Leading from the Left

Monday, July 30, 2007

Regressive vs. Progressive Taxation

What are our values? When it comes to tax policy are we willing to adopt methods of taxation that are progressive rather than regressive?

Regressive taxes, like the sales tax for example, bear a heavier burden on the poor than the wealthy. Progressive taxes, such as the income tax, spread the burden out based on one's ability to pay. Thus, we have different tax rates based on income level: the wealthy pay a higher percentage of their income than the poor or middle class.

Orange County will shortly be faced with an interesting dilemma. The new state budget, which is to receive final approval today in both the State House and State Senate, give county governments the option of putting on the ballot either a referendum to increase the sales tax OR a referendum to increase the land transfer tax to .6%. Today's Chapel Hill Herald has an article on this subject.

I strongly support placing the land transfer tax before the voters and oppose increasing the sales tax. As a progressive, I believe in progressive, not regressive, means of taxation.

As a friend of mine said this morning, the instrument really does matter. ALOT.