Friday, December 11, 2009

How 'Bout Them Taxes?

Ace of Spades asks the important question:

How are states coping with the recession? They're beating more money out of you that's how.

29 states increased taxes and fees, and 33 will increase unemployment-insurance taxes (I noticed this the other day in our local rag, the average unemployment-insurance tax rate in Texas will almost double, to 1.83%, from 0.99% in 2010). And Texas has (so far) managed to hold up comparatively better than other areas of the country on employment.

Property tax increases, sales tax hikes, a boatload of increases to cover reduced expenditures. Because when times were good and revenues were up, they spent accordingly (i.e. more). They put off tough choices by grabbing up federal stimulus funds and are faced with the same problems only a year later.

Notice Geraghty's example on the Maryland "Millionaire" tax. At some point, a large number of the wealthy decided "screw this, I think I'll live somewhere else". Net revenue decline, $100 million. States that have painted a similar target on businesses might do themselves a little favor by running some numbers before pulling the trigger.

I'm quite sure the businesses have already done that arithmetic.

Yes, I'm sure they have, too. That's why they're not hiring, and that's why they're hunkering down for a long, difficult slog through the Obama administration.

There's my two cents.

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