Originally created 08/18/00

Sink sales tax; it's too regressive



After South Carolina's sales tax holiday for school supplies, many proclaimed what a great idea it was. Instead of paying the seven percent sales tax in Augusta, many Georgians did their school shopping on Aiken's side of the river.

But aren't fans of the tax holiday many of the same people who want to raise the Aiken County sales tax? We must not be fooled into thinking the increase will be of limited duration, until the wish list is satisfied. It never has been and never will be satisfied.

Just look at Augusta. Increasing the sales tax has to be a particularly dumb idea for Aiken County, as it will lose shoppers to Georgia.

It needs saying again and again - the sales tax is, with the possible exception of the lottery, our most regressive tax, hitting the poorest people the hardest.

If we want more or improved government services, our leaders should have the spine to explain the need and ask for an increase in property taxes or to raise state income taxes, which are distributed more fairly across all income levels than is the sales tax.

Victor Reilly, Aiken