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There are quite different views about taxes; about how high they ought to be, about what kinds of taxes are best, who ought to be taxed more and who less. Since taxes have come to be seen as a burden and even a punishment it is rare that we share the reasons to feel good about them.
Here are 3 reasons to be happy about the money your government takes from you
- You are an employer
As public workers are paid using tax payer’s money in essence you are an employer. Public sector employees work hard, often in difficult circumstances, to keep government running and provide the public services we need. We need to attract and retain hard-working public employees and pay them fair compensation. Your taxes make this possible!
People who think that they ought not to pay whether rich or poor; are thinking wrong. When you fail, refuse or under pay your taxes you are underpaying or undermining the civil service. Ultimately you are undermining the quality of services in your society. And frankly forfeit your right to comment on the way services are run or indeed not run.
- You are an investor
We all know that the rewards from a little more money in our pockets now are immediate, whereas the future payouts for public good are in the far and theoretical future. Let’s face it you will not actually be there to hear the people in the future give you praise for schools, hospitals, police services, courts of law, public roads, stadiums, community development, national parks and heritage sites. To list but a few.
However, your taxes today ensure that your country can build and maintain the necessary infrastructure – for education, health care and the transportation systems.
These investments will in turn attract foreign investment and businesses that will help make your country thrive in a competitive global economy.
- You are a beneficiary
Public services are just that-public services and you and I are beneficiaries. Tarred roads, bridges, drainages, water supplies, electricity, security services, immigration, embassies and consulates, prison services, fire brigades, elections and many more services; services that could never be provided or paid for by you or I on our own.
Ok yes, governments have a bad reputation because they do not deliver on certain promises and with the stories of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money governments almost always do win first prize for being inefficient and rampant wasters but, truthfully no organization – private, public or in-between – is perfectly efficient.
In short, to pay for a largely fair and well-functioning society governments need to collect money from everyone; the how much and how often is another discussion but the benefit of paying taxes is to ensure that everyone in a community shares and enjoys the services provided by government.
FYI…in Sweden, the word for tax is skatt; loosely translated it means treasure! And who in their right mind does not want a share of a treasure?