On Taxes

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” James Madison, 4th American President (1809-1817)

Taxes. My husband and I are working on that yearly chore right now, where we find out exactly how much of our hard earned money is transferred from our bank account to the poor stewards in Washington and downtown Des Moines. It is downright frustrating that so much of our money is wasted on so many unnecessary things, and how so many politicians have not a clue what living on a budget is all about. Taxpayers are not a bottomless pit of money, and every dollar that is taken out in taxes to feed the big government beast, is one less dollar that is spent in the private sector for goods, services, and most importantly, jobs.

According to the Iowa Department of Revenue 2009 Annual Report, here is what our Iowa Legislature took from us last year: 

Income Tax: The State of Iowa collected a net total of $3,105,645,554 from income taxes, which includes:

  • Individual Income Taxes: $2,823,929,364
  • Corporate Income Tax: $253,525,345
  • Franchise Tax: $28,190,845

Sales and Use Tax: The Iowa Sales Tax (including Local Option Taxes and Hotel/Motel Taxes), Iowa Use Tax, and Iowa Motor Vehicle Use Tax total collections were a combined $2,886,322,176.

Other State Taxes: Iowans also fund state government activities through a variety of other taxes including:

  • Consumption Taxes (Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax, Cigarette Tax, and Tobacco Tax): $678,498,338.
  • Inheritance Tax: $73,694,733.
  • Miscellaneous Taxes (Environmental Protection Charge, Motor Vehicle Use 25% EPC Deposit, Real Estate Transfer Tax, Hazardous Materials Permit Fees, Insurance Premium Tax, Motor Vehicle Title Surcharge, and other Miscellaneous): $126,113,459.

Property Taxes: While nearly seven billion dollars is collected from Iowa taxpayers by the Iowa Department of Revenue, this number does not include the $4,032,683,985 levied in local property taxes. See detail below:

K-12 Schools: $1,689,996,652 Counties: $874,947,996
Cities: $1,200,421,085 Merged Area Schools: $86,109,361
Hospitals: $80,645,416 Assessors: $46,080,227
Townships: $23,944,034 Ag Extension: $15,479,248
Other Miscellaneous Authorities: $15,059,966  

The Grand Total of taxes we paid in 2009 is $10,902,958,245.00. Almost 11 billion dollars of our money gets picked from our pockets every year and yet our Iowa legislators still do not have enough to balance the state budget and get us out of debt? Did you know that over 300 million in budget savings were offered by Republicans this year, yet they were rejected out of hand by the Democrats? Frankly, I really don’t give two cents for what party you belong to, I just want to know if you can be trusted with my money and my liberty. Given the ignorant, insolent response coming down from Des Moines, I have decided that you are not.

Why do politicians wring their hands in angst when they have to balance the budget or –GASP – give us our own hard earned money back? But I have any easy solution: let us relieve them of that stressful burden by kicking them out and hiring those who are more worthy of the public trust. It is time for the plunder of the people’s monies and liberties to stop.

“To preserve our independence, we must not let our politicians load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, the people will be much happier.” Thomas Jefferson, 3rd American President (1801-1809)

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