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532,000 warrants for delinquent income taxes are outstanding in New York State. There are about 19.5 million people in New York. If taxation at the state level is anything like at the Federal, roughly 9.5 million of these pay state income taxes. Therefore, well over 5% of New York State Taxpayers have a warrant outstanding from the state for unpaid taxes. Note that this number dramatically understates the number of people with tax problems – it only includes state income taxes, not local property taxes or federal income taxes, and it also takes some time before a warrant is handed down. Further, our local paper indicates that the number of warrants outstanding exceeds 1.4 million, including warrants on businesses.

When I become President of La La Land, the first thing I would do is to ban the practice of withholding – without changing any other thing about the tax rates, exemptions, credits, deductions. If people can pay their cellphone bill every month, why can’t they pay their taxes the same way? I’d like to see this happen after the Health Care Bill, the Climate Bill and the next round of stimulus spending rolls through Congress. Any predictions on what would happen?

3 Responses to “Fun Facts to Know and Tell”

  1. Ross says:

    No predictions, but thought I might pass on a link. My favorite site on tax numbers, specifically when I’m looking for bits of predigested data, is The Tax Foundation.

  2. azmyth says:

    “If people can pay their cellphone bill every month, why can’t they pay their taxes the same way?”
    Paying a cellphone bill does not require solving multivariate differential equations. The tax code is so complicated it would impose an unreasonable cost on taxpayers to have to wade through it several times a year. As it is, it’s bad enough doing it once a year. Perhaps a % of wage (not of earnings) tax or a consumption tax would be simple enough to administer on a monthly basis.

  3. Speedmaster says:

    I agree, withholding is a very dark spot on Milton Friedman’s record, imho. I would also like to see election day be the day after tax day.

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