Monday, March 14, 2005

The T word

Two published items to comment on from the past couple of days, bearing on the equity of taxes in New York.

First, the Albany Times Union notes Mayor Bloomberg's honest look at the effect, and benefits, of public investment funded by the City's tax revenue stream. The Mayor isn't always this candid or consistent, but kudos to the T-U ed. board for recognizing the Mayor's realism when it seeps out. They quote Bloomberg thusly: "When you say taxes are too high, you're talking about a number out of context. The real issue is after you pay your taxes, what kind of a life do you have?" That's right, isn't it? The T-U goes on to note that equity and progressivity are important issues too.

Which brings us to an interesting development on Long Island. The Nassau County Tax Assessor, perhaps speaking out of school, but very publicly, called for study of replacing the property tax that funds education with an income tax. Depending on its structure, not a bad idea, right? Though, somewhat ironically given his views on local funding of Medicaid, Tom Suozzi seems not to think so.

What do you think? Can we create more good at the city, county and state levels with more investment? In what? And from what revenue streams?



Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of just income taxes, we can have "wealth" taxes of some sort. It's a little more than ridiculous that a Paris Hilton doesn't pay into social security; there should be a way for the society that's made her unearned wealth possible to derive fair benefit from it. Perhaps a "net worth" tax.

Anonymous said...

Wealth tax is a seriously good idea. Most very wealthy people pay pretty low income taxes because they dont have "income" per se, only capital gains and what not. This is an oversimplification, but if you really wanted to construct a tax system based on equal burden, you got tax that wealth!

lets the see the WFP stand for a 2% wealth tax to support state-wide universal healthcare. that would be some bold ass shit.

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