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Friday, February 10, 2006

delawareonline | The News Journal | Census says Del. tax burden fifth-highest in U.S.
Only Wyoming, Connecticut, Minnesota and Hawaii are higher in state tax collections per person than Delaware, which hauls in $2,862 per capita. Hawaii leads the pack with $3,050 per person.

South Dakota, Colorado, New Hampshire, Alabama and Texas are listed as the bottom five, with the Lone Star State having the lightest bite at $1,368 per person, according to the Census Bureau.

That's hogwash, Delaware officials say, mainly because it implies that the First State reaches more deeply into the pockets of its residents than most states.

For years, state officials have gone to great lengths to severely nick anyone passing through the state -- or touching down to charter a corporation -- and limit taxing residents.

They even have a technical name for it -- "exporting taxes" -- meaning they try to "export" the state burden to residents of other states who come to Delaware to gamble, drive on I-95 or incorporate.

"Their numbers are nonsensical," said state Treasurer Jack Markell. "We're always looking for ways to export even more taxes to lighten the tax burden for our citizens even more."
But the point is how much we're spending per capita. It was only in 1992 (I think) that we first started spending $1 billion a year. Now we're at $3 billion per year. Are we really getting triple (or with inflation, more than two times) the service? Not with DELDOT apparently way in debt and all the other needs that aren't being met.

Also, our tax revenue is huge on a per capita basis is what the Census Bureau's reportis telling us. What are we spending it on and what are we getting for it? Given that amount of revenue, shouldn't the burden on our citizens be even lower than it is?

Delaware's government needs to reassess all that they spend their money on and focus on what's truly important. Once they do that, they may be able to reduce the tax burden on their citizens ever further and make Delaware an even more attractive state to live in.

I was going to make a similar arguement but then I can't because I don't think it is a valid arguement. If you compare our property taxes and school taxes to our neighbors we are far and above (err below)

I don't think my obligations are too bad considering the alternatives.

But I think we can do better. State spending has grown so quickly, I can't believe that it's been done with an eye towards efficency. I'm sure there's savings out there, so why shouldn't the taxpayers receive that benefit?

the report gives a false impression.

it reports total taxes collected divided by state population, not average tacx paid by residnet tax payer.

DE collects more tax money from corporations than from individuals.

I understood that. Given how much we're getting from sources other than income taxes, we should be able to have even lower income taxes than we do.

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