Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who Foots the Bill

Property taxes are as arcane and dated as collecting a grist tax at the local grain mill; but alas, what's the alternative? David K Levdansky (Drunk- Forward Tahnship) proposed the standard mix of higher income and sales taxes last week. STOP taxing our properties would do something similar, except it would shift the burden away from property and onto income taxes or hidden nuisance taxes. Imagine that: Gramma pays property taxes, but would rather Sonny pick up the tab.

Shifting the burden has become increasingly unpalatable as the excesses of our government spending become more obvious. Turns out we can't afford to pay for the highways we have, let alone new ones that duplicate existing roads. Turns out we can't afford the extravagance of suburban sprawl and the massive duplication of services it demands. We also can't afford the massive corporate welfare give-aways moving companies like Westinghouse from Monroeville to Cranberry.

But how better to conceal these little items, one at a time, in things like Realty Transfer Taxes, or Cell Phone Taxes, or water bottle taxes. Pennsylvania will spend $27.5 Billion this year on lots of shit. Some of it we need, some we probably don't (legislative WAM money). Either way, the average Pennsylvanian will spend about $2,300 in taxes per person, or 5% of their income. Throw in local taxes, and we're drowning in infrastructure we can't afford.

For Republicans; move out of fucking Cranberry and Peters Township, you drive past 12 half-empty schools on your 45 mile commute to work on $4 billion worth of highways. For the Democrat's lack of enthusiasm; your cities rot because you bankroll bums that do little more than convert beer into piss. Time to set some social expectations.


Char said...

Marty Griffin - KDKA - says PA politicians spend $300 million in Walking Around Money EACH YEAR. $300 million blatently spent on buying votes. We smile, they smile, everybody's okay with it.

I guess we deserve everything we get (or don't get).

Highland Ave. said...

Little update for you DN fans. Today's PG updates us drunks on a drink tax to pay for transit in Allegheny County. Pol's are hoping that your anger with the tax drowns with your dreams and ambitions in your seventh Whiskey Sour.

We're happy to provide you with this little update bright and early, Red Eyes McDrunkie, to go with your aspirin and cup of joe. Happy Wednesday.

Steve said...

Highland- so as a Republican I can do my part by moving out of areas that are less taxed? Maybe the better move is to quit taxing the sh*t out of everything first- but that goes against your better ideological judgment doesn't it? Government must take care of us all right? Seek true liberty and you shall be set free.

Highland Ave. said...

Steve- the tax-phobic suburban Republicans live heavily subsidized lifestyles. Cranberry is fast replicating the conveniences of city life out in the cornfields of Butler County. The state is footing the bill for everything; be it I-279 for the commute, a fast growing school system with(plus requisite maintenance and operation infrastructure) and city infrastructure (in the form of police, water/sewer, road maintenance, etc.) The creation of Cranberry exponentially increased the per-capita governmental infrastructure, thereby dramatically increasing taxes. The neat thing is that as Cranberry grows and McKeesport crumbles, the state picks up the tab for building the former and sustaining the latter!

Steve, spare me the jingos and do the math: moving out of a high-tax area (City) for low tax area (Cranberry) means you get to pay more for both!

Steve said...

So when Republicans take advantage of the system by moving to lower tax areas (whether the state gives them incentive to do it or not)..its bad, but when Democrats take advantage of the system by living entirely off of tax funded programs created to sustain them (under the veil of assistance only).. this is good?

Your view is upside down. We should make the government work for us right?

Highland Ave. said...

Steve, do you read anything? Right out of my post:

"Democrat's lack of enthusiasm; your cities rot because you bankroll bums that do little more than convert beer into piss. Time to set some social expectations."

Social programs are expensive, so is dramatically expanding governmental infrastructure for a shrinking population. Both are inherently unsustainable. When you decide to commute to Pittsburgh every morning from Virginia just to show us liberal yankees a thing or two about taxes, someone has to pay for that god damned road your Hummer tears up.

Steve said...

No, you don't get it. If a bunch of people move to Cranberry then it makes perfect sense to increase government infrastructure wisely and fiscally to suit the needs. The problem is that government expands in Cranberry AND the same or more dollars are spent in McKeeseport, when it should be going progressively down. That is where the expansiveness has its error.

The Great Hive said...

This is all irrelevant anyways. Once the price of gas hits 8 or 10 bucks a gallon, then no one will be able to commute.

PJD said...

Im a city living Republican, and I am in favor of the drink tax.

Actually I'd like to see a sports entertainment tax on all Steelers and Pirate games (hell even the Penguins though noone goes anyways) to compensate the city and county for the millions spent on those stadiums.

Tax the heck out of the luxuries at this point. Just get off my damn house and get off my damn paycheck. At least with the drink tax I would know that my 40c for a beer at the Church BrewWorks would go to transit and not to the paycheck of a worthless Mayor who would rather play golf with celebrities than actually pay attention to regular citizens. (Like the tax taken from my paycheck)

Without public funding for those stadiums, mass transit wouldn't need extra funding.

I paid my $7000+ in property taxes and am still awaiting the status of the school boards appeal thinking that that is not enough!

What do I get for it? I get to ride the bus to work, and watch idiots in yellow and black think they are actually getting some benefit other than feeling superior to other cities for the millions of our tax dollars spent on 'their' teams. Oh and that party from when the Steelers won the Superbowl. Yeah. I saw the city and county revenue spike so high from that especially from all the extra police presence it required.

PJD said...

Correction from above:
4000 is my correct property tax range, not 7000. It was a typo where I slipped on the 10 key pad.

Highland Ave-- Interesting since I live so close to it.