Paying taxes needs to be simplified

Published 8:18 am Saturday, January 23, 2016

By Bobby Tingle


You can tell it’s tax time when you see a person in a costume on the side of the road dancing. It must be an excellent marketing technique. I always know precisely whom the performer is directing my attention toward.

Taxes are impossible to avoid. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. I never personally talked to anyone who felt they should pay more. There is a political movement that started several years ago we all know as the TEA party. In this case TEA is an acronym for the phrase ‘taxed enough already’. The name at least implies this group is opposed to paying more tax.

Taxes fall into the infamous category, ‘it’s complicated’. Who really understands taxes? Have you ever wondered why we accept our tax system?

How many people will you allow to have a portion of your paycheck before you get it? Not many I bet. Why do we let the federal government do so? Some even see this system as a way to save. They send in more than they will owe to get a lump sum back each year.

Taxes paid are a line item on the receipt for a specific percentage at the cash register. Even when you make a big purchase such as a vehicle you know exactly how much of what you paid was tax. But what do you pay in taxes at the gas pump? Good question, huh? How are property taxes calculated? Let’s see there is school tax, city tax, county tax and possibly a host of other taxing entities that set a rate and based on value to get their cut. I don’t think we have time to sort out how you know how much to pay in federal taxes. Consider all the personal questions they ask to know how much to charge you. They have far more information about you than your doctor.

I have always been a proponent of a flat tax. A set amount everyone pays no matter what. Just make it simple. I think you should pay your taxes directly to an elected official. Not the tax assessor collector, I mean your city council person or county commissioner. When you hand your tax payment to him or her you can look them in the eye and say, “You better not waste a penny of this, I worked hard for it”.

That’s not complicated.