Nothing in life, they say, is more certain than death and taxes.
Sometimes it seems it would be easier to escape death than the revenuer.
No one likes taxes.
Taxes take many forms.
There are sales tax, Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax, ad valorem tax, state income tax, federal income tax, use tax, luxury tax, franchise tax and property tax.
Any way you slice it, a tax is a tax is a tax.
No matter what you call a tax, or how it is collected, everyone is taxed to the hilt.
When you add all forms of taxation together, the percentage of our incomes that goes to fund local, state and federal government in the form of taxes is staggering.
When you ask people about paying taxes, the very best thing they have to say is that it is a necessary evil.
When you ask people why they pay taxes, they will most often tell you three things:
• Roads and infrastructure
• Public education
• Law enforcement, public safety
While those three things may account for a large piece of the pie, it is mind-boggling how much of our tax dollars goes to fund government itself.
The amount of money we spend on administration, staffing, perks and government buildings is disproportionate.
The number of executive level positions and department heads in local government compared to the number of rank and file employees also seems disproportionate.
Some of our opulent government buildings bear a marker that says, “Funded by SPLOST,” as if, somehow, SPLOST is something other than local taxpayer dollars.
If officials don’t raise the millage rate, but they ask voters to fund a Local Option Sales Tax, it is still taxation and it still comes out of our pockets.
When it comes to the city, county or school board budget, citizens have every right to question every penny.
As citizens look at city and county budgets, they should take a long hard look at how much government spends on itself.
Jonesboro city government is looking for ways to shift spending to allocate more taxpayer money for law enforcement — one of the three principle reasons citizens say they pay taxes.
We hope the Clayton County Commission is paying close attention.
— Editor Jim Zachary