By John Clark
The "Pledge" and the "New Hampshire Advantage" are a steady drumbeat every two years, and at every other opportunity, repeated 'ad nauseum' to a point of total ignorance. As several recent letters appearing in the newspapers have pointed out, even basic knowledge of tax structures clearly indicate the fallaciousness of the premise for either notion.
Federal Income tax is paid by everyone in these United States of America based on annual income, and on a sliding scale increasing as income increases. Other taxes such as State Income tax and local Property taxes are "offsets" or deductions from the Federal Income Tax liability. Put very simply, a State Income tax would not affect the "after-tax" pocket book of either individual or business tax-payers. The Federal Government would be the big loser.
Another loud cry heard whenever School spending is questioned, is that whilst "the Feds" mandate so-called education programs, the funding does not follow. So, if a State Income Tax were to be called a State Education Tax, and the raised amount was really spent ONLY on schools as direct education, then that "bogeyman" could finally be put to rest. The State Constitution would need to be amended to ensure that Property taxes receive total benefit of such an Education tax.
At least twenty six percent of people do not pay Federal Income Tax, various deductions move them below the threshold, All New Hampshire residential and commercial property owners pay Property taxes, Tax-Exempt properties do not pay either local or federal tax. The burden on home -owners in New Hampshire is reaching a crisis for all levels of income.
This question has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat, Thinking people must agree that a better balanced tax system is urgently required. A State Education tax based upon a percentage of Federal Income tax would enable the "New Hampshire Advantage" to be neither a State Sales Tax, or having to sell your house to buy food !