Harrop: Importance of taxes not Greek to all of us
America is not going the way of Greece, and North Dakota has shown us why. Residents were given the opportunity Tuesday to vote their property taxes out of existence, and they chose not to take it.
Why? Property taxes fund local government. Without it, communities would lose power to set their spending priorities. Lawmakers in Bismarck would have had to come up with more than $800 million to replace the property tax revenue lost in 2012. The state is flush right now with gas and oil money, but energy-based economies can go bust as well as boom. Anyway, serious tax reform should be done in a comprehensive fashion, with personal income taxes, corporate incomes taxes and sales taxes also taken into account.
North Dakota’s voters snubbed a ploy by anti-tax forces to grab a tax cut with little thought for the immediate consequences or the future. Let’s be clear: Accepting taxation as a reality of modern civilization in no way implies that we like paying taxes or think they’re fair or approve of everything they support.
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