22% tax increase isn't benign

Ed note:  The following was written in response to a pro-tax piece that ran in The Virginian-Pilot

Dear Pilot:

Your "Hidden Tax" piece for July 30 makes the pending referendum for a sales tax hike sound so benign. 

The increase is repeatedly quantified as only a penny, when in fact it is a penny on every dollar spent on goods purchased. 

That is a 22% increase in the existing sales tax.  By some estimates that is $100-$125 per household, per year, on top of what is already paid in taxes. 

This amount, in and of itself, is not exorbitant.  However, it represents yet another incremental theft by those with little accountability and book keeping practices that would make those of Enron look pristine.

And please don't repeat the mantra that Virginia is a low tax state.  All I know is that as a self employed married head of household, government takes over 50% of my income already. 

And that does not include the endless list of other taxes that, according to the Cato Institute, adds over 20% to the cost of all consumer goods.  And I don't care if it is federal, state, regional, or local taxes.  It is still money which I have worked for which will be taken (read extorted) from me.

The editors complain of the time wasted in gridlock.  What about the 50% of my work day spent working to pay my tax bill? 

When I see how my tax dollars are squandered, I feel that is the truly wasted time.  I would gladly sit a while in traffic if I could leave each work day at lunch time.  And I think one worker of each two worker family would also if it meant that the other could stay home with their children.

Are there pressing transportation needs?  Yes, but let the state prioritize, get back to the essentials, and look elsewhere in their budget for the funds.  I am talking about the same budget that has exploded by 56% over the past 20 years even after adjustments for inflation and population growth!

Let us return sanity to all our tax systems.  Let us start demanding that government get by on less for a change, and not the hard working tax payers.

Tracy Oliver