Another thread inspired me to hijack it with a rant about property taxes, but that was a mistake. I now attempt to rectify that mistake by opening a thread for this in the proper place.
Property taxes are imposed on people based on the value of property they own, and estate tax is imposed upon people based on the value of property they inherit. These taxes are levied with no concern for the taxpayer’s ability to pay. I therefore think these kinds of taxes are unfair and should be rethought.
For example, if you buy a house for cash, you will be charged some percentage of the home’s value, say 1%, in property taxes. Every year the valuation of the home goes up and so does your tax bill. Eventually, you retire and have a fixed income, but your taxes continue to increase. Eventually, you cannot afford to pay the taxes and must sell your home.
Another example - your father owns a farm worth two million dollars, but by working the land you just make a middle class living. That’s OK, because you grew up on the farm, and want to live there forever. When your dad dies and passes the farm to you, you owe $800,000 dollars in taxes and are forced to sell the farm.
Isn’t that lame? How about taxes like this being based on ability to pay, more like income taxes are? For example, estate taxes could be replaced with capital gains taxes - if your farm was purchased in 1877 for $35 dollars, when you sell it you pay capital gains on the difference.
Please note I do not claim that all taxes are evil, nor that I do not wish to pay any taxes. I just object to those taxes that are levied without concern for ability to pay, such as property taxes and estate taxes.