"At Issue" - Taxes: Your Take - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

"At Issue" - Taxes: Your Take

Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The #1 source of revenue for the Federal Government is obviously taxes.   It's how it funds everything from education to social security to defense.

 Anyone who has a job has to pay and everyone has their opinion. 

When asked, "Do you pay too much in taxes?", there were "yes" answers and "no" answers.   

An area woman said she doesn't pay too much, and that she "pays a lot".
Others are not so comfortable, answering so simply by saying, "I wish it could be less so I could afford more things."  

As we close in on election day we hear one candidate tell us the other will raise taxes and vise versa.

Some area business owner says, "If they go up it's going to be a burden."
one woman even said,  "I'm not opposed to having my taxes raised.

We encountered a wide variety of answers. Some are happy, most are unhappy. But one thing is for sure. The tax system is complicated, perhaps too complicated.

 40 thousand pages of tax code explain every bit and detail of our federal tax system and in those pages, there are short-cuts, or as Earl Benning, a CPA with Wipfli says,  "There are loopholes, or what I could call 'planning strategies', that allow you to legally avoid or defer income taxes to a later period."

 "The wealthiest %5 percent of americans pay probably 95% of the taxes collected by the government." says benning.

 And some believe the rich are taking advantage of the system.

An area woman believes, "They find an awful lot of loopholes."

Benning says, "In the midwest here I can guarantee you the wealthy are paying their taxes, and a lot of taxes."

Having a "fair" tax system is an individual's decision.   The people we spoke with were split on their answers.   They were more concerned about what their money was going towards.

 "That's the problem, they waste a lot of our money." says one area woman.

 Others agree but still wanted results.  "Our country is funding the wrong things.   In order to fund the right things, we need to pay more." says another area woman.

 "That's what politicians and representatives are for.   We need to make our thoughts and desires go to them." says benning."

Benjamin Franklin said it over 200 years ago: "In this world nothing is certain except for death and taxes."  The quote still rings true today.   The tax system the way we know it, isn't going anywhere.

Benning says, "I think tax reform is not going to happen, it's fairly progressive.   For the most part it's fair."

After some calculations, taxes on a person filing "single" making $40,000/yr paid almost 6% less last year compared to 5 years ago.  Compared to 10 years ago, the percentage was nearly 20% less.

For a couple filing a joint tax return and making a combined $80,000/yr, the percentages are very similar.  5.6% and 20% less.

*percentages do not include any deductions or credits.

Click here for McCain's plan for taxes

Click here for Obama's plan for taxes


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