Monday, October 12, 2009

That's crazy talk

Well, as you all know, I don't generally agree with the views expressed on the Newburyport's Voice blog (but I will defend to near-death Larry Giunta's right to express them), but this I have to applaud.

People just don't realize how much we pay in taxes, fees, surcharges and all those other words used to trick you (can't think of a better term) into thinking that you're not being nickel-and-dimed to death.

And now there's the potential for paid parking as well.

Oh dear.


Dick Monahan said...

Oh, come on. That's just silly. Most of those "taxes" are user fees. The idea of user fees is that the people who receive a benefit pay for it; e.g., hunting and fishing licenses. I believe that is a tenet of the Republican party. And, btw, I am a recovering Republican.

As usual in this sort of rant, the statement at the bottom is wrong. There were, for instance, many tolls 100 years ago. Do you know why Route 1 is the Newburyport Turnpike? There were "traffic fines", although they were levied on riders of horses and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles.

The hotel/restaurant "user fee" (turnabout is fair play :-)) is a great idea. Right now, as a resident of Newburyport, I don't see that I get any benefit from the fact that our downtown is a tourist trap. I'd like to see a surcharge on the Sales Tax, too. New York City, where I spend as much time as possible, has all of them.

Gillian Swart said...

I don't see the need for hunting and fishing licenses, unless there is an effort to restrict them to a limited number. They are punitive, and the punishment was/is mostly on lower-income people who need(ed) the food in the first place.

On the other hand, no one needs a license to jump into a boat and be stupid/dangerous operating said boat. Selective "rewarding" of those who can afford a boat.

I also don't see a need for a dog license, except I guess it comes in handy when the dog gets lost and otherwise has no other tags. Plus the rabies aspect - but I have to have a rabies tag for my cat (no license required). What's the reasoning there? Who can tell? More people own dogs than cats?

As for toll roads - we can all see from the MassPike how well that works.

There wasn't much of a personal income tax 100 years ago and there were fewer people. I would think that most of the people using toll roads were engaged in some kind of commerce.

I don't agree with "user fees" on top of paying a monthly fee to use something such as a cell phone or an Internet connection. Since these "user fees" and "surcharges" go to a governmental body, they are in essence taxes.

And why should people who inherit money have to pay taxes on it when one would think that income taxes had already been paid on the money by the person who made it?

I don't really have a problem with the capital gains tax - except of course that it is taxed separately from income. In 2007 I had to sell all the stocks I'd bought with money I paid income tax on. One of the stocks had made some money while the others had gone down.

Guess what? The tax on the one that had made a little money trumped the ones I had lost a lot of money on.

I think people who are not struggling need to walk in the shoes of people who are. I am now walking on that path, in those shoes, and I OBJECT.

I can't afford a fishing license, a dog license (much less a dog or even another cat) or to eat downtown, even without a meals tax. I couldn't afford to pay $5 (or whatever) to park in the NRA lot today when I went to meet someone I was interviewing at Cafe di Sienna because I needed the $5 to put gas in my car AND to buy something at Cafe di Sienna because you can't sit there without ordering something.

Because I am struggling financially, I am hearing how many other people in our beautiful city are also struggling - and also struggling to keep up appearances.

Why make things harder?

Newburyport's Voice said...

Thank You, Gillian

I appreciate your thoughts on this issue.

Dick and I should have coffee some time. I believe we will agree on more issues than he may think.