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Tmy
2nd June 2004, 12:10 PM
Once in a while I run into the "what do we get from income taxes" debate and I bring up roads and infrastructer. I am sometimes met with a "no we dont" reply. That the roads are funded from gas taxes, tolls, auto excise, and other non income tax sources.

Methinks that is bunk!!! From what Ive run across gas taxes arent enough to cover infrastructre. And I know of nothing that says income taxes DONT go to infrastructer.

How many taxes are specifically earmaked for certain purposes anyway?? THere seems to be a point were they all end up into a general pot of govt money. Which then funds all sorts of stuff.

Nasarius
2nd June 2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Tmy
How many taxes are specifically earmaked for certain purposes anyway??

I think that's illegal, or at least highly restricted. Most taxes must go to the "general pot".
Argh. Someone here knows what I'm thinking of, and can clarify :)

Tmy
2nd June 2004, 12:17 PM
I think theres a Supreme CT case saying that a taxpayer cant sue over his taxes going to a program that offends him (ie the military) cause you can actually follow your tax dollar to that destination. You cant prove your money went to the military.

Nyarlathotep
2nd June 2004, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Tmy

How many taxes are specifically earmaked for certain purposes anyway?? THere seems to be a point were they all end up into a general pot of govt money. Which then funds all sorts of stuff.

Well, most of my work deals with governmental accounting systems, so I have had to learn about governmental accounting practices. Many types of taxes and fees are specifically put into certain funds and those funds can often only be used for specific purposes. Likewise, specific expenditures can often only be paid out of cerain funds. What expenses are paid out of what funds are going to vary from locality to locality, but it is often the case that gas taxes, auto excises etc. go into a fund that can only be used for roads, road equipment etc.

So no, there isn't a big pot of governemnt money tht is divvied up. There is often a general fund that can be used to make up shortfalls in other funds (among other things) but it would not be permitted to take money that had been raised, for example, to fund the library and use it to fund roads, even if the library was running a surplus and the roads were running a deficit.

Government accounting can be a complicated beast.

Nyarlathotep
2nd June 2004, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Nasarius


I think that's illegal, or at least highly restricted. Most taxes must go to the "general pot".
Argh. Someone here knows what I'm thinking of, and can clarify :)

Nope, it's quite common. At least on the local level. That's the way it is in Nevada anyway, and the governmental accounting courses I had to take made it sound like that is common practice everywhere.

I don't know where you live, that may be an exception to the rule, I don't know.

Tmy
2nd June 2004, 12:47 PM
I know there are money pools like Superfund and stuff like that. But when a budget is drawn they tag money they already have.

Like your library example. I dont ever recall a "library tax". But they'll be a library fund.


Back to the question: Are the roads built with income tax monies.?

Number Six
2nd June 2004, 12:55 PM
While strictly speaking lots of times Pot X is used to pay for Item Y, practically speaking I think it's effectively one big pot. They want to spend more on Item Y and rather than increase the General Pot they create a tax that fills Pot X.

It's like if you need a new shirt and someone gives you $20 to buy one. That just means you have the $20 you would have spent on the shirt free to spend on something else.

One example of this is state lotteries. They always go to Cause X (education or senior citizens or whatever) and as a result Cause X eventually ends up getting loss money from the General Pot.

It may not be practical in this day and age but I'd like to see all moneys go to the General Pot and then have the government have to figure out where to spend it.

Tony
2nd June 2004, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Tmy
Are the roads built with income tax monies.?

There is no income tax in Texas, so no, roads do not get build with income tax monies.

Tmy
2nd June 2004, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by Tony


There is no income tax in Texas, so no, roads do not get build with income tax monies.

But theres Fed incoem tax. Alot ofthat gets shotback to the states in block or "highway funds" form. Which in turn goes to infrastructer projects. Projects like roads.

The states drool over fed money like there methadone addicts waiting for the fix.

hgc
2nd June 2004, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by Tony


There is no income tax in Texas, so no, roads do not get build with income tax monies. You don't think Texas pays for all their own roads do you? Plenty of federal income tax dollars go for this purpose.

Nyarlathotep
2nd June 2004, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Tmy
I know there are money pools like Superfund and stuff like that. But when a budget is drawn they tag money they already have.

Nope it's drawn on money they expect to receive. And some sources of money (and their expenses) are accounted for seperately.

Like your library example. I dont ever recall a "library tax". But they'll be a library fund.

There doesn't have to be a "library tax" they could be paid with grants, or it oculd be a specific assessment on your property tax. It will vary depending on where you live.


Back to the question: Are the roads built with income tax monies.?

I don't know at the federal level. Anywhere else, the answer is "it depends". In Nevada, since we don't even HAVE a state income tax, the answer is no. Local governments sometimes receive federal grants for road construction which might come (in part) from income taxes, I don't know. But most of the money comes from other sources. I can't speak for any other state.

Rob Lister
2nd June 2004, 01:19 PM
Simple answer: Yes. Anyone that has ever worked in or with government contracts knows that most of the money is washed, one way or another, time and time again, that the big-pot analogy is the best fit. If you're curious about your particular state, your state IRS probably has a breakdown of the laws particular to the state as well as a rough pie chart as to how each dollar is allocated. Just don't confuse allocated with 'spent' because the washing takes all if not most allocation color off the money.