Massachusetts), the quality of life goes up with taxes, bar none, as does the quality of education and sense of community. I could go on and on...bike trails, parks, public transportation, trash and recycling pick-up, health care, welfare for those in need, et al. are all better in highly taxed areas. I am not necessarily saying all places must have high taxes; I just prefer it that way. To me, there's a fundamental paradigm difference between the do-it-yourself-low-taxers and the farm-it-out-to-someone-else-high-taxers, and I'd like to relay my observations for my readers to ponder in an uncharged, theoretical, and conversational manner.
I believe I can boil down the argument into one question: How annoyed do you want to be when you are purchasing food at a drive-thru window? If your answer is a little or not at all annoyed, then I would suggest you pay higher taxes. If it's a lot annoyed or so annoyed that you want to jump out the car window and strangle the attendant, then low taxes is your game. Now, I'm not suggesting this is a fool-proof system, but allow me to elaborate. I've noticed many low-tax communities invest less in education, perhaps thinking they can still get great education with low taxes by paying for private school for their own kids. However, I'm here to tell you that if you don't pay for the masses to be educated, you're in for a world full of grievances and, in my humble opinion, you'll end up spending that money on policing a group of uneducated hooligans. Personally, I choose tax state over police state.
Having professed my love of Uncle Sam, I must admit when I opened a 2011 tax bill from our town for our new Toyota to the tune of a whopping $675, I promise you I wasn't feeling very warm and fuzzy inside about taxes. I know this expense is probably similar in most states, and my shock probably also has a lot to do with not having owned a new car since 2000 (a time when my parents bailed me out of sudden unexpected $700 charges). Still, this bill is the icing on the high tax, high regulation cake, which is sometimes not as sweet as I'd like it to be.
Luckily, just one day after the expletive-inducing bill, I was able to benefit from a wonderful service called Early Intervention, courtesy of the public health system here. Any parent who suspects a developmental delay in their child can arrange for occupational and/or speech therapists to perform a free in-home evaluation. I was worried about Charlie's lack of vocalization and rolling over, so it gave me peace of mind to have them take a look. As it turns out, she tested above normal on quite a few tasks, within the normal range on her motor skills, and below average on her verbal ability. They are going to come back for a follow-up exam to retest her verbal skills in a month or so. Hopefully she will have caught up, but if not they will arrange for future visits at a very reasonable cost. Bring on the warmth and fuzziness.