Thursday, March 10, 2011

Take Your Pick

The governor of Michigan is proposing substantial tax increases for middle-class retired people, especially those who own their homes, so he can give businesses a huge tax cut. We qualify for the higher individual taxes, but not the business tax break. Tough choices loom in our future.

The tax increases for us amount to six percent of our net income, income that already has been reduced due to rock-bottom interest rates and a lack of cost-of-living increases in two pension payments over the past two years.  We will not be in as dire a situation as some, but we will be hurt badly.  We will have to consider every purchase even more carefully than we now do.

Recently, by coincidence, we gained insight into the type of beverage choice that may become necessary. We bought a six-pack of V-8 juice cans for $2.99 just days after picking up a couple of bottles of really cheap, but pretty good, wine at Walmart. A bottle of the cheapo cabernet was $2.97.

True, it isn’t a completely fair comparison. The wine was two pennies cheaper, but a bottle contained 167 milliliters (about 6 ounces) less fluid than the six little cans of vegetable juice. Well, what are a few silly milliliters, anyway?

If the gov succeeds in pushing us right to the wall, the beverage choice may be difficult for Sandy. Easy for me, though. I’ll go for the grape.


Sightings said...

I noticed in doing taxes recently that we pay a LOT more to the state (NY in our case) than we do to the IRS. Much of it goes to the schools -- which I don't begrudge even tho' our kids are long gone -- but I dunno what they do with the rest of it.

It's one major reason, I'm sorry to say, that people like us leave the north and head to warmer and less-taxing climes in the south.

Alas, there's no escaping the liquor tax, unless you wanna start making it at home. Better to grow tomatoes. said...

We don't drink much at our house, so booze is not a thrifty option. Should taxes be raised in our state, eating out and other luxuries will go by the wayside I fear. In the past, VA has gone out of its way to attract retirees. Hopefully this will continue. If so, I can see more Michiganers are headed our way. We already have thousands of refugees from NY and NJ. Our county is really well run, and so far, the taxes have been reasonable. Hopefully this continues. In the meantime, I feel for you poor Yankees. Dianne

Dick Klade said...

Sightings: Unfortunately, the deer in our backyard eat tomato plants as fast as we can put them in. Quite a few Michiganders are sincere about setting up permanent residences in Florida if the tax penalties take effect here.

Diane: Virginia indeed is a nice place to live. I visited there many times. However, Florida looks like a more tax-friendly spot at the moment.

Several states welcome retirees; it is said they tend to stabilize the economy. Apparently, the new Michigan governor has not been briefed on that.

joared said...

I'm waiting to see what sort of budget our new Calif. Governor is going to present. All sorts of cuts typically occur for those who can least afford them in all the States are scrambling for money.