Not paying enough today

This is what taxes look like in Kansas now:

Image credit, Think Progress

Hence my complaint:

I am not paying nearly enough in taxes today.

In addition to the lower rates enacted in the massive tax cuts in 2012, there is the fact that I don’t pay nearly as high a percentage of my income in sales taxes as do lower-income households that consume more of their income. And the tax deductions I get to claim for my homeownership (although Governor Brownback wants to eliminate those, in order to help close the budget gap), and for the contributions I make to my children’s college savings account (thereby, really, reaping state subsidies for my children’s future educational advantages). Those are worth thousands of dollars, and I never have to take a drug test for those public benefits.

But it’s not only not enough as a percentage of my income; that part more just chafes at me, because it doesn’t seem fair that we make quite a bit and pay not so much.

It’s not enough in terms of what we really need, and what our state will have to go without.

I don’t pay enough in taxes when I have to turn around and write checks to our public school so that my kids can have a counselor a few days a week, and so that there are adequate supplies in the classroom.

I don’t pay enough in taxes when I hear that our community mental health centers have waiting lists for crisis appointments.

I don’t pay enough in taxes when some of our sidewalks, in a very walkable city, are nearly impassable because of needed repairs.

I don’t pay enough in taxes when we’re not investing what we must in the commons, and in our collective well-being, such that we then retreat into our private realms, where we finance what we can out of all that is left.

It’s tax day, even if it doesn’t really feel like it. We have work to do, so that this can be a day of celebration again.

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