By Manifesto Joe
Debates about taxes tend to be dominated by federal income tax policy. That in itself has become a scandal because of myriad corporate and personal tax dodges. But it ignores what lies at the base of taxation in America. At the state and local levels, taxes hit the poor and the working class hardest, in terms of percentage of income.
My home state of Texas has a special history of this. Sales taxes, user fees and other levies are mostly directed at people with lower incomes. Courtesy of state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, here are some recent statistics:
State and Local Taxes as a Percentage of Household Income in Texas
Over $109,182: 4.7 percent
$69,614 to $109,182: 6.0 percent
$45,271 to $69,614: 6.4 percent
$24,899 to $45,271: 7.6 percent
Under $24,899: 12.8 percent
Source: The Center for Public Policy Priorities, May 2008
If you were to examine all the states, it might even get worse in some of them. In Texas, most groceries are exempt from sales taxes. I lived in Oklahoma for a while, and there, NOTHING is exempt from the sales tax.
The next time you encounter some anus-head doing the Rush Lardbaugh talking points about how the rich are so oppressed with their income tax burden, hit them with some of this. You won't change their "minds," but you might get the pleasure of seeing them stammer and look confused for just a moment.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.