Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I am betting that you don’t have a clue. The reason that I don’t think you really know what taxes you pay is because so many of them are hidden. Take for instance the employer’s portion of your payroll taxes that help fund Social Security and Medicare. These taxes are usually not shown on your pay stub, but they are ultimately passed on to you in the form of lower wages.

It is estimated that some 37% of federal taxes are hidden. A study by the Institute of Policy Innovations suggests that hidden taxes amount to $2,462 per person annually. So what are some of these hidden taxes?

Take gasoline for instance. Approximately fifty cents of the price you pay per gallon goes to pay state and federal taxes. Then there are the sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco. How about the travel taxes on air fares, taxis, car rentals and hotel occupancy? In addition to these that are sometimes actually labeled as taxes there are others that are cleverly disguised as “fees.”?

Just take a look at your cell phone bill. I did and here is what I found. In addition to the state telecom tax, the city telecom tax and the state sales tax, there was the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, the Federal Universal Service Charge (whatever that is), the Franchise Tax Recovery Fee and the 911 Service Fee. Thirteen percent of my bill each month is not for the cost of making calls but rather for taxes.

Politicians know that if they raise income or property taxes we will notice and complain. So what do they do? They have businesses add these “taxes” to their products and services and call them fees.

I think that the government is better at picking our pockets than any professional pickpocket. What do you think?

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