A Sales Tax by Another Name
Senators Frank Maher and Leonidas Raptakis were on Matt Allen’s Violent Roundtable last Friday night, and the trio spent a bit of time discussing the potential gross receipts tax. As I wrote a few weeks ago, at bottom, this scheme merely shifts the tax burden to businesses, probably to the benefit of the wealthy. Be the gimmicks what they may — even if the state eliminates the sales tax or income tax — I just don’t see how shifting the tax burden thus can be a positive development for the state’s business environment.
Perhaps I’m looking at it too plainly.
The senators mentioned that the plan that they’ve heard would exempt businesses up to $600,000, but inasmuch as “gross receipts” means total revenue before expenses, it really doesn’t take much to reach that total. They also suggested that the tax would apply more broadly than the sales tax does — including to service providers of all kinds — which makes me wonder whether that isn’t the underlying purpose, for some.
The truth is that I simply don’t trust the General Assembly to talk about a tax increase, even with a promise of a decrease elsewhere, because I don’t believe that the powers who be won’t work it out in such a way as to simply take more.