One percent of the households that file in this city pay something like 50% of the taxes," explained the Mayor. "In the city, that's something like 40,000 people. If a handful left, any raise would make it revenue neutral. The question is what's fair. If 1% are paying 50% of the taxes, you want to make it even more?"The New York Daily News quote of the same radio program the Mayor was on is here:
“The first rule of taxation should be you don’t try to tax people who can move. And…one percent of the…households that file in this city, pay something like 50% of the taxes. I mean in the city that’s about 40,000 people, so, you know, a handful left, any raise would make it revenue neutral.”As Lynne from Left in Lowell said in a post on the proposed gas tax, during WWII the top tax bracket was paying 90%. (That said, I would like to see the actual returns.) But, the big thing about WWII was that the Roosevelt Administration was trying to sop up money to avoid inflation and was also trying to keep the deficit from ballooning.
The question to be asked in this case is if a small location can raise taxes without creating economic migration. How many people live close enough to New Hampshire or Rhode Island that they will go across the border to purchase their gasoline? And, while they are purchasing their gasoline, since Service Stations are no more, but convenience stores are all the rage, what else will they buy while getting gas?
And, with regard to the gasoline tax increase, it is not only recessive, but to the degree it causes us to take actions to reduce our "carbon footprint," it is a dwindling revenue source.
The Mayor of New York City has a point about taxes.
Another point that needs to be made and often isn't is that we are a democracy and there needs to be some sharing of the cost as well as the benefits. I am not in favor of trying to make up shortfalls on the backs of the poor, but I believe it would be good if everyone paid some nominal amount, even those receiving an Earned Income Credit. I get Social Security from the Federal Government, but I pay some tax on it. We all need to feel like we are in this together.
Regards -- Cliff