St. Charles Herald-Guide

Sales tax sounds good, Bobby

Our View - January 18, 2013

With the worries of filing income taxes arriving again, it is probably a very popular notion among us to favor Gov. Bobby Jindalís proposal to eliminate state income tax in Louisiana. It is a laborious process, to say the least, to confront oneself with all of those forms and income and expense numbers. Plus, its complexity has encouraged many to cheat on their income taxes and get away with it.

Preparing the state income tax, however, is not as laborious a process as preparing federal taxes because the figures and most of the labor is already there. All that is necessary, mostly, is copying them from the federal form.

Jindalís plan is to replace the state tax with a sales tax that could run as high as 7 percent on purchases. This would be a simple, almost automatic procedure as it is with paying parish sales taxes.

When you buy an item, the sellers just add the percentage to the total sales price and send the tax portion to the state except on dates when a sales tax holiday is declared. When people buy items on the Internet, however, it is said that many sellers do not charge the tax. That, of course, would have to be corrected to make it fair to all. And it should be a lot easier than making income tax fair to all.

Hopefully, the governor can achieve his plan and at least relieve our citizens of the grueling labors in figuring out their tax-paying income for the state. A few other states do not have income taxes and they have found other successful means of support.

It has been suggested in the past that the federal government adopt a similar plan by abandoning the federal income tax and supporting the government with a similar sales tax on citizen and business purchases. That would be an overwhelming relief for our citizens.

It is said that six billion hours a year are spent in this country by citizens complying with filing federal income taxes. What a relief it would be if we could support this country in a simpler manner that helps prevent taxpayers from cheating their government.

Perhaps our next president will work on such a plan.