by David Safier
About 200 people attended the very informative Flat Tax Forum Monday night, hosted by Sen. Paula Aboud. It's possible to get deep in the weeds in discussing the flat tax legislation proposed by Rep. Steve Court last session which is likely to resurface in 2012, but here some of the important points.
- If it passes, the flat tax won't generate a penny in new revenue. However, it will guarantee most people making more than $100,000 will pay less taxes and most everyone else will pay more.
- There is no "simplification" involved in the flat tax. You'll spend just as long on your taxes as you do now.
- Many low income people who currently don't have to file will have to go through the filing process and pay. That includes not only adults, but also teenagers who have summer jobs, and even young children who have bank accounts or investments earning piddling amounts of interest.
- There's no deduction for mortgage interest.
- There's no deduction for charitable contributions.
- There's no deduction for being blind.
- There's no deduction for being 65 or older.
- There are lots more items which no longer qualify for deductions.
- Nonprofits and faith communities will experience what one panel member called a "double whammy": fewer people will contribute because there will be no tax deduction for contributions, and more low income people will request assistance because the tax lowers their income still further.
Aboud plans many more presentations to educate people about the flat tax before it comes up again next session.
You can learn more by going to the Ax The Flat Tax website.