In 1789 Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

232 years later that saying still holds true today. All of us will die at some point in our lives and when we breath our last breath I can promise you that we will still be paying taxes, only a lot more of them.

There is another saying that I have heard many times through the years, “I feel as if I’m taxed to death.”

Actually I’m more concerned with taxes than I am death. Most of the time I feel as if I too am taxed to death. That may be my cause of death, taxes. So don’t be surprised when you read my obituary that it will state, “cause of death, taxes.”

Of course I’m kidding about the death part but the tax part is very concerning as our families face heavy taxation. Allow me to explain.

As far as I know all Americans employed will pay what the government deems our fair share of Federal Income Tax. Depending on your income level you will pay anywhere from 10 to 37 percent in Federal Income Tax. All but six or seven states also has a State Income Tax. Thank God Texas isn’t one of them. That’s one of the reasons that so many people are moving here from California and New York as well as other states that have a State Income Tax.

If and when you get a raise on your job you will pay more in income tax because your income is greater. Not only will you pay income tax from your check you also will pay Social Security Tax. However, don’t plan on retiring expecting to live on your Social Security earnings only that’s not going to happen.

Now that you have paid a large portion of your income tax and Social Security Tax it’s time to use your spendable income, what little bit you have left. In Texas alone you can expect to pay sales tax 8.25%) on the following, non-food items, clothing, personal items, household items, toys, tools, recreational gear just to mention a few. You will also pay tax on gasoline or diesel fuel, cable or Internet service, cell phone service, eating at your favorite restaurant to add a few more taxed items.

Every time there is an increase in cost of goods such as non-food items, gas, vehicles, clothing, etc. you will pay more in taxes because you are taxed on the total cost of goods. In other words when there are price increases you pay more in taxes.

Don’t forget hotel tax when you travel as well as tax on most entertainment, auto tax when you buy a new or used vehicle, motor home, travel trailer etc.

Then there’s the Franchise tax as well as property tax and if you own a business there’s personal property tax. I will admit there are in some cases a homestead exemption available but don’t plan on taking a trip with the savings and if you live to be 65 you may qualify for a senior citizen’s exemption and in some cases a disabled person or veteran exemption. Be reminded that this is not an all-inclusive list of taxable items. 

This year all Rusk County and Henderson taxing entities were excited to announce that there would not be an increase in our taxes neither an increase in the tax rate. What hasn’t been stressed is that they didn’t need too they automatically received a tax increase through an increase in our property taxes this year.

That’s right most business property and many real estate properties saw their appraised values of their property increase, some drastically. This means our taxing entities didn’t have to raise our taxes they got a raise through the appraised value tax.

Some people I have talked to especially commercial property owners saw their property taxes increase two to three times more than it was last year.

So I ask you now, do you feel taxed to death?  One thing is for sure my friend death and taxes are inevitable.

Dan Moore is editor and publisher of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is <publisher@thehendersonnews.com>.©2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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