We have seen the future of taxation, and it suspiciously resembles absurdity.
In the past several years, thanks to expensive oil, more efficient cars, and the green movement urging people to drive less, local sales taxes on gasoline are reaping less and less revenue.
What shall cities do? Raise property taxes? Raise the price of a driver’s license? Nah, those things can’t very well replace a consumption tax.
You see, no matter how expensive it might be to get a driver’s license renewed, it’s paid in one wad and not needed again for a few more years. What these cities need are more consumption taxes – a steady flow of income to pay for those monthly pension checks.
So how do you make up for a floundering gas tax? It’s all very simple. Just say from now on a road is a utility, like water or electricity, and people have to pay to consume it. And the best part? Using a public street doesn’t even mean you have to drive a car! Those skateboarders are going somewhere aren’t they? They’re consuming space on a public street! Tax them for it!!
Three years ago, this genius idea became law – with almost no media fanfare – in cities throughout Oregon. Oh, you haven’t heard of this before? What, you actually expect CNN to warn you of the dangers of progressive tax policies???
Cities in Oregon have been able to impose it quite handily. And now since it’s been such a smashing success, it recently made its way to Kansas.
Here’s how it works: all public transportation routes, from large downtown streets to small residential roads, are treated as a utility which citizens consume. If your house comes with a driveway attached to some public road, it means you’re getting the benefit of that road. Whether you walk, bike, skateboard, drive, skip, mosey, dance, somersault, or otherwise propel your body down that road….you’re welcome for the city providing it.
Now pay the price for it. Some genius researchers at the Institute of Traffic Engineers determined that the typical household makes an average of nine unique trips every day. That’s nine daily uses of pavement. In Kansas, the annual fee attached to every home is $72.
What of really big retail stores with even more traffic? Jackpot! The city of Mission, Kansas is ready to slap a bill for $64,000 on Target. A year. The customer must pay for both the trip there and the trip home, and Target must also pay for the exact same customer to park there – on top of already having paid property taxes.
It wasn’t until ministers at local churches started getting bills did people really worry. That’s right, it even applies to religious nonprofits. Because, you understand, it’s not a tax, it’s the price of consumption. One large church told Fox News its annual bill was $1700.
Yes, yes, we know that means $1700 less for a soup kitchen or a domestic abuse shelter – but those highway construction contracts don’t pay for themselves.
As cities and states continue racking up debt they can’t pay for, prepare yourself for this bill to come to your mailbox next.
Trust me. It’s not “if” at this point, it’s “when.”