money from taxes, the more fees we see. And the higher these fees go. Parking tickets, which used to cost a couple of bucks, are now running $30 to $50 a pop. Water? Garbage collection? Business license fees? All going through the roof. And let’s not even talk about the cost of building permits!
I have never had a problem with paying my fair share. I want the fire truck to show up if my house is burning. Cops are never welcome until you need one and then you want one there ASAP! I hate potholes. And I realize that these things and much more cost money and that money has to come from somewhere. But as the resistance to higher and/or more equitable taxes increases, more and more of the burden is falling on business.
Many larger businesses get special consideration as do many upper income individuals who pay a lower rate on investment income than the guy out there on your shop floor pays on his hourly wages. So that burden is falling more and more on small business, most of which are already struggling to stay alive and now reeling under the increased load of constantly escalating fees which are nothing more, IMMHO, than a form of taxes. It does not take an act of Congress to raise fees, just a simple decision by the local government agency. We never get a chance to vote on it or even voice an opinion. It just happens. You get your water bill and it’s double what it was last month.
Remember, this is not a commentary, it’s a question. What do you think?