As I near the end of the check out process for the new iPhone 5 and start to realize that I am about to spend a decent amount of money for a new phone. At a moment where even pro-government leaning individuals question government efficiencies and intelligence of operations. I want the iPhone, but do I want to pay the government 8% on top?
The sales tax bill could have been the one for a day meals. Here in one fall swoop of taxes, I have paid the equivalent of what should be about 1/10th of my monthly health insurance premiums. It could also be my annual payment to local government for street lights and “smooth” roads. Either way, I am finding more and more that the money I am paying the government for my well being and the ability to continually participate as a citizen of good standing in the community, is not being allocated efficiently and to the advancement of those goals. I ride my bike and the streets suck, I can’t go the doctor when sick, I don’t go to school, nor do I have any dependents who do.
Then I start to think about all the sales tax that I must pay each year, then imagine multiplying that by the number of people in NYC. In 2011 NYC collected $4.2 billion in taxes. It is beautiful to see a lot of the information we should know such as the state budget, is available, but it is a shame that as a democracy there is such a disconnect between budget planning and the everyday society.
If Apple sells 1 million iPhone 5s in NY in a week, that would be approximately $26 million heading right to the government (keep in mind that is just a small portion of Apple’s sales and an even smaller part of your annual sales tax bill). Bundled with your purchase comes an addon that has diminishing returns for many of us, so think about that when buying your iPhone 5.