Libertarian Party wonders if we truly can afford another $3.66 a year in taxes

Dear Editor:

The Gila Community College board of directors is proposing a 7.2 percent increase in its property tax levy, from .8735 to .9361. (Editor’s note: A press release from Gila Community College reports that the increase is 2 percent.)

This increase translates to “only” $3.66 per year for a house valued at $200,000. Surely, we The taxpayers of Gila County can afford to pay this modest tax increase, right? Affordability of any one specific tax is not the issue. The issue is the cumulative cost of the endless list of taxes, fees, charges, surcharges, licenses and the like that we the taxpayers must pay.

It’s A LOT more than most people realize. If government is good at one thing when it comes to taxation, it’s divide, conquer and obfuscate. (OK, that’s three things).

For starters there are: federal income taxes, federal Social Security taxes, federal Medicare taxes, state income tax, state sales tax, county sales tax, own sales tax, special district sales taxes, county property tax, state school equalization tax, town property tax, town school district tax, fire district tax, library district tax, sanitary district tax, town debt repayment tax, district vocational education tax, federal gasoline tax, state gasoline tax, motor vehicle tax, vehicle registration fee, vehicle title fee, and driver’s license fee. Federal excise taxes: import duties, tariffs, and customs fees. Cell phone taxes: federal tax, state tax, federal Universal Service tax, state Telecommunications Excise Surcharge, 911/Emergency Response Fees, regulatory recovery surcharge, gross receipts tax, and state franchise tax Cable TV taxes: FCC tax and franchise fee tax. There is also a tobacco tax, alcohol tax, hunting and fishing licenses, dog licenses, and firearms permits. Airline taxes: federal transportation tax, federal 911 security tax, departure and arrival taxes, tourism tax, and passenger facility charge Hotel taxes: state lodging tax and municipal lodging tax.

Car rental taxes: airport access fee, facility fee, state tax, local tax, vehicle license fee If you are fortunate enough to have any money left over after paying all of those taxes, and if you invest, then there are: interest taxes, dividend taxes, SEC fees and capital gains taxes.

So where does this endless list of taxes end? Not when you die. If you pass away with a nice little nest egg, there are estate taxes and inheritance taxes. When you add it ALL up, most Americans pay more than 50 percent of their income in taxes. So let’s get back to the Gila Community College tax increase. What’s another $3.66 a year? We can afford it, right?

Larry Hoffenberg

Acting Secretary,

Gila County Libertarian Party