I keep reading reports about how states, especially red states, keep cutting basic services because of budget shortfalls. That would not be necessary if states would just tax its citizens fairly, instead of giving preferential treatment to the super rich.
Roads are crumbling, bridges require repairs, schools need upgrades and public pension systems remain underfunded. How can states and cities find the money to address any of these problems? One way could be through their tax codes.
According to a new report, if the rich paid the same state and local tax rate as the middle class, states and cities would have hundreds of billions of dollars more a year in public revenue.
Last month, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).
That preceded the new report from the left-leaning groups Good Jobs First and the Keystone Research Center which finds that if tax laws were changed to compel the highest income earners to pay the same rate as everyone else, states and localities would rake in up to $128 billion a year in new revenue. If just the top 1 percent of earners were compelled to pay the typical middle-class tax rate, the report says the change would raise more than $68 billion in new annual revenues… [emphasis added]
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Think of the good those $billions could do.
Oregon is better than most states in that regard, but we don’t go far enough. Even though I’m just above the poverty line, I still fall in the top tax bracket of over 10%. It’s only fair that the rich should pay a higher percentage than the rest of us, because states spend more to satisfy their wants than to meet our needs.