The argument is rote by now. I'm a business. I invest money in the local economy. I create jobs that pay wages. These wages pay taxes.
I do enough. I need breaks. More breaks, in fact, than I already have.
Only I'm not a business. I'm a wage earner.
Of course, because of me, state and local governments have something to tax to pay for government services. In fact, the burden falls most heavily upon me in Oregon, much more than it falls on corporations, as The Oregonian reported.
And I represent two-thirds of the economy. Without my spending, businesses can't stay in business. If I cut back even slightly, or if my confidence dips, the economy slows or tanks.
So, I'm important. And because I am so important, I want considerations. I still want services, and No. 1 among them is education. Without education, we don't have the ability to attract other wage earners who earn wages that get taxed and that fuel the economy.
With all this in mind, and with the electoral sporting season open again, I have four mild proposals that I wish to advance.
· A minimum income tax. In those years that I spend more than I take in, I'm willing to kick in $10. Seems fair enough.
I could pay more, I suppose, but I already pay a ton in property taxes and spend money on consumer goods. I'm already contributing.
· Interest income tax cut. I don't need a capital gains tax cut. I don't have much capital to gain, but I do have a bank account that earns interest. Banks use that bank account to make loans to consumers, who use that money to spend on products and services that businesses provide so they can stay in business. Banks also loan that money to businesses, which also use the money so they can stay in business.
Why should that interest be taxed as regular income?
· Property tax exemption and/or breaks. Lots of businesses and condo developments get exemptions of 10 years or more. Based on my family's wages, we're what businesses and politicians want in Oregon. We've got money to spend; not a lot mind you, but enough to help keep some businesses afloat.
I want an exemption. Otherwise, I'll think about taking my wages elsewhere.
· The ability to collect money for public services that I might use. I anticipate using services at some point, so I'd like to estimate what I could use in a given year, collect that amount in advance, and pay it when I use the services.
If I spend more than I earn, however, I want to write off the amount I collect and pocket it. Utilities in Oregon get to do that legally. And if it's legal, it's got to be ethical.
These are four proposals that recognize my importance, and I recognize that they shift the burden of paying for services that we all need and use to some other group of payers. But that's OK. I'm that important.