Ditch tax system? That’s fair, group says

2011-10-09T16:15:00Z 2011-10-10T10:08:50Z Ditch tax system? That’s fair, group saysBy ROD STETZER | rod.stetzer@lee.net Chippewa Herald
October 09, 2011 4:15 pm  • 

Bob Martin doesn’t mind paying taxes. As a pharmacist at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, the Lake Hallie resident said he is paid a good salary and is glad to pay taxes.

But, he said: “I shouldn’t have to pay someone $400 to do them.”

Martin said the Fair Tax Act of 2011 would change that, revitalize the nation’s economy and spur the creation of thousands of jobs, if not more.

The Fair Tax is still a tax, and it wouldn’t affect state income taxes.

But instead of paying a federal income and payroll tax, people would pay what amounts to 23 percent federal sales tax. That would translate into a paying a 30 percent sales tax at the store.

In return, there would be no federal tax on buying used items, including houses and cars.

“A used house, a used car, a used anything is only taxed once,” he said.

Every household would receive what’s called a prebate, to insure families earning less than the poverty line can offset the tax. For example, a family of four earning $29,140 would get a $565 prebate a month.

Martin, the state director of the Americans for Fair Taxation, spelled out the reasons he supports the Fair Tax at a gathering of supporters at the Fill-Inn Station in Chippewa Falls on Wednesday.

Martin became interested in the Fair Tax after someone gave him a book written on it by radio talk show host Neil Boortz, who is based in Atlanta. Martin then got talking about it while playing golf with Eric Nelson of Eau Claire, who was also interested in the idea.

Nelson is now the group’s director in the Third Congressional District. Jerry Nielsen of Cadott holds the same title for the 7th Congressional District.

Martin said the Fair Tax movement is not affiliated with a political party and is supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

“Check your colors at the door. This is tax reform,” he said, although he admits more Republican lawmakers support the idea than Democrats.

He said the Fair Tax eliminates Capital Gains and Corporate income taxes. But it raises the same revenue of the current tax system.

“It makes our exports much more competitive,” he said. And it could convince companies with offshore operations to move some of their money back to the U.S., creating more jobs, he said. (Under the current system, those companies would be taxed at 35 percent to move their foreign profits back to the U.S.)

“America would become the biggest tax haven in the world,” Martin said.

The Fair Tax is fair, transparent and simple, he said. The 132 page Fair Tax bill would replace over 72,000 pages of tax code.

Plus, Martin said people engaging in the underground economy would finally have to pay a federal tax when they buy things.

However, Martin has not received encouraging reactions from his Congressional representatives.

Martin has repeatedly reached out to Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Ashland), who represents the 7th Congressional District, to share his ideas about Fair Tax, but he has yet to hear a response from Duffy's offices.

Martin said he did talk with U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), who represents the Third Congressional District. But Martin said Kind sticks to talking points about the current tax system.

That has not discouraged Martin.

“We all think this is a good idea to get this country on its feet,” he said.

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(9) Comments

  1. missusb
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    missusb - October 14, 2011 6:38 pm
    Want those evil rich to pay? No better way than the Fair Tax. The evil rich are the ones buying the fancy new cars and boats and houses...
  2. TheArtofCompromise
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    TheArtofCompromise - October 10, 2011 12:51 pm
    Like Bob Martin, I don’t mind supporting our country. Like Don Loew, I currently pay almost 50%. I support Herman Cain’s blended approach as well, but think it may wind up being closer to 20-20-20 in the end. Other than politics and favors, I don’t see why both sides are not on board with this. The rallies of late seem to think the rich are not paying enough with all the loopholes. The rallies of old; “Tea-Party” want a fair system but mainly want to cut spending. Say yes to a one page tax code.
  3. youknowme
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    youknowme - October 10, 2011 12:35 pm
    People like Rainbird never read any information on the Fair-Tax before they spout off against it. The Fair Tax also would eliminate the embedded taxes in every item you buy which would immediately reduce the price of ALL goods and services around 23%. One major retailer even said if it were passed it would immediately drop prices 23% no questions asked. As for the 30% rate that is another myth passed on by non-beleivers.
  4. Report Abuse
    - October 10, 2011 12:05 pm
    Rainbird said: "Doesn't it also say at the end of the book that the real tax is not 23% but 30%? Do you think consumers are really going to want to spend an extra 30% for their energy bills? ....?"

    I would rather pay a 30% sales tax and be rid of the 50%+ in taxes I pay already.
  5. CFDad
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    CFDad - October 10, 2011 11:43 am
    While appreciate thinking outside the box I believe this is too far outside the box and prefer a blended approach like Herman Cain's 9-9-9.
  6. Rainbird
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    Rainbird - October 10, 2011 10:59 am
    Doesn't it also say at the end of the book that the real tax is not 23% but 30%? Do you think consumers are really going to want to spend an extra 30% for their energy bills? Their legal fees? Do you think they will want to spend an extra 30% sales tax on their house? Or, do you think it more likely sales would go down, the economy would tank, and tax fraud would go way up?
  7. an80sreaganite
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    an80sreaganite - October 10, 2011 9:41 am
    cclover - buy the book and read it. It explains how it is largely revenue neutral. In short it replaces ALL federal taxes and would not start until an amendment to the constitution was passed banning income tax to prevent the inevitable double-dip taxing.
    Having said that (and I hesitate to put this in writing) the biggest benefit is that is strips the power from Washington DC to implement "loopholes & social engineering" through the tax code. This is also way it'll likely never pass...
  8. Report Abuse
    - October 10, 2011 9:03 am
    Why will this never get passed? There is only 1 reason:

    The government derives too much control over it's minions by the current tax code. Simple as that.
  9. cclover
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    cclover - October 09, 2011 9:26 am
    Now we are going to have a 23% sales tax and that is the answer. What about SS tax, real extate tax, state income tax,room tax,tax on gasoline, etc etc. And where does the money come from to pay the prebate to families. So many questions, maybe Stinger has the answers.
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