Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What If We Stopped Paying Taxes?

We in Detroit pay some of the highest taxes in the United States. In spite of that, the services that we receive range from minimal to almost non-existent.

For decades now, one politician after another has been elected on the promise that they would make things better. As soon as they get in office, however, they quickly switch their tone and start telling us that we're being unrealistic in expecting the same level of services that neighboring communities enjoy - even though we pay double or even triple what they pay.

There's been a thought in the back of my head for awhile now. I suppressed it at first because I thought it would be too radical or out of the mainstream. However, with every day that goes by, that thought keeps getting louder and louder.

What if we just stopped paying taxes?

For decades, the residents in Detroit have played a game with their elected officials. Detroiters pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. The politicians keep thinking of reasons why residents have to go without silly luxuries like adequate police or fire protection.

I believe that it's time for us to do something to change this game. We need to make sure that the politicians fully understand that this is no longer acceptable; that lip service and vague promises are no longer tolerable.

If one person decided that he or she would no longer pay taxes, it wouldn't even be noticeable.

If a handful of people refused to be a part of this game, it would be too minor to have an impact.

However, as that movement gets larger and larger, it would eventually force a crisis. The politicians would literally have no other option but to start taking their duties seriously. It's the kind of fundamental game change that has been absent in Detroit.

These, my friends and neighbors, are the thoughts that have been lurking inside my head.  What do you think?

Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at frank [dot] nemecek [at] gmail [dot] com.


Dylan said...

That's already been happening. People just walk away and let their houses fall into foreclosure. That's why the city is the largest landholder. Other cities pay a lot more in taxes than we do. They also typically have a city sales tax which extends into at least the inner ring suburbs. We're doing it all off property and income tax. And people are leaving with their taxes.

FrankNemecek said...

There is much to discuss with Dylan's comment. Therefore, I'm moving it to a separate post "Mailbag: What If We Stopped Paying Taxes".