freedom, I’d be OK with a sales tax in lieu of property and even income taxes so long as there were no exceptions. The problem is always the exceptions that gives someone a free ride while doubling the tax on someone else. If the sales tax is the same rate no matter whether you are buying a boat or a banana, a house or a hat, then I’m OK with that. When I bought my house in VT I paid $4,000 some odd dollars State Tax on the transaction because I was a non-resident whereas the resident down the road buying a house didn’t have to pay any tax at all.
c, I hear you and have been in a similar boat paying plenty of taxes. I had an executive position and was paid well which resulted in my paying more in taxes than most families gross, but I received no additional services. At the local level I got less services being my kids went to a private school 7 – 12 while I paid double the average property taxes in my town, and now even in retirement I pay double what most people pay.
c, on the cost of schools, most people don’t realize the enormous sums being spent now on Special Education and on problem kids. I know from friends that were on the local School Board that it can cost as much as $300,000 per year for a single disabled kid, and as soon as the school tries to economize the parent’s lawyers are filing suit because Johnny is entitled to XYZ under the law. $100,000 a year kids are not uncommon. Many of these kids don’t ever technically graduate but rather stay in these programs until they are 21 years old. I know that from a friend who had a severely autistic son who didn’t move into State care until he left the school system at age 21. Behavior problem kids that used to get kicked out or sent to reform school are now often mainstreamed with one on one professional support plus whatever counseling is needed, plus the cost of whatever they’re drugging the kids up with. It isn’t cheap. The $10-$15,000 are broad averages when you include the Special Ed kids and behavior problem kids. I’d be interested to see how much is spent on just average kids. And yes, some places pay teachers huge salaries. A few years ago a friend who is the business manager for a large school district on Long Island said they had teachers earning $120,000 a year, and that was a few years ago. Most teachers don’t earn anywhere near that of course, but it is carried to excess in some places. My daughter was a Middle School teacher in NC until she starting her family a couple years ago and she was only earning in the low $30’s. It’s not just teachers either. My youngest brother retired last year at age 45 with a pension and health benefits for life. He was a guard at a county jail and with overtime made about $100,000 a year. Whenever he’d complain about his high property taxes I’d remind him that he was a big part of why they were so high.
One final thought c on your comment about being free from the govt, I retired at age 60 in part because I was burnt out after decades of 50-60 hour weeks, but also because I was sick and tired of paying huge sums in taxes while listening to folks who didn’t work as hard as I did and who didn’t make the sacrifices I did in order to succeed complain that they were entitled to more and that people like me should work harder & pay more to meet their needs. I decided to go galt on them so to speak and no longer feed the beast.