Did tax things today.
Walked over to the bank, and paid the property taxes. Walked home, stopping at the grocery store on the way.
After eating a bit of lunch, I settled in to do my income taxes. They don’t take me long: I have a single employer, I get health insurance through my employer, I have one deduction I claim, and I didn’t get to claim my kid this year (his father did).
They still make me cranky. Not because I have to pay taxes. But because the property taxes are so high, and the income taxes relatively low.
This state is falling apart. Education funding is abysmal. We should lower our property taxes by raising income taxes — and oh, yeah, switch to a graduated income tax like civilized people instead of this flat tax nonsense.
Then the state should pay it’s bills, including what it owes to the education system and the retirement benefits for state employees.
The current system doesn’t work. It needs to be re-invented. The state’s education system is way too dependent on property taxes, and it needs to be de-coupled from those taxes. A graduated income tax would solve a lot of these problems.
And yes, rich people would hire lawyers and tax accountants to try to get out of paying their fair share: that’s what they do. We’d still end up ahead.
Addendum: in an article by the Chicago Tribune comparing Illinois in 2010 to 2014, the Tribune used an ALEC scale to claim Illinois’ ranking had improved — significantly because more children had access to charter schools. The take-away number, however, is that Illinois lost ground to other states in terms of education spending per child.