The recent front-page Associated Press article about the argument over the capital gains tax repeats one of columnist Greg Jayne’s mantras, i.e., that our sales tax is “regressive” (“Jayne: Capital gains a taxing issue,” The Columbian, Jan. 22). The article goes on to say that poor people pay up to six times what rich people pay in sales tax.
What the article omits to say is that this statement is only true if you are comparing the purchase of “the same stuff.” That, of course, is not the situation. With the exception of some limited food and drug items, rich people buy “more stuff,” and “more expensive stuff.” Therefore, in terms of real dollars paid in taxes, the rich pay more. Often, a lot more. The sales tax on a new luxury car is a lot more than on a used pickup truck.
And, they certainly pay a lot more in property taxes.