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Big Chewie
09-01-2002, 02:39 AM
I recently moved up here to Maryland and was suprised to find out that this little state has state, county, and some city income tax!
I'm from Texas where there is no state income tax and I cant figure this out

Maryland Population-5.3 million
MD land area-9,774 sq. miles
MD Taxes out the yahoo

Texas Population-20.9 million
TX land area 261,797 sq. miles
Not 1 penny in state or county income taxes
4x the people
26x the size
NO STATE OR COUNTY INCOME TAX

Dont get me wrong I like it here but I was just wondering
Are there state income taxes where you are?

Big Chewie

rynobot
09-01-2002, 02:46 AM
yes there are county and state.

derek
09-01-2002, 02:51 AM
i think texas and florida are the only two states with no state income tax. there may be a couple more, but the vast majority have a state tax.

and i'm pretty sure it will stay that way for a while. any state senator who tried to invent a new tax would be out of a job pretty quick.:)

rush limbaugh himself said he moved from new york to florida to escape the high city and state taxes!:)

Big Chewie
09-01-2002, 02:53 AM
Hey rynobot
I saw your other post, but figured I was getting way off topic so I thought I would ask it here.

So Texas and Florida may be my only options to avoid them? at least they are both good ones to me, except I like snow in the winter.

Thanks
Big Chewie

plasticfetish
09-01-2002, 03:16 AM
California taxes everything ...

I would look at the difference in persons per square mile when it comes to Texas vs. Maryland. Maryland also probably has a higher average income ... more income to tax (how can they resist?) I would suspect that as (or if) the population of Texas grows and the need to support that growth grows, they might eventually look for new ways to pay for that growth.

rynobot
09-01-2002, 03:22 AM
its obvious why they don'y have an income tax in Florida, everyone is retired. :)

Big Chewie
09-01-2002, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by rynobot
its obvious why they don'y have an income tax in Florida, everyone is retired. :)

LOL
Good point!

Big Chewie

JON9000
09-01-2002, 12:56 PM
Florida has the luxury of a thriving tourist business. They can tax the heck out of transient visitors instead of residents. They also have a population explosion going on which funnels huge loads of cash in. When the growth rate slows, as it eventually has to, taxes will increase. The tourist business took a huge hit last year with the terrorist scare, and the tax base was crippled.

InsaneJediGirl
09-01-2002, 01:06 PM
Yeah,I dont think we have a State and Country Income tax here in FL.Bad enough they want to keep raising the state sales tax up.:(

JON is right,Florida charges luxury tax on Disney,McDonalds,Universal,everything tourist related.Supposedly to fund public schools..thats a joke.:dead:

SWAFMAN
09-01-2002, 01:21 PM
big chewie - just be happy you didn't move another couple hundred miles north to here (central PA). My town has, in addition to the state and local taxes, an "Occupational Assessment Tax" or OAT. This thing is the most ridiculous tax I've ever seen. You pay a tax based upon your job title. Example: A housewife may pay $100 per year, and a plumber may pay $350, and an electrical engineer may pay $500. It makes NO DIFFERENCE how much your actual wages are, only your job title. You could be the door greeter at a local store, but since your parents own the store they pay you $1 million a year for that job, but your OAT tax will be very little. But you could be a manager of that same store, but the cheap, stingy owners may only pay you minimum wage for that job, but since your title is a Manager, you'd pay more OAT tax than the door greeter making $1 million a year. I've exaggerated the wages in the example to make a point, but the principle is the same - this tax is totally unfair because it uses too arbitrary a method of taxing. In my mind, charging someone a higher or lower tax based on a job title is barely different than charging someone a tax based on their ethnic or racial label. The only fair ways to determine tax (if there can be any FAIR way to tax) are to either charge everyone the same fixed amount, or a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage of their wages.

I have lived in this area for about 12 years, and I've NEVER paid this tax out of outrage at its idiocy. I constantly receive threatening letters and gub'ment buttholes banging on my door saying my property will be seized, but in all these years they've never done anything but threaten. I've told them that if they ever try to take my property or attach my wages, I'll fight them all the way to the Supreme Court over this tax. There's also a group fighting to get this tax abolished, but I've never talked with any of them. They're trying to get a measure on our ballot for the next election to eliminate the tax.

JON9000
09-01-2002, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by SWAFMAN
My town has, in addition to the state and local taxes, an "Occupational Assessment Tax" or OAT. This thing is the most ridiculous tax I've ever seen. You pay a tax based upon your job title. - this tax is totally unfair because it uses too arbitrary a method of taxing. In my mind, charging someone a higher or lower tax based on a job title is barely different than charging someone a tax based on their ethnic or racial label. The only fair ways to determine tax (if there can be any FAIR way to tax) are to either charge everyone the same fixed amount, or a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage of their wages.

There's also a group fighting to get this tax abolished, but I've never talked with any of them. They're trying to get a measure on our ballot for the next election to eliminate the tax.

That takes the cake. I have never heard of anything that silly. Everybody likes to slam the federal government, but I have to say that at least on a policy making level it tends to draw people of some intelligence. Local governments are usually comprised of dummies. I'll bet no one on your town council even knows the basics of taxation.

As for your tax ideas based on fairness, taxing the everyone the same dollar amount simply is not feasible, because you would be forced to charge only what the lowest common denominator in terms of wealth could afford to pay. That would not be enough to fund any modern government. Also, those with more resources tend to require more goverment services. As for a flat tax, I am in favor of a flatter tax with less tax expenditures. I do not favor simply taxing all income at the same rate, a "proportional rate structure." I prefer instead the "progressive rate" structure because it tends to tax "discretionary income" more highly than subsistence income. Money used to buy what you need to survive should not be taxed as highly, especially when money that is reinvested to create more wealth is completely deductible, i.e. not taxed at all.

But enough of my liberalism! You should definitely try to contact the others in your area who are trying to stop this- that is the democratic way, and it beats having to feel like a scofflaw because you are not partaking in something most prople could see as unfair. Perhaps you all could even challenge the provision in court? :greedy: (I've always wanted to find a use for that emoticon!)

derek
09-01-2002, 02:47 PM
JON9000,

are you aware that about 5% of this countries wealthiest income earners pay 50% of all taxes in the united states?

did you also know that the lowest income earners pay a very low percentage of taxes collected. i think it's about 5% of taxes collected. most pay no tax at all, and actually receive a payment from the government instead?

if one advocates the redistribution of wealth, and despises those who produce, i'd say that's pretty fair.

in reality, our tax system is very unfair. liberals speak of the wealthy paying their "fair share", well they do, and then some.

if a country is to have an income tax at all, which it shouldn't, the fair thing to do would be to have every income earner pay the same percentage. of course a person making a billion a year would pay more than someone making $15,000; but fairness is not what the liberals are about in this country. what they actually advocate is the redistribution of wealth.

JON9000
09-01-2002, 03:26 PM
That is what I call a loaded post! To respond to each of your statements:

No, I was not aware of the tax burden as to specific numbers. Even without a progressive structure though, the numbers would skew high. That's the way an income tax works, especially when a country has a high "income gap." If you compare my tax burden to Bill Gates, I'm sure he pays more.

Noone despises those who produce. Although I think your use of the word produce is a little off. Wages and income are not necessarily indicative of what one "produces." And a progressive rate structure is not there to "stick it to the wealthy." They get their break through lower rates on capital gains, which are taxed lower than income. Poor people get little capital gains breaks because they have few gains.

You say a country should have no income tax, yet you give no reasons. The reason FOR an income tax is that it is effectively neutral. It doesn't reward some behaviors while discouraging others, which is a free market goal (and a good one). It is a very elusive goal, and I would like to hear your ideas on alternatives that could preserve it.

And it looks as though you concede that billionaires should pay a higher percentage rate than someone working retail full time at 15K/ year. Well, since we agree fundamentally, it really becomes an issue of where to draw the progressive rates and how disparate they should be- the question as you put it then becomes, "how unfair is too unfair?"

So, now we come to your last sentence. Attacking liberals as ne'erdowells may may be all well and good on the Rush Limbaugh show , but here I would like to keep the discussion a little more cordial.

I want a tax structure that is viable (works) and relatively neutral.

derek
09-01-2002, 03:41 PM
i don't think there should be any income tax, because it violates an individul's right to his life and property.

i believe that all "taxes", if any should be voulntary. i would be more than happy to pay a very small "police/military/court tax".

the only services a government should provide are a military to protect from foreign invaders, a domestic police force to protect individuals and their property from domestic criminals, and a court system to prosecute criminals and for individuals to rationally settle their differences.

all these "services" could be easily funded as specified in the constitution with tarriffs levied on imports.

as for my post, are you implying it is "loaded", as in full of feces?

JON9000
09-01-2002, 03:52 PM
No- nothing to do with fecal material. Just a lot of statements in a short span.

I take it you are a libertarian? I have no problem on that. It goes to a very fundamental question of what the role of government should be in our lives. My view is that the government must provide more in order to protect the ideals you embrace, as well as other ideals- and as such the income tax is a "necessary evil." A difference in philosophies, I suppose- but I wholeheartedly agree with what libertarians say on civil liberties.

derek
09-01-2002, 04:09 PM
JON9000,

do you see the condriction in the thought process that says:
"your life is your own to do with as you see fit regarding issues of drug use, abortion, flag burning, pronography, prostution, gambling, etc... but at the same time says your life, money and property are not your own when it comes to taxes?

i'm for freedom, plain and simple, in all issues. it's what nature requires for man's very survival. liberals and conseratives are actually for neither. they only give the concept lip service. both actually want to bind and control man, only disagreeing what should be prohibited.

scruffziller
09-01-2002, 04:30 PM
No wonder the people in those states are so well off. Must be nice not to have any income tax.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
09-01-2002, 11:33 PM
I'm just a young guy, my parents still do my taxes, but let me expound on this subject.

The U.S.A., some feel is a heavily taxed nation. Fair enough. My parents are small business owners (two between them) and they are always complaining about their city, county, state, and federal taxes (more of state and local though). I can't give you exact specific numbers, but the tax rate where I live in WNY has increased around 20% in the last two years.

NY State is also a heavily taxed state, in the Top 2 or 3 I believe (next to Taxachusetts). They are even worse on my mom and dad's businesses. I read somewhere that NY state is the worse state to live in, if you want to start a small business.

Saying all that, I know it can be worse. Go to Switzerland, Scandanavia and you might pay 50% of your salary to taxes (in the U.S. the average number is just below 30%). Of course, they have universal health care for all, low crime rates, and better quality of education than we do.

It's all a trade off. If we give up a little more of our $$$ then theoretically the country as a whole would be a lot better so far as their will be increased funding for education, health care, the arts, military etc.

The only problem I see is the massive mismanagment of our tax dollars, thousand dollar toilet seats and all. The way some politicans spend our money, it would make us wretch. Government by fault is corrupted, because people in power will do everything they can to stay in power, whether that means giving county, state, federal etc employees pay raises for votes, or their corporate friends grants and massive tax breaks etc.

Take NY state highway funding. Let's say the state allocates 500 million for highway repairs for one year. The next year the department will ask for that same amount or more even though there may be a considerable less amount of work that is needed to be done. They do that because, let's say the very next year they need the 500 million again. The state may say, well last year you got by 300 mill, this year will give you 400.

As a result, some of the highway stretches the state repairs are in no real need of repair. They just have the money to repair it, so they gotta to do it or their funding for years to come may be in jeopardy. And I drive down the city of Buffalo everyday through 'Pothole Alley' and nothing has been done to those streets for years.

I am split in this issue. I do feel that as a human, we have a compelling unique gift that few other species have. That is the ability to show empathy towards others, and I feel it is an obligation to help others. So if the government wants to take a huge chunk out of my paycheck to help with programs like Social Security, Medicare etc (I know they are in peril right now, but those programs did a lot of good in their heyday) then I feel compelled that they do so. Of course many people tell me when I get a real job, and I look at my finances, my thoughts on this subject will change.

The problem is what I stated before, the massive mismanagement of the $$$ is not even comical any more, it is just pathetic.

That is why I feel there needs to be more politicans in the world like a John McCain, a Bill Bradley, a Russ Feingold. They seem to have the courage to stand up to special interests. We need to stop electing the same old idiots to the state capitals and to Washington (that is one reason why I am voting for Tom Golisano as an Independent candidate in the NY governor's race). I don't think it is ever going to happen, where Congress and such are full of these types of individuals, but the more of them we get in there, the better off we will be.

Anyway, those are my two (untaxed) cents.

Big Chewie
09-02-2002, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by scruffziller
No wonder the people in those states are so well off. Must be nice not to have any income tax.

Just to clarify for Texas, we do have Federal income tax (same as everyone else), just not state, county, and city.

Big Chewie

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
09-02-2002, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by scruffziller
No wonder the people in those states are so well off. Must be nice not to have any income tax.

I also know that the opposite is true. People who are well off flock to those states.

Like the fink executive from WorldCom. He moved to Florida and commissioned a $10 million dollar house to be built. I think Florida is the only state in the union where creditors cannot take hold of your possessions if you are bankrupt. So while thousands of people lost their jobs at WorldCom, this guy is living the high life, and there is nothing they can do about what he owes. Except he can go to jail though.

JON9000
09-02-2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by derek
JON9000,

do you see the condriction in the thought process that says:
"your life is your own to do with as you see fit regarding issues of drug use, abortion, flag burning, pronography, prostution, gambling, etc... but at the same time says your life, money and property are not your own when it comes to taxes?


No I do not, because I draw a distinction between human rights and property rights. By the way, if you want government to primarily protect property, doesn't it make sense that those with the most property who would benefit the most from the system should pay more (or volunteer more) in taxes? And another wrinkle in your system- the free rider problem. Those who do not volunteer have no right to the services in my opinion, because that represents unjust enrichment.

You make it sound as if there is some vast right wing- left wing cabal out to take away your freedom through taxes and anti-porno laws. Not really. The ideal state you talk about was pretty close to what we had in the pre-industrial U.S. Ah, yes, the halcyon days of child labor, illiteracy, and freedom to spend the little money you had on whatever you wanted (because you definitely wouldn't make much in the factory you'd be in right now without an education.) The economy would rise to Olympian heights and then fall to stygian depths.

Americans collectively realized that it wasn't working, or at least created too much turmoil, and democratically moved for change. We require taxes to regulate and provide for what the majority believes to be the necessities (education is a necessity in a democracy, IMHO). It is indeed, as the LBC said, all about where we draw the line. For me, as long as the system does not violate the Constitution, I recognize it to be the will of the people. And since I realize that I never would have had an education otherwise, although I HATE paying taxes, I can live with it. I just hate seeing waste like LBC talks about.

Fortunately, we live in a democracy where the system reflects the zeitgeist of the people, and if the majority of folks out there agree with you, it will change.

:cool:

rynobot
09-02-2002, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Lowly Bantha Cleaner


I also know that the opposite is true. People who are well off flock to those states.

Like the fink executive from WorldCom. He moved to Florida and commissioned a $10 million dollar house to be built. I think Florida is the only state in the union where creditors cannot take hold of your possessions if you are bankrupt. So while thousands of people lost their jobs at WorldCom, this guy is living the high life, and there is nothing they can do about what he owes. Except he can go to jail though.

The federal government can seize the person's property if they find that the money the person used was had illegally.

derek
09-02-2002, 08:24 PM
JON9000,

i don't advocate a government to exist to protect the property of the rich, but to safeguard the rights(freedom) of all. and yes, for those who own property, it would be in their best interest to fund a police force and military to protect their property, but in doing so, everyone would benefit from that, including the poor, who would pay very little, or nothing, but reap the benefit of safety.

as for the concept of "human rights", they can not exist if a government does not recognize an individual's right to property.
it is the right to own and keep one's creation(property) that has caused this country to flourish in such a short span of time, while elevating not only this countries standard of living, but that of the entire world.

when ever i hear the term "human rights" the word socialism always pops in my head. it's always those that advocate "human rights" who have no problem enslaving one human to another, ala income redistribution.

anyone who favors a system that allows one group of people to vote themselves the property of another, is neither in favor of freedom or humanity, but slavery and mob rule(democracy).

JON9000
09-02-2002, 09:12 PM
I understand your arguments, Derek, but I really think they are a little bit dramatic. We live in society that gives a great deal of consideration to property rights yet stops short of absolute property rights. But you paint the issue as black or white, all or nothing, fascism or freedom. As I consider your ideas on government and its role, I cannot help but point out that it sounds much like the United States under the Articles of Confederation. (Of course under the Articles, there was no Federal Court system, which you seem to advocate.) Again- it simply did not work.

I know we will not agree- but slavery occurs in other forms besides income redistribution. Real slavery is being forced to live on a subsistence level- survival is a hard business. For example, if I was born into poverty, I would have to work as soon as I began walking in order to eat. That being the case, I would never have gotten an education, and since it is in the interests of the wealthy to keep my labor cheap, they would keep my wages low in order to keep me working. I would never have the chance to contribute anything more to the world. That being the case, only those born into privilege have a chance to break out of the mold. That, my friend, is a slave's life, or at least a landed peasant's life.

So in a sense, I agree with you- one must have property in order to have a chance. I don't know man. I do not think you would really like living in the world you suggest- but you never know.

Anyway, that's all I have on the subject- it has been fun to discuss, I'll let you have the last word and I'll read it.

derek
09-02-2002, 09:33 PM
JON9000,

i have to strongly disagree that a poor individual cannot aquire an education and is doomed to a life of poverty. as a matter of fact, i believe i learned more in my own individual studies than i ever learned in high school or college. all a person really needs is to learn to read, and then after that, it's up to themself how much knowledge they aquire. and i guarantee you, there would be plenty of people who would gladly teach that basic skill.:)
as a matter of fact, many great intellectuals did not have the "benefit" of a higher education, if that. and this country is filled with people who have risen from the depths of poverty to a very prosperous life.

as for living in an all or nothing, black or white world, yes i do believe this. but it's not just what i believe to be true, it's reality that dictates we accept this. to the person who thinks there are no absolutes in life, i say try drinking gasoline instead of water and then tell me there are no absolutes.

it's not just that one has to have property to have a chance, but they have to be able to KEEP that property they aquire.

as for the kind of world i want to live in, it's a world one can exist in where the only limits government places on man is the prohibition of initiating force or fraud against another.

if you want to end the discussion now, that's fine.:) and i appreciate that we were able to keep things civil.:)

SWAFMAN
09-02-2002, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by JON9000
Americans collectively realized that it wasn't working, or at least created too much turmoil, and democratically moved for change. We require taxes to regulate and provide for what the majority believes to be the necessities (education is a necessity in a democracy, IMHO). It is indeed, as the LBC said, all about where we draw the line. For me, as long as the system does not violate the Constitution, I recognize it to be the will of the people. And since I realize that I never would have had an education otherwise, although I HATE paying taxes, I can live with it. I just hate seeing waste like LBC talks about....


Hopefully, there's room for a middle ground between the totally libertarian outlook of American federal government, and the waste- , pork- and graft-ridden system we have now.

I, too, believe that the federal government should only provide for those activities specifically outlined in the Constitution. But I realize there are certain activities which have become expected of our government today, which aren't enumerated in the Constitution, so those should be specified and added by Amendment. That way, we're providing what modern American society needs, but doing so within the rules under which our government was designed.

Just maybe, since every state would have to ratify such an Amendment, we'd end up with only the services that are truly necessary at the federal level, and eliminate some that could be handled at the state level or by the private sector?

LBC touched on a very important aspect to the current system, which is unacceptable. The use of tax dollars to buy votes. I'm not talking about a senator getting federal highway funds to build a new stretch of interstate or a defense contract to build a new ship or airplane in his district, generating jobs and goodwill for that senator come election day.

I'm talking about creating and perpetuating a dependent welfare class, then using class-warfare scare tactics to turn that group into a voting block for one party.

I'm also talking about a funding system for our educational institutions that makes them totally dependent upon federal grant money, thus creating a culture of educators who tend to vote as a block for the party they perceive as being more generous toward funding to education. And more insidious, these educators are criminally activist in their leftist propagandizing of our maleable, impressionable youth.

Not to mention that the pitifully sub-standard (by comparison to other modern industrialized nations) quality of American public schools seems to be purpose-built to ensure that most of its products end up so pitifully un- or under-educated, that they can only "graduate" to the welfare-class, where they still tend to vote as a block for the same one party.

Your tax money at work.

derek
09-02-2002, 11:44 PM
JON9000 and SWAFman,

speaking of the constitution, it's debatable if the federal income tax is actually legal. for an amendment to the constitution to become law, it has to be ratified by 2/3rd's of the states, which the 16th amendment was not, according to some research i have done.

and in regards to government waste, the two words, "government" and "waste" actually go hand in hand. when faced with an unlimited supply of cash, and almost no accountability, is anyone suprised this happens?

Mandalorian Candidat
09-03-2002, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by derek
i think texas and florida are the only two states with no state income tax. there may be a couple more, but the vast majority have a state tax.


Nevada also has no state sales tax thanks to all the suckers, er I mean patrons, of the casinos. :) In fact there's a city (I guess two cities in fact) on the border of Utah and Nevada called Wendover. The Utah side is crap compared to the Nevada side because all the businesses are moving over to NV. There's no or less taxes over there so the $ base in UT is sagging. Both state legislatures are looking at the feasability to cede the land to Nevada to equalize the whole town.

I accept the fact that some taxes are necessary to create and keep a good defense force, educate the populace, and shore up the infrastructure. For that I willingly pay my taxes. It's the pork-barrel spending that irritates me. Every American should be upset and the waste that goes on in every level of government.

As an example, my mom used to teach in the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) in a bad part of town back in the 70's. They had no security, little money for extracuriccular activities, no AC for the sweltering fall season, and were (and are still) paid a paltry salary. The administration of the district has a palace of a building with AC. All the board members, and muckety-mucks drove district-owned Caddys and got $100K+ a year (this is back in the 70's remember). What do they produce? Nada, except a lot of red tape and higher real estate taxes due to their multiple failures in managing district funds.

With a modicum of financial responsibility and consideration for the students and faculty and tax payers much of the tax dollars could have been spent better and/or taxes could have been lowered.

This example is a local one, so imagine what goes on at the state and federal levels.

Fortunately for me I have no weird taxes like SWAFFY, but I do live in a state with a high welfare base. It seems that everyone in UT receives some kind of state assistance for some reason. Thus we have sales tax on groceries (which doesn't exist in CA) and a higher rate of state income tax. In 2000 I estimated that I paid about 5% tax in UT and only about 2% in CA even though 90% of my income for that year was earned in CA.

Is that screwy or what? :confused:

thespar
09-04-2002, 04:10 PM
state and county taxes down here in my neck on the woods the where raised about a year ago and there was just talked a bout 2 months ago to raise again. usally when they what more money they raise the property tax.