See that's the problem, at least in my area. The money that I am taxed is mostly not going to infrastructure, buying new computers at the high school, conservation programs for the parks and lakes around my home, etc. Its not even going to build homes for the less wealthy people who've worked in my suburb as gardeners landscapers bus boys etc. (They gave that program up even though most the residents here supported building homes for working class people) Rather the vast majority is spent on pension funds that have been stolen from, and generally mismanaged for years. Im not jim Cramer but for God sakes who thought that investing in some distant swamp land in an unincorporated area was a wonderful idea? Better yet who signed off on it? Put the funds in a mutual fund, cd, or even just leave it in a money market account. You'll lose far less in money market due to inflation than by having any of these other geniuses investing your pension. Then these people who had these pension funds, which they have earned by working I'm not denying that, are anxious that they'll have little to no pension. Hence, the rest of the tax base must make up for these differences. To put more fuel on the fire, many government workers strike demanding salaries comparable to those who are lawyers, doctors, etc. Top positions I.e. admins make often over 300k annually but most firefighters cops teachers make between $50 to $120k. Its understandable though because they want to at least have a better salary especially if they believe that their pension funds will have far less money in them than originally expected. Unfortunately the average tax payer suffers..
So what does this mean for the average tax payer like me?
Im neither a butler nor a hedge fund manager. Most butlers working for wealthy families make well into the 6 fig range in salary and are also given various expensive gifts, stocks, etc and are privy to certain information which can help them greatly grow their savings. We all are aware hedge fund managers are very wealthy and pay little to no income taxes as their earnings are mainly based on profits from investments like stocks I.e. capital gains. That's fine I have nothing against rhem. I too am furthering my education, workinf, and investing my money so I can one day amass enough wealth where I can have just enough to travel for the rest of my life and give the rest away. Anyway for now my salary is actually around mean for my area - a little higher than mean if were looking at the closest large city below the mea. By income I do not meet the 1% as I do not make over $450k. I am not even in the top 5% as I do not make over $250k a year. Due to the fact that I am single with no kids (that I know of) I am taxed at around 35%-40% for income. The main reason is majority of my income earnings are from commission which is taxed as a luxury hence nearly 40%. So even if I make 100k, after taxes and a few deductions for health dental and vision I'm left with about half.
If it were just these income taxes it wouldn't be a big issue. However when you tack on 10% sales tax and the worst of all - a ridiculously high property tax well that's when middle and upper middle class people especially those with an education start looking at other places to live and work. Middle and upper middle class families here are giving up their homes for this very reason. Soon well be a metro of renters for all except maybe the top 10% of residents. Also don't forget here you pay a tax for things like grocery bags, gas, food as well as using the highways. I'm selling my home because the property taxes alone are $14k a year and yet we have one of the lower rates in the area. In some other suburbs the taxes on a similar house worth $800 to $900k (tad above average 2 story 3-4 bedroom home - nothing fancy - no big yard, no pool, or any other luxuries) people pay $20 $25 $28k a year. So if say a married couple, say nurse and mid level businessman, the nurse will have to spend over half her post tax income just to pay the taxes on such a home which they probably chose for the good schools and low rate of crime in the first place. The businessman would have to cover all other expenses and with a large medical expense or tuition bill comes in its a huge problem. So if say this nurse and mid level manager have a household income of around 160k nearly half will be taken out for various taxes esp if they own a home. This means if they have 1 kid they'll have to really tighten the belt to send the kid to a college esp if its private. For 2 3 or more kids they'd probably have to part with the house or take out a few loans. On the other hand, a 2 story house of similar worth will have property taxes of perhaps $4 $5 $6k a year at most in all the states surrounding mine. My friend who's an architect from India owns a home in the city worth around $260k - a small ranch he shares with his wife who also works. He has a home in Arizona with roughly the same worth. He pays $9k in property taxes here but only $900 a year in Arizona. Yet the schools and other services are far better there...
Now if we have the best infrastructure, the best schools, the safest streets, the best social services anywhere in the world I could understand. However we have none of those. In fact we lag far behind especially in grade school and high school education. Our colleges are among the best but they're also by far the most expensive. I.e. an mba from sgh in poland is 30k zloty - basically what books and a few fees cost here. And as far as violent crime its not even worth discussing in detail - 30 40 shootings over a weekend gets a shrug from people here. So where is all this money going? I just simply don't understand how other municipalities and states, even other countries can have so much better schools, roads, etc with a fraction of the tax revenue that we get.