Americans generally dislike paying taxes, and this sentiment is especially true when it comes to property taxes. According to a study produced by the American Enterprise Institute, of all taxes imposed on the general public, property taxes are the form for which citizens hold the highest degree of indignation.
The public’s ill-will is not without merit, according to a recent Forbesarticle from the Center for Local Governance (CLG).
Property taxes impose a burden on the housing market that drives up the cost of housing, hurting low and fixed-income families. Not only that, but high property taxes also create a barrier to job growth by serving as a disincentive to capital-intensive industries and the jobs that they bring. Worst of all, the imposition of property taxes means that people will never truly own their own property, but rather must pay “rent” to the government in perpetuity.
Property taxes take power and property rights out of the hands of the people, and put it in the hands of government. There is a better way however.
According to a 2012 study released by the Texas Public Policy Foundation titled, Enhancing Texas’ Economic Growth Through Tax Reform, authored by President Reagan’s chief economic advisor Dr. Arthur Laffer, local property taxes could be eliminated entirely and the lost revenue replaced with a reformed sales tax that would feature an expanded sales tax base and slightly higher tax rate.
To achieve revenue neutrality, the study estimates that the current 8.25 percent total sales tax rate could be modestly adjusted upward to 11 percent and the tax base broadened to include property and all goods and services taxed in at least one other state.
With this reform in place, Texans could ensure secure futures for both family and business, all-the-while freeing themselves from the burdensome strain of endless property taxes.