Taxes worth review and debate

I’m about as big a fan of taxes as the next person. Paying more in taxes means more out of my pocket for other things. But if it also means equalizing the playing field, reducing the overall tax burden on citizens, and restabilizing the state’s financial budget deficit, then I think it’s worth a discussion.

Senator Jon Erpenbach from Middleton proposes shifting existing sales tax exemptions to take away exemptions from certain services and providing them to others so that more revenue can be generated. Some “necessities of life,” such as food and medical care, would continue to remain exempt. But others, such as architectural services, public relation firms, and hair salons, would have to collect sales taxes.

Wisconsin reportedly has the sixth highest tax rate in the country. Some experts argue that this is the reason why it cannot attract more commerce. But others contend that the actual tax collections from businesses is lower, placing the greater burden on individual citizens.

I give credit to Senator Erpenbach for revealing how exploitive our sales tax system has become over the past two decades. Although I don’t know all of the details of his plan, I would encourage both the Legislature and the Governor to give this particular issue a lot of merit, especially since we the citizens are the ones who end up paying more in the end. It’s time to end the special interest kickbacks.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Sales tax exemptions come under scrutiny

Wausau Daily Herald Editorial: New ideas on sales taxes worth debate

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