Taxes are necessary

Don Thorson

To the Editor:


Taxes are the rent we pay for the privilege of living in an organized social environment. Taxes have been around since mankind started to live in any kind of ordered environment. Tax collectors have been reviled since Biblical times and probably before. 


Everyone wants to live in a free, organized, peaceful manner, but few are willing to pay the price for the lifestyle. The more organized we become, the more the taxes are. Paved streets are better than dirt, some form of police protection is better than none, a working sewer and water system are better than open streams, and the list goes on. The facts are, that each benefit we receive costs an equal sum of money. No tax is painless to the person paying the tax.


Wyoming has long been fortunate to have minerals which have paid a large portion of our taxes, but a problem arises because minerals seldom occur where the people are, so they have to be distributed by a state collection agency. Our personal taxes are much too low to pay for the services we desire. I have paid millions in mineral taxes, and have long been a proponent of a personal income tax, which seems to be an anathema in Wyoming, although most states have one in some form.


There are very few towns in Wyoming that are able to raise sufficient funds to run their government the way it needs, and the problem gets worse as towns get older.


I have developed a different idea, and that is to levy a personal and business income tax which would be paid direct to the cities and counties, and not to the state. The state might require a small percentage for a collection fee. There would have to be a method of equalization similar to the one used for school tax so that the rich communities do not get all the funds, but that is just a matter of arithmetic.


Our communities are older than 100 years now, and the infrastructure systems are deteriorating faster as time goes on.


— Don Thorson


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