State, local, corporate taxes: Who’s paying the price?

TaxesI'm pretty sure it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said he liked to pay taxes because "with them, I buy civilization."

If that's true, U.S. companies have more civilization than they know what to do with.

The Tax Foundation has released a report that shows the U.S. corporate tax rate is 50 percent higher than the average rate in non-U.S. countries. The average non-U.S. corporate tax rate has fallen for 17 straight years; at the same time, the rate in the U.S. has remained c0nstant.

"Continued failure by U.S. tax policymakers to keep up with our top global economic competitors means that we're solidifying a trend that will result in our children and grandchildren not seeing the economic growth we've seen in our lifetimes," said Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge. "There's a real-wallet impact for Americans as we continue to sit idly by while other countries improve the way they do business, and we should be very concerned about jobs capital, and investments moving from high-tax countries to low-tax countries."

Attention, John McCain and Barack Obama: Are you paying attention? We're bound to see some type of tax reform no matter who wins the presidency. Will corporate taxes be part of the equation? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering who pays the most in state and local taxes, the Tax Foundation has that answer, too. It's the residents of New Jersey, who pay 11.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes. Maryland residents rank fourth in the nation at 10.8 percent. The national average is 9.7 percent.

What would top your tax reform agenda? What needs to be fixed first, and why?


Bill Sheridan