To tax or not to tax

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By Ralph Damiani

One thing that we find interesting is that when  it suits them, some people find gross receipts taxes to be a regressive thing.

But then, when they want more money for the government to spend, they say, “Let’s increase the gross receipts tax.”

Such was the case this week as the House approved a bill that would raise money to fund education.

Earlier, they had passed an education reform bill that called for some $400 million in new expenditures. This measure was their answer to that.

And that answer is to increase the gross receipts tax by three-quarters of a cent. When you consider that generally such hikes are in one-eighth of a percent increments, this is no small jump.

And in these very hard economic times, is this the time to hurt families and businesses struggling to make it? Who believes that this bill will not hurt businesses?

Well, a majority of our representatives believe that it won’t hurt anyone.

We find ourselves agreeing with Rep. Jeannette Wallace who said this bill will cost the state jobs.

In case you did not know, most businesses are in existance only if their income surpasses their cost. Most businesses pay these taxes and this is not a small increase.

As Wallace pointed out, this bill will drive up costs for Los Alamos National Laboratory, meaning they will have to cut costs elsewhere.

Jobs maybe?

And they are not alone.

Has anyone thought this through?

If the bill does generate funds and those funds go to the school, will they not have to then pay higher taxes to do maintenance and renovation work on our buildings, as Superintendent Mary McLeod pointed out.

Rob Peter to pay Paul?

We have to agree with her when she said that regardless of any such impacts, this is really not the time to start increasing taxes.

People are struggling and having to pay more on everything they buy – with less money in their pockets – folks are hurting.

Everything about this bill is the wrong thing to do.

We hope that reports are true that the bill faces strong opposition in the Senate.