Your Instinct: Are your federal income taxes fair? - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Your Instinct: Are your federal income taxes fair?

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Andy Hiller asked, "I say taxes, what do you say?"
 "Expensive,"   said one taxpayer.  "They control us," said another.
"I think it is a lot of wasted money going to the government for things we don't see the benefit of," said a third.

You said it in Winchester, which is one of the state's wealthier towns, and in Woburn, a city which is about average for what families earn in Massachusetts.
"Do you think what you pay is the right amount?" asked Hiller.
"No, it's a bit much," said a young taxpayer.

Last year, the Federal government collected more than $1.3 trillion in income taxes and, nationally, 55 percent of Americans, a majority, said the amount they paid was fair.  We heard some of that.

"I like paying my share of taxes, but I don't like having no money left over at the end," said Diane Thomas of Woodville.
Hiller:  "What do you think of your share?"
Thomas:  Right now, I'd say it's fair but I worry about some of the things the Federal Government wastes their money on.  But I think they do really important things we can't do without either."

Hiller:  "Do you think the amount you pay is fair?"
Frank Federico of Winchester said, "Yes it is."
Hiller:  "And for every dollar you pay in taxes, how much do you think you get back in good services?"
Federico:  "I don't think we can handle that in one session here."
Hiller:  "Are you a psychiatrist?"
Federico:  "No, I'm just a taxpayer."

"It's just something that needs to be done," said Suzie Riederer of North Andover.
Hiller:  "Do you think about the amount?"
Riederer:  "Not really."
Hiller:  "Are you rich?"
Riederer:  "No."
Hiller:  "How can you not think of the amount?"
Riederer:  "Well, it's just something we need to do.  I like to drive on the streets and I like to take my child to school so that's just one way to fund that."

But more taxpayers we talked to think their income tax bill is over the top.

Hiller:  "Do you think what you're paying is fair?"
John Hurley of Winchester said, "No."
Hiller:  "Want to take a little more time to answer that?"
Hurley:  "Nope.  I took enough time."
Hiller:  "Why aren't they fair?"
Hurley:  "Because they are way too high for what you get."
Hiller:  "Out of every dollar you pay in federal taxes, how much do you think you get in services?"
Hurley:  "Probably a dime."
      
"I think I pay too much actually," Roseanne Chesbrough of Woburn said.  "I don't like losing money.  I don't like giving my money away."
Hiller:  "Is that what taxes are to you?  Giving your money away?"
Chesbrough:  "Yeah, that's what I think."
Hiller:  "What about the good things your taxes go for?"
Chesbrough:  "What good things?"

Hiller:  "Do you think the taxes you pay are fair?"
Marcilio Malvar said, "No.  Some people  don't pay taxes, that's why."
Hiller: "Because they don't make enough money, or because they just don't pay?"
Malvar:  "They just don't pay."

Last year, an estimated 43 percent of American households, about 70 million homes, paid no income tax.  Most of the non-payers were poor or elderly, but not all.

"I haven't paid taxes in about 7 years," Mike said.
Hiller:  "And why is that?"
Mike:  "Uh, I prefer to work under the table.  I don't like to give Uncle Sam anything they didn't earn."
Hiller:  "So you're admitting to a crime."
Mike:  (looks around) Gotta go!"
Hiller:  "But your name, you didn't tell us your name."
Mike:  "Mike."
Hiller:  "Mike what?"
Mike:  "Mike from out of town."

Your instincts covered so much ground, I'm not sure there are any views on taxes that weren't mentioned.  But if you had one, and didn't let us know, don't worry.  You can tell us next year at tax time.   
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