I try not to get too political in my blogs and that will hold true to this one as well. Recently I have toyed with the idea of entering local politics but have wondered about my stance on a variety of issues. This is one idea I had for a political stance on tax reform. I understand all politicians have to take a stance on tax reform but have you ever noticed they primarily take one of two options. They either promise to lower taxes or try to convince you why taxes should be raised. My idea is different. I propose we freeze the tax base and offer departments the one thing which has never existed in government budgets, incentive to save.
The Current Problem
The current tax problem is wasteful spending. This is a problem which has existed almost as long as taxes have been levied. Almost every politician offers a not-so-radical approach to curbing this problem but do they ever really address the problem? I argue that all they ever do is feed the machine of waste. They try to pressure government offices to cut spending and later try to force them into saving by offering them less funds to operate with.
If any of you have ever worked in a government office or in some way were affiliated with someone who did there is little doubt in my mind you have not become familiar with the one phrase which resonates through every office come budget season and the end of the fiscal year. This phrase is of course “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” This statement of course refers to excess monies which were not spent over the course of the fiscal year. The situation is that if monies are not spent fully there will most likely be a guaranteed reduction of funding for the following year equaling the amount of the excess.
This structure forces offices to use every last penny, many times wastefully, of their budget to prevent their office from being punished the following year. The almost guaranteed adjoining behavior is for government offices to ask for additional funding under the logic that they barely survived the year with the allotted funding.
This is a disgrace and an abuse of the taxpayer who is encouraged to trust government officials!
The solution I propose sounds as simple as it can be. The concept is called “Five for Free.” The outline of the concept is as follows:
- Tax base is frozen for 5 years
- Budget is determined and set at the beginning of the 5 year cycle
- The determined allotment is distributed to each office every year
- Any monies not spent over the course of the year will be retained by the office at a rate of 70 percent
- Retained monies will roll over and be added to the current allotment for the year.
- Monies not retained by the offices will be redistributed for necessary improvements in other areas according to need and decided upon by a designated committee.
This idea provides a wealth of benefits to the taxpayer. Some of them are outlined as follows:
- The retention of monies will encourage offices to save money where they can.
- The designation of a specific budget for a duration of 5 years will provide offices office with an opportunity to save, practically force them to save, for known or unknown large purchases in the future.
- The frozen tax base will allow taxpayers to relax and no longer worry about tax increases.
- The plan will allow for a natural redistribution of funding to areas and programs in need.
My final thoughts would be that of encouragement of adoption of this concept. As a taxpayer you deserve to have your tax monies spent in a way which provides the biggest benefit to the most people. Taxes are something we all must face but that does not mean we need to sit by idly while people waste them and ignore our needs.