Property tax killing middle class

To the editor:

The long-standing precedent of paying for public education on the back of property taxation is absolutely the most senseless, mindless and harmful tax practice I can think of – a practice totally without merit that subsidizes those (the rich) that are best able to pay their fair share under capitalism, the economic foundation on which America is built.

America is not founded on propertyism or the accumulation of any asset other than money, which takes its form in numerous mediums including jewelry, art, automobiles, stock, real estate, or even a signed baseball from a famous player. The common denominator of all these is capital (money), not property. Success in capitalism may be expressed in any or all of these forms, not just property. It is a fatal flaw to tax merely a single expression of capitalism when the real one is available.

Taxing exclusively property is a life-threatening practice no less dangerous to the average New Hampshire citizen’s living standards than smoking and equally as addictive.

An income tax creates primarily burdens the wealthy and high-earning individuals. Half of all Americans pay no Federal income tax. Why? Because they cannot afford to.

Under property taxes, the tax burden is forced far down the economic ladder to the middle classes and lower. Do half of the home-owning families in your town pay zero property tax? The total taxable value of homes in the middle of assessed value is enormous. For every home worth a million dollars, there are 20 of average value between $150,000 and $550,000, forcing tens of millions of dollars tax liability on to Main Street American families.

Just a single case to illustrate my point. The typical young family with two or three children who own an average Lakes Region home with an average national family income of about $50,000 likely pays little or no federal income tax after deductions and numerous credits. They will, however, get a nice juicy local property tax bill for about $4,000. This $4,000 likely represents 50 percent to 70 percent of this family’s total disposable income for an entire year after paying necessities.

The current crop of presidential aspirants all mourn the death of the middle class and have grandiose ideas how to help them. There is nothing sending Main Street America into obscurity any faster than the inappropriate and unjustified burden placed on them by the taxing of property rather than income.

Tony Boutin

Categories: Cook on Concord