EDITOR NOTE: If you want to see just how badly the US economy was hit by this first round of COVID-19, look no further than each state’s revenue projections. These sobering figures, in the Billions, pose a major dilemma for governors and citizens. You see, while citizens are experiencing a severe drop in income, so is Uncle Sam. The irony: as states attempt to help their citizens, they’re also trying to figure out how best to extract money from them. After all, who else is paying for the economic cost of this pandemic, besides you and every other citizen? So, if you’ve lost your business, or your home, the coming round of taxes will ensure that you pay for it along with a share of everyone else’s loss.
Just prior to the global Coronavirus outbreak, serious signs of an emerging financial crisis began to emerge. As people were beginning to realize that yet another central bank engineered ‘bust’ was coming down on us, we were thrown into lockdown, shuttering millions of businesses and sending millions of people to the unemployment line.
Now, a few months later, we are starting to realize just how deep the economic fallout will be, and Americans are scrambling to adjust their lifestyles to a totally new world order. At the top of the food chain, though, is government. City, county, state and federal.
In the midst of such a bizarre and frightful socioeconomic crisis, the tax man is hurting too. Tax revenues at all levels of government have plummeted like never before, and the pain is especially acute for city budgets who’ve seen sales tax revenue nosedive. While the American citizenry is seeing a drastic drop in income, so is Uncle Sam and all of his bureaucratic agencies.
Take a look at some of the numbers.
For states like Texas, Alaska and New Mexico which depend on oil revenue to balance their budgets, the financial hit will be a double whammy.
While Americans clamor to figure out how to make ends meet in their own households, so too is government trying to figure out how to balance budgets, and the reality is that once these emergency accounting measures really begin to sink in, Americans aren’t going to like it one bit.
The question for mayors and governors will be, ‘how much money can we extract from the people without causing extreme poverty and triggering widespread revolt?’
The answer, of course, is taxes. Primarily property taxes, because that’s the one thing people are still paying while locked down at home and unable to shop.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper is openly proposing raising property taxes by 32% in order to correct an estimated $250 million budget shortfall.
“There is no choice but to have a significant increase in property taxes,” he said. “Measured in a percent, it’s going to be on the order of more than 20 percent to be sure.” [Source]
Dallas, TX is looking at a proposed 8% increase in property taxes, and is having to work a loophole that allows them to ignore state law which would prevent them from raising taxes more than 3.5%. [Source]
Expecting a $700 million shortfall, Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot has said that a property tax increase is ‘on the table.’ [Source]
California is considering a partial reversal of Proposition 13, which would allow government to assess commercial properties differently, creating an increase in property tax revenue without actually increasing the property tax rate. [Source]
Other initiatives include “Arizona, where taxes would be raised on incomes above $250,000 to boost teacher salaries; Colorado, which is targeting corporations for at least $151 million in taxes to fund out-of-school learning; and North Carolina, which would issue bonds worth $1.9 billion in part to pay for school capital improvements.” [Source]
New York is pitching the idea of tax increases for wealthier people. [Source]
New Jersey is expected to see an unknown increase in taxes as the governor moves to borrow billions of dollars to cover budget gaps. [Source]
CNBC reports that many states across the nation will be looking at tax increases in many areas, including corporate income taxes, online purchases, excise and sales taxes, property taxes, and gross receipts taxes. [Source]
As we move forward in this deepening crisis, we shall see how all of this works out; but for to be sure, Mr. and Mrs. America, even though you didn’t create the fraud in the financial system, and even though you were forced to close down your business, you will now be used as tax cattle to pay for this giant fustercluck.
Originally posted on ZeroHedge