Over and over, the approaches our lawmakers have taken to trying to bring about tax relief, which is very popular, has revealed a desire to have it both ways. They also want to maintain ever higher spending levels, because that is also apparently very popular.
Providing tax relief is actually very easy if you don't mind cutting a budget. This is where the brain knots start forming. No elected officials at any level have proven willing to cut a budget. Observe the latest evidence, as provided by the Indy Star:
"If I could get rid of (property taxes), everybody would be happy," said Sen. Gary Dillon, R-Columbia City.
But, he asked, "How do you replace that income for local government?"
Instead, he added a provision to the bill that would give local government the option of raising income taxes in order to reduce property taxes.
Sen. Robert L. Meeks, R-LaGrange, called the bill "a responsible way to eliminate property taxes. It's a first step."
It doesn't really matter to the working man if you cut property taxes but raise income taxes. It would be a wash for him, although while retirees who are no longer drawing an income get a benefit from the property tax cut. If the towns and cities aren't willing to cut spending, those who are drawing an income will be facing a heavier tax burden, making this kind of relief no relief at all.
Actually, municipal taxes are some of the worst kinds of taxes, because those who make the most have the greatest incentive to leave. This policy chases wealth away. Brilliant.
Simple and best solution: Cut spending.