Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 13:20:00 MDT

Rob Sweeney wrote:

> * Michael S. Lorrey <> [000522 13:30]:
> > Charlie Stross wrote:
> > > Well, speaking as a non-accountant, I'm in the top income tax bracket --
> > > paying 40% on taxable income about 28K (pounds, not dollars). I don't have
> > > any recent figures to hand, but the last ones I saw suggested that the
> > > gross proportion of income we pay in tax here is about 39%, compared with
> > > 38% in the USA and >40% anywhere else in the EU. (Sweden, with the highest
> > > rate, was around 55%.)
> > &28,000 equals, at a current exchange rate of 1 to 1.48, an income of $41,440.00.
> > Assuming you are single, you have an initial deduction of $5700.00. Thus your taxable
> > income is $35,740.00. With no other deductions or writoffs, your tax would be the
> > following: [...]
> One thing that's different (I believe) between the US taxation system and
> that in the UK is the state (and in some places local) tax component we
> have. Here in lovely NYC - about the most taxed place in the US - we
> pay an additional 10% above the Federal rate in combined state and local
> income taxes - plus a host of other taxes (among the highest local
> sales tax rates in the nation, for example). This brings the tax burden
> on many Americans up to - and in some cases beyond - European levels.

Not so. Most state income taxes are deductible from your federal income tax, so the effect
is nil. Plus the sales taxes here are a joke compared to what you'd see in europe. The
value added taxes do not just apply at the retail end, they are applied at every level or
manufacture and distribution..

Then you have states like mine, NH, which has no income tax, no sales tax, and the property
tax on real estate is $6.60 per $1,000 valuation at the state level and between $5-15 more
at the municipal level.

Then you have gasoline and other energy taxes. Even with gas prices at $1.50 per gallon
here, they are a small fraction of what is paid over there due to their high taxes.

> Most European jurisdictions don't seem to have the notion of multiple levels
> of government - often with overlapping functions - that we have in the US -
> local, county, state, federal, all with taxation authority.

Here there is a delineation, according to legal theory, between direct and indirect
taxation. The federal government can only impose indirect taxes, while the state and local
government can impose direct taxes. Local governments impose their own taxation precisely
because no state has a ban on unfunded mandates written into its constitution (though we do
have it as a law here regarding education), and many state governments like to pass laws
requiring people and communities do things without providing funding to get them done..
Moreover, many european communities have 'service fees' and things of that sort for things
like garbage disposal, street cleaning, and for upkeep of the neighborhood which tend to
compose large apartment buildings, so the fees are imposed at a sort of 'condo association'

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