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Your Views: Vehicle title fee is really a tax on borrowed money
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In the article on vehicle tax reform, state Sen. Butch Miller says the new title fee is a part of a larger reform package designed to cut taxes. There are only four ways for governments to collect money: taxes, fees, civil penalties or criminal penalties. Individuals have only two sources of funds for paying these: income and borrowing.

We might “store” or save our income in interest-bearing accounts, let income accrue into various types of capital such as equity in a home or invest in market equities. But when the government bills us in the form of fees or penalties, if it is more than we have in liquid assets, aka stored income, then we are going to liquidate assets. If that liquidation of assets is not as large as the tax bill, then we are forced to borrow to pay the fees or penalties.

By comparison to fees and penalties, income taxes never force us to borrow money. By the nature of the tax, you cannot be taxed for more than your income. And the income tax is always based on current income.

In this case of this “one-time title fee of 6.5 percent when the vehicle is bought,” the person who borrows money to buy a car always is borrowing money to pay the fee. Of course they continue to pay interest on that tax for as long as the loan term.

This “one-time title fee of 6.5 percent when the vehicle is bought” is not part of some plan to make taxes more fair. It’s an effort to tax the people with the least political clout. Wealth determines political clout. In shifting taxation away from income and onto the backs of people with the least political clout, our state has now created a fee which will be paid from loans.

Now the average working class person can be “taxed” on the money they make and the money they borrow.

We can thank Sen. Miller and the Hall County legislative delegation for expanding the state’s revenue base to include borrowed money.

Michael Parker
Flowery Branch

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