Monday, October 04, 2010

Livonia's great new revenue idea - Let's have a tax to pay for collecting a tax!

Really, Livonia's city government proposes to levy a tax to pay for the costs of collecting a tax.
The Detroit Free Press: Livonia mulling 1% fee on taxes

Livonia might charge its residents a 1% administrative fee to collect their property taxes, beginning with the December tax bill.

The city is considering the fee as part of efforts to deal with a substantial drop in revenue expected in its proposed $48.4-million budget for the next fiscal year. The council is holding a public hearing tonight, and is expected to vote on the proposed budget, which includes the fee, Oct. 20.

If the council chooses to charge its residents to collect, process and distribute their taxes -- an option permitted by state law -- Livonia would not be alone. Terry Stanton, spokesman for the Michigan Treasury Department, said more than three-quarters of the 1,800 tax-collecting units in the state charge the administrative fee.

Of course there are many new-speak proponents of the idea:
Anthony Minghine, associate executive director and chief operating officer of the Michigan Municipal League, said charging residents for tax collection makes sense because the fee pays for a service.

"I wouldn't characterize them as taxes, and I wouldn't characterize them as inappropriate," he said.
So the fee is for a service according to Minghine.

It is quite an interesting definition of service considering it doesn't benefit the residents who are being dubiously charged for and receiving this "service". The residents are having more money taken away from them in return for the service of having money being taken away from them. To a proponent of ever-expanding government, this does make perfect sense and is considered a service in bureaucrat-speak. Heck, he probably honestly believes that the 1% surtax is a wonderful service that is being offered to the grateful peasants.

But the residents of Livonia will likely consider themselves ill-served by this new "service".

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