News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Regardless of whether you believe taxes are crucial and helpful or unnecessary and unfair, it is important that your kids understand the concept of taxation, how tax money is collected and used, and what they can do to influence tax policy.
Here are a few kid friendly facts you can share with your children.
There are a lot of taxes in the U.S.
Individuals are taxed on property, purchases, income, wages, facilities use (tolls), and dying (death tax). Companies pay duties, tariffs, fees, registrations, and employment taxes. They pass these extra costs onto consumers as higher prices, which means individuals ultimately pay for business taxes.
U.S. taxpayers have little say on how tax money is spent.
Once the taxes are collected by a taxing agency, taxpayers have little control on how the money is allocated. As a result, it is critical that voters consider all tax referenda carefully. If a taxpayer does not like a tax he/she can circulate a petition to have the tax recalled, run for office, and/or work to get different politicians elected.
Taxes increase the power of the government.
Tax revenues give government entities control over large budgets, which can create problems with corruption as companies and individuals lobby to obtain projects bid by the government.
Taxes fund a wide variety of programs.
Taxes are used to pay for everything from roads and bridges to special projects like studying methane emission from dairy cows.
Private sector worker taxes pay for government jobs.
When someone works for a public school, a public college or university, the TSA, the military, a company who executes government contracts, an organization that receives government grants etc. his/her salary is paid by people working in the private sector. Even though government employees pay “taxes”, these “taxes” just reduce the cost of that worker, since the taxes go back into the pool of money used to pay government salaries. As a result, it is impossible for the government to operate without loans or tax contributions from private sector workers.
Tax marketing is often different from tax implementation.
Taxpayers are often more willing to approve taxes for education, so government agencies will sometimes market a tax as a way to improve schools without restricting the money to schooling.
Once your kids have an understanding of taxation they can make sound economic decisions for themselves and help their communities make wise choices about taxes and community services.
La Vernia News – Barbara Magor Deel
“Every responsible adult knows “tax day” is in April, although this year as the government celebrates Emancipation Day April 15 — we get a reprieve until April 18 to file our taxes. But most taxpayers may not be aware that this coincides with National Financial Literacy Month, which has been promoted since 2003 as the month to teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits…Schools as well as parents, play a significant role in the lives of young people as they develop into independent, capable members of communities…For young adults, mastering their personal finances allows them to concentrate on learning and having fun, and not having some of the most important years in their lives sidetracked by money troubles. The major advantage of financial literacy will be self-evident as students grow older and financial decisions become more important and will have far reaching rewards in personal, family, and community success.”(more)
China Daily- XINHUA
“BEIJING — China cuts more than 300 billion yuan ($46.15 billion) of taxes in 2015 to boost mass entrepreneurship and innovation, according to official data.
Among this, tax exemptions and breaks on small enterprises reached 100 billion yuan and tax cuts designed to encourage high technology development totaled 140 billion yuan, according to the State Administration of Taxation.”(more)
Time – Dan Kadlec
“…Congress recently added computers to the list of expenses that can be paid for with tax-sheltered money from a 529 college savings plan. Up till now, college students had to prove that owning a computer or tablet was required by the school in order to justify the expense for 529 purposes…These changes are intended to help 529 plans remain relevant as the college experience evolves.”(more)
Education News – Kristin Decarr
“A New York Times columnist is making a push for the government to institute a minimum drinking age for buying soda, and would like to see ID required for children who try to purchase sugary drinks at stores. Food journalist and New York Times opinion writer Mark Bittman recently argued on Luckypeach that limiting the availability of soda for children was equivalent to having a minimum age requirement for buying cigarettes…His comments suggest that bad habits, which are hard to break, are created at a young age, and allowing children to consume sugary drinks creates unhealthy adults who have habits they would like to break but can’t.”(more)
Education News – Kristin Decarr
“A new report released by a committee of British lawmakers is pushing for additional measures to be taken in an effort to decrease the level of childhood obesity in the country, including levying a 20% tax on sugary drinks. The report suggests that “clear evidence” is available that shows that the suggested tax would reduce the sale of sugary drinks, which currently make up 40% of the sugar that children between the ages of 11 and 18 consume. The 20% sugar tax is being considered by the government as one of many measures that aim to decrease the level of childhood obesity. Committee chairwoman Sarah Wollaston noted that by the time they finish primary school, about one-third of students are considered overweight or obese.”(more)