Death of taxes?

Okay, so nobody likes paying more taxes.

This is why politicians pledge not to raise taxes.

And despite all of our tax and spend issues, government shutdowns, dwindling resources, infrastructure needs and so on, the pattern appears to be holding if not spreading.

A new Pew poll of Philly residents shows a decline in support of more taxes for better services. The poll says 50 percent of city folks want less taxes and therefore less services (up 8 points from last year).

This is really no suprise given the apparent level of faith in city government (or all government), though the idea of less services in Philly conjures up thoughts of Beirut or Detroit.

But a new Tax Foundation report on taxes in all states might provide some cover for policymakers and pols looking to solve statewide problems related, for example, to education and transportation.

The report shows that when it comes to major taxes (corporate, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes), PA is right in the middle.

We rank 24th among the states.The higher the number, the higher the taxes.

(You can see a map and a chart showing all state rankings by scrolling down here.)

This is a pretty good ranking. I mean being in the middle of the tax pack seems somehow fair. And it's especially good for a northeastern state. Three of our neighbors are among the 10 highest-taxed states. Maryland is 41st, New Jersey 49th and New York 50th. (Of course tax-averse Delaware ranks 13th.)

And when you look at which taxes are highest here you see that we like to tax business and property. Our corporate tax ranking is 46th, our unemployment insurance tax ranks 39th and our property tax ranking is 43rd.

But our broadest taxes, the individual income tax and the sales tax, rank 16th and 19th, respectively.

So if, say, somebody wanted to provide more services statewide a case could be made that there's room for bumps in sales and/or income taxes.

But, of course, if we're looking for national balance one could also make a case that we should reduce biz taxes and property taxes. Which is why we're stuck. Which is why we have declining services. Which is what conjures up thoughts of Beirut or Detroit.

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