By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Federal tax system losing its curb appeal
Placeholder Image

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

We are a diverse nation. We can look at exactly the same set of facts and see completely different realities.  Are we in this together or are we the “rugged individual” that our nation was founded upon? Look at the following questions by asking, “How is that fair?”

Why is there a tax deduction for children? If I have four children why should my neighbor with no children subsidize me?

Why is there a mortgage deduction? If you rent your home, should you subsidize my home purchase?

Why should out of state Internet companies be given an advantage over local merchants because they don’t have to collect California state taxes?

Why is there a tax deduction for church and charitable contributions?  Did my fellow citizens agree to subsidize my belief system?

Why should anyone not pay income taxes? Don’t they use the roads, bridges and national defense just like anyone else?

Should corporations set up to pay owners dividends at lower tax rates instead of salaries at normal income tax rates be legal?

When stockholders receive dividends for companies they own, why do they have to pay any taxes again after the corporate taxes have already been paid? Why is the same income taxed twice?

Most likely tax reform is coming. These are just a few of the questions that will be brought up. Each one of them has at least two sides depending on your point of view. The central question still remains, “How is that fair?” Your answer to this question may well decide which side of these questions you fall on. One thing is certain: there will be a lot of unhappy tax payers no matter what is decided because most times an individual’s central question is, “What is best for me?”

Our tax system looks a little like a 900 square foot house that has had 50 additions…there are a lot of places to hide and it is losing its curb appeal. It is making irrational decisions make sense. A clear example of this is the proliferation of larger and larger houses and the resultant bigger mortgages. It makes carrying more debt appealing because it pushes homeowners into a lower tax bracket. The tax code made it easier to consume more of a home than was needed. While this wasn’t the whole cause of the housing crash it surely helped make the decision to buy more house than was needed make more sense. A tax code that helps people make truly rational decisions would be welcome.

Mark Laurora
Jan. 25, 2012