The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

December 6, 2012

Viewpoint: Plea to new council: Don't reinstate wheel tax

When I opened the paper Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, and read that the Democrats had recaptured the majority of seats on the Madison County Council, my first thought was, “I wonder how long it will take to reinstate the wheel tax.” Evidently, not long, according to the Friday, Nov. 9, headline. I hope and pray they don’t.

For those of us living on disability, or with spouses on disability, or simply living from paycheck to paycheck, that extra tax is tough to take. I’ve read all the justifications, saying how much it is needed to pave roads, or needed to receive matching funds, or “It’s only 30 cents a day.” I have a simple request for everyone reading this. When the wheel tax was active, all those who set aside 30 cents a day, every day, please stand up. That’s what I thought. You see, saying “It’s only 30 cents a day” sounds good, but it’s not realistic.

What’s more realistic, at least for those of us living from paycheck to paycheck, is that we must decide which bill not to pay that pay period until we can find a way to “catch up.” Unlike the government, we can’t simply vote for more money; we must find a way to live within our means. When I hear words like “revenue increases,” I cringe. That means only one thing, that the government is taking money from taxpayers’ pockets and putting it into theirs. And, when they do that, it means even less money for people on fixed incomes to try and figure out how to pay bills, buy groceries, medicine, etc. And, splurging on things like vacations and eating out — forget about it!

It’s my understanding that the fuel permit, gasoline and road usage taxes were instituted to build and repair roads. (If I’m wrong, someone please correct me. Lord knows I’m not perfect.) If the money were used as designed, we wouldn’t need another tax. I was at the original wheel tax hearings, and everyone in attendance was against the tax, except one person; and he was a relative of a board member. How do I know? He said he was. Please do not burden us with another tax.

Accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDl license tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog license tax, excise taxes, federal income tax, federal unemployment tax (FUTA), fishing license tax, food license tax, fuel permit tax, gasoline tax (currently 44.75 per gallon), gross receipts tax, hunting license tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, IRS interest charges penalties (tax on top of tax), liquor tax, luxury taxes, marriage license tax, Medicare tax, personal property tax, real estate tax, service charge tax, Social Security tax, road usage tax, recreational vehicle tax, sales tax, school tax, state income tax, state unemployment tax (SUTA), telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal universal service fee tax, state and local surcharge taxes, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone recurring and nonrecurring charges tax, telephone state and local tax, telephone usage charge tax, utility taxes, vehicle registration tax, vehicle sales tax, watercraft registration tax, well permit tax and workers compensation tax.

None of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt; had the largest middle class in the world.

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