We are a state without an income tax. Our sales tax exempts food and medicine because our policy is that we should not tax items that are so essential to people. Over the years, new products and services have entered the market and changing demographics create different essential needs. Some essential items are now taxed and some that are optional are not. Some services pay sales tax and some do not. With the sales tax being such a large part of the revenue we depend on to fund schools and services, we need to be sure what we tax makes sense and is fair. An aging population will be purchasing fewer taxable items. Our Business and Occupation tax is rough on small and start-up businesses. Our property tax, which is a major part of our school funding becomes a burden for older people trying to keep their homes as they age. We have a few programs to provide property tax relief to low income and disabled seniors and I have sponsored legislation to allow people to deduct their medical expenses in order to qualify for these programs. I will do so again.
Most people agree that things like food, medicine, and possibly tampons and diapers should not be taxed. I have sponsored bills that create efficiencies and save money by making major changes in our tax system. This will make it less regressive, more stable, and provide enough money for the education our kids need and the services for our citizens.
Removing sales tax on some items will require taxing other things. Are you willing to be part of this process?What are your thoughts?