Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 192
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for May 29, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Have you looked closely at your phone bill lately? If you do, you’ll find that about 40% of your bill (home or small business) is composed of taxes and government-ordered surcharges. These add up to $120 per year on my home phone and $360 per year on my business lines. Although some of the surcharges go to the phone companies, there’s an awful lot of hidden taxes involved. Of course, these are a pittance compared to what the state spends.

The governor and legislature are playing hardball on the state budget. It seems that Governor Holden plans to veto important budget bills unless the legislature lets him put a tax increase on the ballot. Meanwhile, the legislature says they won’t budge on new taxes. This showdown has all the makings of a partial government shutdown on July 1st.

May I suggest a modest compromise? Put an amendment on the ballot that eliminates the state income tax and replaces the money with an increased sales tax. Exempt groceries and prescription drugs, so people aren’t taxed on basic necessities. Think of the advantages:

Several states get along without a state income tax. Missouri should grab this opportunity to join the fold.

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