In this Let People Prosper episode, I discuss how property taxes continue to skyrocket in Texas and highlight options that would provide property tax relief. The key to any long-term tax relief is to limit government spending so that the burden of government can be reduced.
The result of taxing something is that you will get less of it. That's simple, correct? But the details of how to best collect taxpayer dollars to fund limited roles for government gets complicated. I try to break this down simply at the video above.
According to the Texas Comptroller, property taxes and sales taxes are both regressive. Any time you have a flat tax rate, higher income people will pay a lower share of their income on taxes than lower income people. But the costs of property taxes are substantial, with businesses and individuals each paying about half for school M&O property taxes. Sales taxes, on the other hand, allow people the freedom to decide how to spend their money, don not have to tax real estate (capital formation and accumulation--keys to wealth of nations), and are transparent. Individuals pay about 60% of sales taxes collected while businesses submit about 40%, but we know that businesses don't ultimately pay taxes because they just pass those costs along to consumers (us) in the form of higher prices, lower wages, and fewer jobs available over time.
As noted in previous episodes, I have long supported the elimination of property taxes in Texas. There are multiple ways to do so by possibly swapping them (sales tax rates are lower now because of expanded economic growth since these rates were calculated) with a reformed sales tax and/or buying them down permanently over time. The key is to limit government spending so that the burden of government can be reduced.
We know that sin taxes (e.g. carbon tax or cigarette tax) or tariffs are poor forms of taxation. Income taxes are also a terrible form of taxation. Check out the table below that provides information for the 9 states without a personal income tax and the 9 states with the highest personal income tax rates. Those states without a personal income tax blow the others out of the water regarding multiple economic indicators.
Of course, the key is limiting spending. Let's move to a tax system with just a sales tax for more economic prosperity, which eliminating the school M&O property tax would be a great start.
In this #LetPeopleProsper episode, I discuss my last two very busy days.
With the proposed U.S.-Mexico trade deal yesterday, I was on multiple radio stations today across the nation talking about the costs and benefits of the deal and the implications for Americans. I'm still waiting to see all of the details and am lukewarm about it at this point because of the trade barriers imposed on the auto sector that will lead to higher auto prices for consumers and higher transportation prices for many businesses. However, I'm optimistic that much of NAFTA remained intact, e-commerce provisions were included to modernize the agreement, and the contract is for 16 years instead of the 5 years the Trump administration suggested. Here's my recent commentary at The Hill on this issue.
I testified today before the Texas Senate Business & Commerce on deregulating occupational licensing, which is the most onerous form of labor market regulation (here's my testimony). I discussed the high costs of these and made recommendations on taking a broad look at eliminating many of them or reducing their requirements along with moving towards having employers complete a registration or certification with the state government or a private association to signal that they are able to do the job, which signaling is about all many of these licenses are good for. I'll have a paper published on this soon with Dr. Ed Timmons of St. Francis University.
I also testified today before the Texas Senate Administration on the benefits of program-based budgeting and the need for zero-based budgeting. I explain this in detail in the episode, but basically our state budget today is organized by strategy that lacks transparency and makes it difficult to find granular data in the budget, especially to weed out unnecessary programs. By moving to a program-based budget that's been used in Texas before, this granular data would be available to add transparency for taxpayers and legislators while making it easier to start each program at zero and make decisions whether it should be included--otherwise known as zero-based budgeting.
Please watch the video for more. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel at "Vance Ginn Economics" and continue to share this with your friends and family. Thank you!
In this episode, I am interviewed by Liz Wheeler of One America News Network on the costs and benefits of the proposed trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico. While consumers will likely pay higher prices for autos, there are benefits of the deal as well. It's important that NAFTA continue as it supports abundant prosperity, especially in Texas.
Here's my press release today and recent research on how people prosper from trade, including NAFTA. A big part of the benefit of today's proposed bilateral trade deal is that it reduces the foreign trade uncertainty holding back economic activity. While tariffs may have contributed to a faster agreement, tariffs are nothing more than a tax and shouldn't be used in such a manner unless willing to increase taxes and raise more revenue to expand government, which isn't something I'm willing to do nor should Americans as it makes people poor.
Hopefully there will be lower trade barriers overall when the agreement is finalized between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. If not, Texans and all Americans will lose in the process.
In this Let People Prosper episode, I discuss today's enactment by the Trump administration of $16 billion more in tariffs on Chinese products by the Trump administration along with my recent presentation before the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Houston on the importance of institutions along with the benefits of international trade.
While there are certainly acute costs for specific people in trade activity with people in other countries, the benefits are widely dispersed. This is why it's easy for politicians to point to trade as being the problem, such as auto manufacturing or steel, when the primary problem is poor domestic policies. The facts show that trade, whether by individuals domestically or abroad, are overwhelmingly positive. Alternatively, higher taxes from trade leads to increased uncertainty for entrepreneurs that contributes to less economic activity and job creation.
For example, in my recent paper I note that the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which got rid of tariffs among these countries, supports at least 14 million jobs in the U.S., with many of them in Texas. We should not look at trade deficits but rather trade flows.
Watch the YouTube video above and view the presentation below to learn more.
In this Let People Prosper episode, I discuss the latest state-level jobs report for July 2018 issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics while highlighting how economic freedom and the recent federal changes to the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) matter to our prosperity.
As noted in my previous blog post (see presentation), Texas continues to be America's jobs creation engine as the Lone Star State has created 23% of all new civilian jobs added nationwide and created the most nonfarm jobs of 377,100 in the last 12 months.
In general, states with more economic freedom and lower taxes have performed better in terms of economic growth and job creation over time than states with less economic freedom and higher taxes. Hundreds of papers have found this connection when considering the Economic Freedom of North America report by the Fraser Institute.
Watch the episode to find out more. Have a blessed day and let people prosper.
(Tip: Get checked by a dermatologist periodically, especially if you have fair skin like I do. That's the reason for the band-aid on my left cheek--praying for no issues!)
Vance Ginn, Ph.D.