(Community Matters) I’ve had an interesting online exchange with an acquaintance who resents the extra $25, $50 and $100 in taxes for most Travis County residents to establish a UT medical school in Austin. He notes that this is in addition to taxes for Obamacare. The guy is a good guy – a creator of jobs and a socially engaged citizen. The exchange is in response to my earlier posting supporting the Healtcare District 5 cents tax increase. Thought I’d share the exchange:
Friend: With all due respect, how much will we have to pay in taxes in order to have a healthy population in Central Texas? I thought Obamacare’s new taxes were supposed to cover expanding health care to uninsured citizens? Why do property owners have to continue to get fleeced? What am I missing here? When does it end?
And by the way, the sales pitch for the Travis County Hospital District at inception was the same: “it’s only a few dollars for every $100 in home value” and we must have it because our health care system is broken. I expected the Travis County Hospital District to be dissolved after the passage of the ACA. I was shocked that taxes would increase by 63% – I mean who gets a 63% increase in anything these days especially after all the other new taxes covering the same things?
From my perspective, it’s immoral to live in a country of our privilege and for any citizen to go hungry, without primary medical care (including preventative), without access to a decent school for their kids, or without some sort of shelter. I’m not talking about cadillac services but at least a compassionate level.
And, we both know percentages are misleading, we’re talking about a 5 cents per $100 valuation. As to HCR taxes, new taxes for healthcare hardly touch the middle class. The increase for average households making over $200k is less than 1%. Come on, we’ve reduced taxes on ourselves by an large amount more than this just during the last 12 years – by a gargantuan amount since Reagan. Not to mention how we all but shelter income for hedge fund managers, real estate developers/investors and lots of others by calling their earnings “carried interests.” That’s why many of our friends only pay 13% or less on their earnings while teachers, policemen, firefighters and day care workers pay more.
To clarify, are you supporting Obamacare but this is just too much? I know we support different candidates – you a major donor to Gov. Rick Perry, me to Pres Obama, yet I know we both care about our communities and its citizens. I’m sorry you see this as insidious. I just don’t.