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Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:48 AM

Question: Why don't we have national property tax?

The "fair taxers" keep hyping that national sales tax is more equitable, even though it places the tax burden far more proportionally on lower income families. Wouldn't it be more "fair" to place the tax burden on property owners? Why do we have a defense budget? - to defend your property. Why do we have a civil court system? To handle disputes regarding your property. Why do we need roads? To get stuff to and from your property? Why have police? To protect your property.

I don't claim to have thought about this extensively. I'm just wondering what other thoughts are out there on the subject.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question: Why don't we have national property tax? (Original post)
Algernon Moncrieff Feb 14 OP
NightWatcher Feb 14 #1
crazycatlady Feb 14 #17
CatMor Feb 14 #2
unblock Feb 14 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 14 #4
fleabiscuit Feb 14 #5
still_one Feb 14 #6
SWBTATTReg Feb 14 #7
ismnotwasm Feb 14 #8
TexasBushwhacker Feb 14 #11
ismnotwasm Feb 14 #12
Algernon Moncrieff Feb 14 #18
ismnotwasm Feb 14 #23
customerserviceguy Feb 14 #9
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 14 #10
TexasBushwhacker Feb 14 #15
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 14 #16
Algernon Moncrieff Feb 14 #19
sinkingfeeling Feb 14 #13
Algernon Moncrieff Feb 14 #20
sinkingfeeling Feb 14 #21
jmowreader Feb 14 #14
marlakay Feb 14 #22

Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:52 AM

1. Fair taxers are about as smart as the people I see with "If 10% is enough for god...

...then it's enough for the IRS" bumper stickers.

These mouth breathers do not think things out. When's the last time god paved a road? The fair tax is a tax dodge for people who do not spend anywhere near a third of their income each year.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:52 PM

17. The same line used to stiff servers of a tip

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:54 AM

2. Do you mean in addition to the local property taxes I just paid today

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:57 AM

3. it's unconstitutional unless the money is given back to the states in proportion to the population

the federal government wouldn't be able to keep the money raised, per article 1, section 2, clause 3:

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers...."


moreover, property taxes themselves are unconstitutional in the first place per article 1, section 9, clause 4:

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken"


income taxes were exempted from these provisions by the 16th amendment.

a national property taxes would require a similar amendment.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:57 AM

4. A national property tax would be both extremely complex and extremely unfair.

Local governments levy property taxes on property in their jurisdiction to pay local expenses, and are in the best position to know both what the value of that property is and how much is needed to pay expenses. More importantly, defending property is not by any means the only function of government. The national defense system, the courts and police, etc., defend much more than property.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:58 AM

5. It's not a dumb suggestion, and essentially how taxes used to work when a government needed money.

"Income taxes" is a relatively new thing. I harp all the time that 'all forms of compensation should be treated as ordinary income.' IMHO that also seems to be an equitable approach.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:02 PM

6. No thanks. That would doublely penalize people in those states that already pay high property tax,

and most of those states just happen to be blue states, so I have know doubt the republicans would love it, just like they did with the pseudo tax cuts when they insured a cap on state income tax and property tax


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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:08 PM

7. Don't suggest this! Others may take this as an excuse to 'rig' more ...

taxes on us, while embedding some tax avoidance scheme into the natl property tax code to allow tRUMP and other wealthy owners of real estate to sneak by and avoid paying taxes on these properties too.

-they got a break w/ 15% capital gains taxes;
-they got a break w/ recent tax law reductions in corp. taxes;
-they got a break w/ some minor reductions in personal income taxes;

What's left is real estate and sales taxes by local and/or state entities. Some places still impose an earnings tax (e.g., 1% of all income, no deductions), wealthy simply move away or put their permanent addresses as some overseas, non-taxable locality.

National sales tax is NOT more equitable, as a % of income, when this tax is paid (falls more heavily on those having to spend most if no all of their income annually).

You're somewhat proposing a 'wealth tax', e.g., 1% of all wealth, throughout the world, period, per year (Switzerland has such a tax in place).

I agree, and I would think this would be the most equal and fair in treatment among tax codes. Those w/ the wealth pay the most, as it should be. Remember, the wealthy don't ever sell their stocks or bonds but literally hold onto their assets forever, so waiting for some kind of transfer taxes etc. won't do the trick.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:11 PM

8. My property tax was just raised by 17%

Last edited Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:31 PM - Edit history (1)

It will help fund the fall out Mccleary ruling here in Washington state, which allocates one Billion more dollars to K-12. Some communities are high as 31%.
https://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/detail/overview-of-the-mccleary-decision-on-public-education-funding-and-reform

http://www.king5.com/article/money/markets/real-estate/king-county-property-taxes-up-17-percent-this-year/281-512742740


Not sure how this is going to play out, but it seems a National Property tax would take away significant income from states.

Edited from to to 17% from by 17%

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:29 PM

11. Your tax was raised 17%

That is not the same as raising it TO 17%.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:30 PM

12. True!

I should amend that, but my point remains

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 03:48 PM

18. Not getting how one thing has to do with the other

Most states (not all - I think yours is an exception) have state income tax. So I pay income tax to the Feds and my state. How would state and federal property tax be any different.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 05:20 PM

23. Well property values in Seattle are very high

So, even though my home is very modest, it’s doubled in value in the last ten years. One of my daughters lives in Ohio—she lives in a very nice house, yet my home is “worth” more than hers. I don’t know enough about state and federal taxes to say for sure, but if my Taxes are helping the local economy, would I be having to split taxes? How would such taxation work? And how would states recoup the loss?

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:58 PM

9. It's a good question

There are really only three things you can tax: 1) Income, or the amount gained in a specified time period, such as a year, 2) Transactions, such as a sales or excise tax on various sorts of purchases, of either tangible or intangible goods, and 2) Wealth, such as an estate tax at the time of death, or a property tax levied at various intervals.

Numbers 1 and 2 would normally decline during recessionary times, while number 3 would be a constant, no matter what the economic situation. That makes it potentially dangerous in a lot of people's minds, and is probably the chief objection I'd have to a national property tax.

However, #3 is the most open of the tax systems. We can't get information about #1 from Trump (or anybody else), but we can all see property tax records for real estate, assuring some transparency that keeps things fair, overall, with some notable exceptions. Even with the exceptions, we can all see who is taking advantage of them, whereas the public cannot detect dodging of either #1 or 2's taxes.

The property tax system was best managed locally, but with modern IT equipment, it would not be administratively burdensome or costly to have a national property tax. I do note that most of the things you mention, such as courts, roads, and police are primarily provided for by the same local authorities (State, county, and city) that rely on property taxes. National defense is pretty much the only thing I can think of that is not funded through such a taxation system.

It might be an option for the future once we get the government back, and the subject of providing for national defense comes up.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:14 PM

10. Good grief no.

How about going back to taxing income at a progressive rate.

Personally, I'd favor it reaching about 90% for an income above 10 million dollars. If you can't live on 10 million bucks a year, too bad for you.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:43 PM

15. Few people have a salary of over $10 Million

Most who have that kind of income get much of it from businesses and/or capital gains on investments. I've never understood why someone who works for wages pays a higher tax rate than someone who has enough money to have investments or the trust fund kid. Personally, I think investment income should be subject to Social Security and Medicare tax as well. Why? Because they are costs associated with being part of a civilized society that doesn't let their elderly, disabled, widows and their young children live in abject poverty.

I also believe in inheritance taxes for estates worth over $5 Million. Why? Because the US should not be in tbe business of building and perpetuating dynasties. That's one of the things we left the UK and Europe for hundreds of years ago.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:50 PM

16. Yes, not very many have a salary over $10 million,

but my point remains.

I also agree that investment income should be subject to SS and Medicare, and so on. As well as your point on inheritance taxes.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:12 PM

19. While I agree in principle, even among lower income Americans it offends a sense of fairness

Why should I be taxed that much more because I'm successful? Plus, income is easy to fudge and hide. It can be deferred; paid through foreign companies.

I had a professor who was a self-described Socialist who endorsed low corporate tax rates on the European model, by which he meant: Corporate tax of no more than 15%; but heavy personal income tax on higher earners (being defined at that time as = or > 5x to 10x what the average worker made). The European model was that the fancy house, the fancy car, the driver, paid vacations (including trips), etc. were given as corporate perqs. CEOs did well but didn't make the obscene 1000x+ multipliers of the average worker's salary.

Now we seem to have a model where corporations aren't going to pay income tax and the public has been sold on the idea that it's unfair to break up the estates of the Waltons or the Kochs (not that the Estate Tax wasn't constantly circumvented as well).

So why not tax property? It's transparent and would be simple enough to piggy-back onto state values or come up with some other sound (in the sense of real estate assessment practices) means of taxation.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:35 PM

13. Not until there is only one standard of market value. There's a

huge difference on what a $200,000 house looks like in San Francisco and what it is in rural Arkansas.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:14 PM

20. Pretty big differential in pay in those locations as well

and $200,000 is $200,000. They don't adjust the income tax rate of someone making $100,000 in Little Rock because it goes a lot farther there than it does in San Francisco.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 05:10 PM

21. True but the income tax is based on the same income. Property that is

valued 5 or 6 times more in SF than the same house in a rural area will be paying 5 or 6 times the property tax.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:40 PM

14. The FairTax will be the death of any politician dumb enough to try it

It is a tax on new goods only.

The ad writes itself.

First scene: a young family putts by in a nice bass boat. “I just bought the new boat of my dreams, and I paid $6600 in FairTax on it.”

Second scene: a rich guy smoking a huge cigar with a supermodel attached to his side putts by in a 100-foot yacht. “Because FairTax only taxes new goods, I didn’t pay a cent in FairTax on this five-year-old $32 million yacht.”

Card at the end: “is it really fair?”

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 05:19 PM

22. Because people in some states and cities

Make more money than others and do you really trust this government to fairly tax anyone?

Location location too, property tax in the flat ugly areas is going to be much less than the beach.

No way national tax could be fair. Many people move to a less popular area to make it more affordable.

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