Defective rate

I did the tax returns last night, and 20 percent of what I made last year went straight into federal or state coffers, there to be used or misused, and I’m betting more of the latter than the former. (This does not include the 8.375-percent sales tax around here, 4.5 of which goes to the state, or the property tax on the palatial estate at Surlywood, or various and sundry imposts on things like utility franchises and fuel. Add somewhere around 5 percent for those.)

Last year I talked with a candidate for the state House, and let it be known that I was less interested in seeing the income-tax rate cut than I was in seeing the brackets broadened: I’m not so damnably wealthy, yet I’m always at the top marginal rate. (That rate, for 2012, was 5.25 percent; it kicks in at — get this — $8700.)

I will, of course, postpone writing the checks for a day or two, just because.


  1. fillyjonk »

    6 April 2013 · 10:54 am

    I don’t know. I’m also at the top marginal rate but I recognize I have a self-interest (prof at a college at least partly supported by state money) in the taxes not being cut TOO sharply.

    I’d rather see the sales tax on groceries, at least arguably health-promoting groceries, removed. It just seems painful to be buying spinach and cauliflower and skinless chicken breast, and then have to fork out nearly 10% extra (in my town) on top of the already-rising costs.

    I’m waiting as long as possible (given my crazy schedule and having to get to the crowded PO) to write the checks – just on principle.

  2. CGHill »

    6 April 2013 · 11:10 am

    Just about every year, some legislator floats a bill to kill the sales tax on groceries, and inevitably it dies in the dark corner of some committee or other.

    But this rate schedule perturbs me in the way that the existence of the Alternative Minimum Tax perturbs me: the manifest attitude of “To you, we shall stick it.”

  3. Roger Green »

    6 April 2013 · 2:13 pm

    There’s no sales tax on most food in New York State. There is, though, on soda, e.g. Some of the delineations are pretty arcane – juice is not taxed, but juice drinks w less than 70% actual juice IS taxed.

  4. CGHill »

    6 April 2013 · 2:17 pm

    Grocers, I suspect, do not look forward to reprogramming their hardware (and their staff) to identify taxable and non-taxable items. (Perhaps it should follow the food-stamp rules? Anything that SNAP doesn’t pay for would be taxable.)

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