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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Forty-fifth annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., December 2, 1931. Forty-fifth summer convention, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., August 18, 1931

Hibbard, B. H.
Taxation,   pp. 33-40 PDF (2.1 MB)

Page 40

few businesses have moved out because of the state income tax The
main income tax doesn't come from the few millionaires, but from
people who have a few thousand dollars of income. It was said that
the Palmolive Soap Company has moved out of the state so far as
the bulk of its business goes. We will get along without them. We
could probably also get along without Mr. Nash, though he does not
even threaten to move. Since we need revenue, we will get it from
those who have it instead of those who do not have it. About half of
our state and local revenues should be raised on income, and less than
half on general property. When we are wise enough to see this, we
will have very much less bankruptcy and, tax delinquency; but there
is going to be a merry fight, for this reason; the people with incomes
have much more resistance against the enactment of a new and im-
proved tax than those without the incomes.
Question: Will Mr. Hibbard please give us his opinion of the gas-
oline tax?
MaL HmamnD: The proper gasoline tax is the highest one you can
collect Ours is 4c. My first suggestion would be to make it 5c, and
if that goes well, I would suggest making it 6c. It is about the only
tax which can be collected in proportion to the benefits derived. The
people who want to get out and "tear up the roads" do it for fun
many cases. People must have gasoline. A gasoline tax goes right to
the spot and doesn't cost much to collect However, it should not be
used for general purposes, but should be used for roads. It means
that we let the people who use the roads pay a little more for them.
Between you and me, I wouldn't pay for the highways for transporters
of freight and let them furnish only the motive power, without asking
them to contribute a little more than they yet have for the mainte-
nance of highways. When railroads were new, it was suggested that
the state might put down the ties and rails and let anybody run a
train on it who wanted to. That is what we are doing with the high-
ways. If you have a small freight train you want to run up and down
these roads, you may do so. Our truck operators should pay more.
We should all pay more for gasoline, until we get as high a tax as
any other state in the Union where it is successfully administered.
The highest I know of is 7c, and the people pay it without grumbling.
That is in Florida.
MaL F. R. BA: If that tax is so successful, why not a general
sales tax?
Ma. Humam: The inference, I would say, is not good. A general
sales tax doesn't meet the measure of justice of paying according to
the benefits received, not ability to pay. You are really paying for a
particular service when you pay a gasoline tax. You save, frst, in the
quantity of gasoline used, after a road is improved. Secondly, you
save in tires, and thirdly in the wear and tear on the car; not to
mention the added comfort. A general sales tax is a tax on consum-
ers and is not distributed at all on thqobasds of ability to pay.

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