FAGAN: House Members Eying For Your Wallet With Thursday’s Gas Tax Vote

House members will debate the proposed 17 cents per gallon gas tax Thursday. (UPDATE: We’re hearing the vote on the gas tax bill has been rescheduled for Tuesday.) New taxes are all the rage these days as Louisiana’s legislators and the governor try to build on last year’s effort of transferring well more than one billion dollars in cash from the private sector to the government sector.

If the gas tax passes your tax per gallon will go from about 40 cents to close to 56 cents when you include the federal tax. In case you were wondering, oil companies make about 8 cents per gallon in profits. Imagine that. Government taking a disproportionate share.

The thing about government is it’s sneaky in the way it collects your hard-earned money. A tax here, a tax there and pretty soon you find you don’t have much money left over after getting paid.

Did you know that in Louisiana you pay to the state close to a 9 percent tax on your cell phone bill? That doesn’t include what you pay to the feds. That’s just one example of a tax you probably didn’t know you paid.

In Louisiana the state income tax is a big deal at up to six percent. Remember, six states have no income tax. Would you like a six percent raise? Move to a state without an income tax. There’s one just next door in Texas, and you probably have a number of friends and former neighbors who already live there.

That state income tax really hurts because we don’t make that much in Louisiana. The average worker earns a little more than $42,000 a year. In thirty states they make more.

Of course you could move to California and pay a ridiculous 13 percent state income tax.

Where state government really gets us is with the sales tax at five percent. When you add in local sales taxes it gives Louisiana the distinction of having the highest sales tax in the nation with the rate coming in at an average of almost 10 percent.

There are six states with no state sales tax and 4 with no state or local sales tax. When you consider paying an extra 10 percent it adds up over a lifetime.

Believe it or not it could be a lot worse. Overall we’re really not doing that poorly when it comes to taxes in Louisiana compared to other states.

According to the Tax Foundation Louisiana’s tax freedom day is April 7th. Every penny we earn up until April 7th goes to local, state, and federal governments and the rest of the year what we earn we keep.

Because property taxes are very low here, Louisiana has the 3rd earliest tax freedom day in the nation. Mississippi comes in at number one with a tax freedom day of April 1st. But in Connecticut those fools work all the way up until May 1st before they get to keep what they earn. Sucks to be them.

By the way even with all those high taxes Connecticut is expected to see a $2 billion deficit next year. With government it’s never a taxing problem. It’s always a spending one.

So should we allow the governor and the legislature to come after more of our money by making it more expensive to fill up at the pump? There’s a powerful lobbying group made of up road construction types pushing really hard for the gas tax bill to pass. They of course stand to make millions if the new gas tax goes through. With government these days there’s always some group looking to score cash and they are more than willing to help out the politician willing to play along.

The problem with a tax is it takes a dollar out of the private sector where it has great value and transfers it to the government sector where its worth is diminished considerably. The government sector is where a dollar goes to die.

Yes it is true we need to pay for basic government services and taxes are necessary. But these days government has become grotesquely bloated.

We’ll see in the House if legislators agree.

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