To the Editor:

It is tax time again. At the end of each calendar year I start reading articles and hear my friends’ and neighbors’ dialogue regarding taxes.

What is interesting to me relates to the diversity and complexity of conversation over our tax system. Most of us are not accountants or tax experts. So we either hire someone or simply complete the easiest form hoping for the best. The process is exhausting. Some people might lose a day trying to read through all the publications, forms or recover from the experience.

This leads me to believe that something is missing or has been lost regarding the basic concept of taxation and spending. A man named Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, once stated, "Government income and redistribution programs produce the same result as theft. In fact, that’s what a thief does; he redistributes income. The difference between government and thievery is mostly a matter of legality."

As a democracy we elected the representatives that established and annually modify our tax system. Thus, the system should be what the public wishes to create. Instead, it seems that our tax system is more of a reflection of the principles of those we elect. Our elected officials seem to work hard at considerable public indifference.

Every year that passes we face more paperwork and increased taxes. Local examples include the SRA Fire Fee Tax and the CARB Burn Permit Tax. Both taxes are creating negative side effects to economic welfare. The compliance and labor cost related to these taxes are a good example. I must have received at least six letters from the BOE regarding the Fire Fee Tax for my single parcel.

People today are voicing concern about high taxes and government overspending. Voters are not speaking kindly of their government. The solution might be voting for a simple flat tax, eliminating the excessive government waste or just allow taxpayers to directly choose where all collected taxes are spent. That would reduce the tax burden, improve our quality of life and ensure that our elected government officials succeed at efficiently providing what the taxpayers truly value.

Thank you for your attention.

Mike Ringle

Miranda