Death and taxes. While most things in life are not guaranteed, death and taxes are…at least in America. Lol! Having just grudging filed my 2021 taxes, an annual ritual that I wait to the very last second to do, had me wondering exactly what do our taxes pay for? The question sent me Googling. Here’s what I found:
“Property Taxes are taxes paid on a residential or commercial property owned by individuals like you or a legal entity. The rate is determined by your local government and is based on many factors. Since the tax rate is determined based on your local government, it varies across states and even across zip codes!” (source: https://www.rate.com/resources/where-do-my-property-taxes-go).
Property taxes pay for our schools, safety i.e., EMTs, firefighters, law enforcement, public spaces like parks, streets, and sanitation. Just imagine doing without any of those services!
“The federal taxes are used by the government to invest in technology and education, and to provide goods and services for the benefit of the American people.
The three biggest categories of expenditures are:
- Major health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid
- Social security
- Defense and security
While I may be no happier every tax season, I get why we must pay them. As a member of a society, particularly a society as dynamic as ours, it takes all of our efforts and financial contributions to make it work. When schools are well-funded they are stronger, and we foster a society of critically thinking, creative citizens. When more people work and contribute to the economy, we’re able to plan for and to have very cool stuff like high-speed railways, affordable housing for everyone, thriving communities with thriving businesses and safe neighborhoods for families that uplift the quality of life for everyone. These are good things.
In case you missed my point, I don’t like paying taxes and probably never will. I do, however believe that in a small yet tangible way, I’m contributing to the maintenance of my country. Every public highway that I travel on, I have a small stake in its quality. Every national park I visit, I feel a sense of belonging, pride, and ownership. While death and taxes may always be inevitabilities, it is comforting for me to consider them from a different perspective. Death, like birth is a part of a natural cycle. And taxes are the price that we pay for living in a land filled with dreams and infinite possibilities. Given all of that I think that my taxes are a small price to pay!