There is no doubt that the present American citizen is fully aware of the many taxes levied upon him in a singular day. From sales taxes to gas taxes to license taxes and more, the amount of state-mandated payments to feed the ever-widening trough increases with every budget and every increased government expenditure, informing the ordinary citizen of the subservience he must embody to adequately deal with the state.
In the Great Recession of 2008, however, the traditional taxes are being forwent for less punitive-sounding “fees”, or “fines”. Citing the average citizen’s aversion to facing significant tax increases, many local governments are turning to tweaking “fines”, instead of official tax rates or charges. This allows government services and agencies to demand more from citizens using the services, raising the prices at the most fundamental and basic level of the economic ladder.
The Huffington Post has more on this:
Louisiana and South Dakota raised state park fees, while California increased vehicle registration costs and Wisconsin started charging more to retake the state driving exam. Georgia raised fees on day care licenses, fireworks permits and traveling circuses. Oregon raised fees on medical marijuana, while Rhode Island imposed taxes on over-the-counter drugs, sightseeing tours and smartphone applications.
Fines are going up in many places too. Tennessee lawmakers increased traffic fines. Wyoming raised fines for trucks exceeding weight limits. New York city increased fines for taxi drivers caught talking on a cellphone while driving.
In Maryland, fee increases were common solutions this year as lawmakers struggled to balance the books without across-the-board tax increases.
Not even newborns went unaffected, as birth certificate fees doubled from $12. The fee for a vanity license plate doubled from $25. A surcharge on filing land records will double from $20.
According to the Pew Research Center, only two states have committed to tax increases in this budget, namely Illinois and Connecticut:
Illinois lawmakers passed a 67 percent across-the-board income tax increase, while Connecticut legislators voted to raise the state’s sales tax rate from 6 percent to 6.35 percent and impose it on new services including manicures, pet grooming and yoga classes.
What does this trend mean for the average American citizen out on the market each and every day to purchase and acquire goods? It is simple. The hand of intervention shall be felt once more. The cost of running local and state governments has surpassed all early estimates, owing to yet another misunderstanding of the fiscal state of each state government. The individual investors and citizens are now the ones being forced to the pay bills, not the inflationary-biased central banks and politically-connected elite.
While small businesses and beginning enterprises are choked and pressured by the regulations and now-strict trading regimes, the last thing they need is more intervention from polis.