Pennsylvania’s system of taxation is unfair

To the editor:

If you believe that taxes should be based on a person’s ability to pay, then read on. Pennsylvania has a 3,07% flat income tax rate. Therefore, a person with a taxable income of $1 million would owe the state $30,700, but would still have $969,300 left to pay taxes for schools and local, county and federal government taxes and for necessities such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, etc. and plenty for savings and investing.

However, a minimum wage worker with a taxable income of $15,800 would owe the state $462.95 but would only have $15,337.05 left to pay for taxes and necessities. Savings for investing would be minimal at best. As you can see, per capita and other flat taxes on income, entertainment, fuel and utilities, etc. and sales taxes on other goods and services, including transportation and vehicles impacts low-income wage earners and their families harder.

The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for a federal graduated income tax. Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia and other states have also legalized an income tax based on a taxpayer’s ability to pay. However, Pennsylvania does not have a graduated income tax and thus too many unfair flat taxes are used to by local, county and the state government and the schools for generating tax revenue.

David L. Faust



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