As is customary on Thursdays, yesterday’s edition of the Burlington Free Press* once again was graced by the comedy stylings of Art Woolf, Vermont’s Loudest Economist. This time, Art was letting us know just how difficult it is to be rich.
*Newsstand price now a DOLLAR-FIFTY!!! for a few pages of wire copy and recycled USA TODAY “content.” I’d like to see Professor Woolf’s cost/benefit analysis of that little bargain.
No, seriously. The One Percent have it rough. Here’s how it starts.
Rich get richer, pay more taxes
In 2014, the state collected $650 million in income taxes from Vermonters. High income Vermonters continue to pay a very large share of that.
Well yeah, because they make most of the money.
He goes on to break down tax collections by income bracket in a way that emphasizes just how much we peasants are benefiting from the forced largesse of Our Betters. Which, if you consider state income tax in isolation, is true; the more money you make, the more taxes you pay.
But when you consider the entire burden of state and local taxes, you flip the script. Here’s a handy chart from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), showing Vermont’s total tax burden.
That’s right. In Vermont, the rich get off easy and the middle class takes it in the shorts.
See, our income tax is reasonably progressive, but our other primary taxes are not. Sales taxes are strongly regressive, hitting the poorest people hardest. Property taxes slam the middle classes. Add ‘em all up, and that chart is what you get.