The main source of revenue for government agencies is taxes. In the United States, each level of government has the authority to tax; these taxes come in many shapes and sizes. There are taxes on retail sales, property, income, and many other elements of the market economy. The viability of a government’s operations, programs, and services depends on a diverse and stable tax base which includes having a variety of taxes from which to draw adequate and constant revenue. Although taxes help support government operations, not all taxes are fair and equitable. For example, taxes on goods and services are considered inequitable, as poorer people spend more of their income on purchases necessary for everyday life that are subject to sales tax. Even though they may not spend as much as affluent persons, they spend a greater share of their income and are therefore paying more in proportion to their income.
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Mikesell, J. L. (2018). Fiscal administration: Analysis and applications for the public sector (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.
- Chapter 8, â€œTaxation: Criteria for Evaluating Revenue Optionsâ€ (pp. 354-400)
- Chapter 9, “Major Tax Structures: Income Taxesâ€ (pp. 389-433)
- Chapter 10, “Major Tax Structures: Taxes on Goods and Servicesâ€ (pp. 441â€“481)
- Chapter 11, â€œMajor Tax Structures: Property Taxesâ€ (pp. 488â€“528)
TRANSCRIPT of required media is attached as well
Discussion: Tax Equity and Fairness
Where you reside, do you pay taxes on goods and services? If so, do you believe these taxes affect low-income people more than high-income people? How high is your property tax, and how does it affect the quality of your public servicesâ€”such as schools and fire servicesâ€”as compared to other locations? These questions all relate to tax equity. The taxes governments require for revenue include property, income, sales (on goods and services), and others. Some of these taxes are perceived as unfair or unjust, depending on such things as what is being taxed and who has the heaviest tax burden. For this Discussion, review the assigned readings in the Mikesell text. Think about tax structures and whether they seem to fit with your understanding of concepts of equity and fairness.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post an evaluation of two types of taxes (e.g., property, income, sales, etc.) using the criteria in the Mikesell text. Then, explain whether you consider the taxes fair and equitable, and why. Describe how tax equity coexists with a government’s need to collect taxes for revenue.
Be sure to support your posting and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources as well as at least one more scholarly resource