MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 38.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Sales tax comin'

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Sales tax comin'

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:05 pm

http://whbl.com/news/articles/2013/feb/ ... income-tax

The state sales tax rate is currently 5 percent; Huebsch says adding 8 cents would allow the state to eliminate income taxes. ”If we were just going to eliminate the income tax and raise our sales tax to match that, we would have to raise it somewhere in the neighborhood of about 8 cents. We would have to go to about 13, maybe 13 1/2 cents in our sales tax.” Individual income taxes equaled $7.0 billion in 2012 in Wisconsin.


Pair that news with Mike Ivey's report in the Cap Times about how economists view Scott Walker's so-called reforms.

Going forward, many are focusing on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the quasi-private agency created by Walker to jump-start job creation efforts. But the agency that replaced the stimulus-delivering functions of the former Department of Commerce has been fraught with problems, including losing track of millions in loans and state subsidies.


Moreover, Walker and the Republicans are doing (hopefully not irreparable) damage to what Tommy Thompson always considered Wisconsin's chief economic driver, the UW System, over ideological differences.

So remind me, which reforms are working?
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby gargantua » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:16 pm

First of all, please stop calling what Walker did "reforms". It's just a word he uses to make his bad policies sound like a good thing. I can see Fox News parroting that, but no one reputable should buy into his "reform" talk. It's bullshit.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4392
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby snoqueen » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:23 pm

Where's a list of what's exempt from the sales tax? We could make this less regressive if we were very selective regarding what gets that extra eight cents of tax. How about slapping it on new luxury cars that get less than 26 miles per gallon, yachts, houses selling for more than 1.5 times the average sales price in a particular jurisdiction, second homes, and a few other choice items?

There is more than one way to collect taxes from those most able to pay.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11845
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:29 pm

This had better be coupled with a method for collecting sales tax from online purchases, otherwise you can bet that it'll encourage more people to buy everything they can from out-of-state online vendors whenever they can.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2899
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:31 pm

The makers buy their goods online and avoid sales tax. The takers buy from the local store and pay it.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby Human » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:52 pm

snoqueen wrote:Where's a list of what's exempt from the sales tax? We could make this less regressive if we were very selective regarding what gets that extra eight cents of tax. How about slapping it on new luxury cars that get less than 26 miles per gallon, yachts, houses selling for more than 1.5 times the average sales price in a particular jurisdiction, second homes, and a few other choice items?

There is more than one way to collect taxes from those most able to pay.


As far as I know, houses are already exempt from the sales tax.

Walker will probably exampt big cars and yachts, too; we need to ease the tax burdens for the "job creators," after all.
Human
Senior Member
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 4:56 pm
Location: Madison -- near west side

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby snoqueen » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:17 pm

I wanted to note that Mike Ivey did a great job on that article -- he had a balanced variety of sources, organized it all in a logical way but with a point, and wrote cleanly. I actually read it a second time just to appreciate how professionally it was done. It's all too easy to turn that much research into nothing but an info dump, as some of our other local journalists tend to do.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11845
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:23 pm

Has the beer tax still not been raised since 1969? Because that seems like a no-brainer.

How about a penny tax on texts?

Throw in the online purchases and I think we'd be flush.
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:27 pm

snoqueen wrote:Where's a list of what's exempt from the sales tax?


It's not as simple as a list. I discovered a number of years ago that if you purchase something(a pint of milk in my case) that is normally exempt from tax at an establishment(in my case, Memorial Union) that has seating, you will then be charged tax. I think this has to do with purchasing food at a restaurant which is considered a luxury and they made the law so that any seating establishment would be included.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5175
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby Madsci » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:59 pm

Back when I was a UW employee, I remember buying milk from the machine in our building instead from the food service area just to avoid the tax. Only problem was sometimes the milk from the machines was outdated.
Last edited by Madsci on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Madsci
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:47 pm

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby gargantua » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:26 pm

narcoleptish wrote:Has the beer tax still not been raised since 1969? Because that seems like a no-brainer.

Actually it is a little bit of a brainer, because it matters who it's imposed on and how it's collected. If it's imposed on all retail sales, I'd have no problem with that. If you imposed it further up the supply chain, it could put Wisconsin craft brewers at a competitive disadvantage in their own state. I would be opposed to that.

Logistically, a high sales tax would certainly be good for businesses located in our border states. It would behoove anyone within an hour of a border to make major purchases elsewhere to avoid tax.

Boy, that'd sure help our economy wouldn't it?
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4392
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:38 pm

gargantua wrote:Logistically, a high sales tax would certainly be good for businesses located in our border states. It would behoove anyone within an hour of a border to make major purchases elsewhere to avoid tax.

Boy, that'd sure help our economy wouldn't it?


That's an easy fix, rack up the Gas tax so it's not worth the drive.

I wonder if raising it to 15% on luxury goods and leaving more essential items (food, clothing, cleaning products, health care items, etc.) at 5% or tax free would have the same effect.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:23 am

gargantua wrote:
narcoleptish wrote:Has the beer tax still not been raised since 1969? Because that seems like a no-brainer.

Actually it is a little bit of a brainer, because it matters who it's imposed on and how it's collected. If it's imposed on all retail sales, I'd have no problem with that. If you imposed it further up the supply chain, it could put Wisconsin craft brewers at a competitive disadvantage in their own state. I would be opposed to that.


I agree with you there. I guess I was thinking along the lines of a nickel a serving, which isn't going to change anyone's consumption, but perhaps imposing/collecting an end-use tax like that is unrealistic, though I don't really understand why.

gargantua wrote:Logistically, a high sales tax would certainly be good for businesses located in our border states. It would behoove anyone within an hour of a border to make major purchases elsewhere to avoid tax.


Why do changes in sales tax have to be drastic, to the point of causing this? Is the thinking that, if we're going to go through the process of changing it, we better make it "worth" it?

Why have we never gone the toll booth route at major highways, at least at the border?
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby Crockett » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:05 am

Taxes are not just fees. The most appropriate use of taxes is to reduce consumption of things with negative externalities or freeriders (to name two).

Simply, we should tax things for which we as a society pay as a whole for a few (pollution, smoking, low MPG SUVs). We should also tax things that don't pay for themselves (highways, wars). We should incentivize things that have positive externalities. For example, we as a society benefit from low-cost, quality education for all.

A few suggestions for new revenue:

1. Highway tolls: no one likes them but from an economics standpoint they make total sense. Tax the people using the highway.

2. Gas tax: gas consumption pollutes our environment, makes us go to war, makes us build highways, promotes ex-burbs, etc. Tax the people most who use it the most.

3. Tax luxury goods. No one NEEDS a luxury yacht. No one NEEDS a $70K car. This money could be better spent elsewhere in the economy. Use the money to subsidize small business ventures in Wisconsin where the employees will be your neighbors and friends rather than foreigners making Ferraris.

I have more but the bottom-line is that taxes - when used correctly - make our society and economy a better place. They are not meant to be used where its merely politically convenient.
Crockett
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

Re: Sales tax comin'

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:44 am

Crockett wrote:Taxes are not just fees. The most appropriate use of taxes is to reduce consumption of things with negative externalities or freeriders (to name two).

Simply, we should tax things for which we as a society pay as a whole for a few (pollution, smoking, low MPG SUVs). We should also tax things that don't pay for themselves (highways, wars).

how do you tax a war, precious

Crockett wrote:2. Gas tax: gas consumption pollutes our environment, makes us go to war, makes us build highways, promotes ex-burbs, etc. Tax the people most who use it the most.

Again regarding the war issue, fracking, for good or ill, will lead us to energy independence within a few years. All the other stuff, yeah. But 99.9999% of the things you buy were at some point transported by a gas-burning vehicle. Raising gas taxes (or implementing highway tolls) will raise prices all around.

Crockett wrote:3. Tax luxury goods. No one NEEDS a luxury yacht. No one NEEDS a $70K car. This money could be better spent elsewhere in the economy. Use the money to subsidize small business ventures in Wisconsin where the employees will be your neighbors and friends rather than foreigners making Ferraris.

Ferraris, maybe. But the same auto workers who make economy American cars also make luxury American cars. Maybe you should revise your policy to be more overtly protectionist.

Realize that every tax slows down some segment of the economy. You must be very careful when pulling the strings.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2899
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Next

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar