What is our real tax burden?

What is our real tax burden?

There’s been several stories in the local news lately about studies that rank the relative tax burden on Massachusetts citizens. I’ve noticed how inconsistent they are. One study says we’re in the middle of the pack, while another says we’re taxed more than only a few other states. What’s the deal?

Of course, it never occurs to the politicians to cut expenses from the other end of the spectrum where the high priced do-nothing consultants and political hacks hang out.

The Massachusetts GOP News & Views blog has looked into the research and come to the conclusion that the differences among the studies depends on what taxes are being included. One study just looks at income tax, while another includes excise and property tax and a third includes all taxes and government fees.

And why the flurry of tax stories? Because it’s government budget time and the opposing sides want you to either think that your tax burden is low enough to support increased taxes or so high that taxes should be cut. So which is true. While only one may be true, MassGOP says our attitude about it depends.

Ask yourself a very simple question “Am I getting my money’s worth?” That is really the only answer you need to come up with. If you feel as though your community, or state government, is providing a reasonable value for the amount of tax levied then you will likely support any tax increase proposals. If you feel as though you are not getting your money’s worth then you will oppose the idea of tax increases.

Unfortunately, too many taxpayers fail to approach the subject with enlightened self-interest. Instead they let the media and political activists define the debate and let themselves get led around by the nose.

Don’t believe the hype

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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