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Proviso Probe

Thursday, December 29, 2005

GOV, elected official misses the underlying tax problem [FP]

Commissioner Terry Steinbach had a letter published in the Forest Park Review. She champions businesses not paying special taxes for things they use predominantly or exclusively. Steinbach’s argument is a tad circular. Homeowners should accept subsidizing business with property taxes because it ultimately means homeowners will pay less property taxes.

Any discussion of property taxes should take into account the federal government is shifting the tax burden from income taxes which have been going down to property taxes which have been going up. This simple concept should underpin every discussion of property taxes. No amount of cleverness by local officials can prevent this trend.

Health care costs also figure into the problem. The private sector system of providing health care has caused costs to increase much faster than the rate of inflation (or health care costs in countries with universal health care). The Village of Forest Park has no power to opt out of our broken national health care system. So, people should understand that a major factor causing their property taxes to go up is that the federal government has not implemented policies that effectively constrain health care costs.

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