Many entrepreneurs around the state are very concerned about the impact of T-SPLOST upon commerce. Most cities have a litany of taxes collected at the sales register. This is done because you vote where you sleep not where you work. To increase the mileage rates of real property would induce a voter riot; so, the path of least resistance and voter security is sought.
With an 8% tax, the government is realizing a greater profit from sales than the merchant. Sure, the merchant has invested his live savings and all he can borrow. He is behind the register 12 hours a day six to seven days a week. He to pays income taxes on his remaining portion of profit, a number at year end may be as high as 6% of sales. With this meager amount left to him, he supports his family and church.
There is another more insidious problem with raiding the sales register one more time. At the 8% level customers are motivated to shop out-of-state and on-line from merchants located in states where sales tax is not collected from out-of-state customers. In so doing the 8% stays in their wallets and out of registers of local and state merchants. The accumulation of out-of-state tax, free purchases is to depress commerce within the state. Without a politician familiar with how commerce works and one that is willing represent the complaint, businesses will wither, default, and innocent entrepreneurs will fall into bankruptcy.
Road projects are great for transportation contractors, engineers, and folk wishing to save a few seconds in traffic. There will always be someone wanting a deeper harbor, higher bridges, wider roads just like those who fantasize an endless life with free medical care. We all can’t work for the government; somebody has to go out there in commerce and take the risk by making or doing something of value so that government can tax it.
Thanks Chris for your insight. JB
Opening a retail store is hardly doing something of value. Other than that and your incredibly general comments about economies and infrastructure, I agree.
I dare say congestion causes much more than mere ‘minutes’ in traffic. It impacts quality of life; ease with which to get to jobs and job creation itself…..I highly doubt an exodus of people will go out of state to go shopping, they don’t want to deal with the traffic and the amount they would spend on gas used to do so is unlikely to offset the 1%……I bet a merchant who is stuck in traffic trying to get to the store to open it, or who loses customers because to get anywhere in this city you need to pack an overnight bag (intended to be a ridiculous exaggeration) would welcome it. I’m not saying i’m for or against the ‘tax’ itself, but there is an argument that it will help commerce; not hinder it. People need to open their minds, educate themselves on the facts and measure the cost/benefit without bias, prior to jumping on a bandwagon for or against.
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