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"I don't hate socialism! I just want a way out!"
In 1995, there were 43,000 farm units with an average size of 13.5 hectares. 19.8% of these were smaller than 1 hectare, 75.7% were 1 to 9 hectares in size, 3.3% were between 10 and 49 hectares, 0.4% were between 50 and 190 hectares, and 0.8% were larger than 200 hectares. Of the 380,000 hectares under cultivation in 1995, 20.8% was under permanent cultivation and 79.2% under rotating cultivation. Farm units included 160,000 hectares used for activities other than cultivation. Cultivation was based mainly in the northern coastal plains, the hills of the interior, and the upper Jordan Valley.
Taxable income is total income less allowable deductions. Income is broadly defined. Most business expenses are deductible. Individuals may also deduct a personal allowance (exemption) and certain personal expenses, including home mortgage interest, state taxes, contributions to charity, and some other items. Some deductions are subject to limits.
Capital gains are fully taxable, and capital losses reduce taxable income only to the extent of gains. Individuals currently pay a lower rate of tax on capital gains and certain corporate dividends.
Example of a tax computationIncome tax for year 2011:
Single taxpayer, no children, under 65 and not blind, taking standard deduction;
$40,000 gross income – $5,800 standard deduction – $3,700 personal exemption = $30,500 taxable income
$8,500 × 10% = $850.00 (taxation of the first income bracket)
$30,500 – $8,500 = $22,000.00 (amount in the second income bracket)
$22,000.00 × 15% = $3,300.00 (taxation of the amount in the second income bracket)
Total income tax is $850.00 + $3,300.00 = $4,150.00 (10.375% effective tax)
Note that in addition to income tax, a wage earner would also have to pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) (and an equal amount of FICA tax must be paid by the employer):
$40,000 (adjusted gross income)
$40,000 × 4.2% = $1,680 (Social Security portion)
$40,000 × 1.45% = $580 (Medicare portion)
Total FICA tax = $2,260 (5.65% of income)
Total Federal tax of individual = $6,410.00 (16.025% of income)
The standard deduction, as defined under United States tax law, is a dollar amount that non-itemizers may subtract from their income and is based upon filing status. It is available to US citizens and resident aliens (for tax purposes) who are individuals, married persons, and heads of household and increases every year. It is not available to nonresident aliens residing in the United States. Additional amounts are available for persons who are blind and/or are at least 65 years of age. The standard deduction is distinct from personal exemptions, which also are available to all taxpayers and dependents. As one may not take both itemized deductions and a standard deduction, taxpayers generally choose the deduction that results in the lesser amount of tax owed.
When Congress enacted Section 151 of the Internal Revenue Code, it did so believing that a certain level of income, “personal exemptions”, should not be subject to the federal income tax. Congress reasoned that the level of income insulated from taxation under §151 should roughly correspond to the minimal amount of money someone would need to get by at a subsistence level (i.e., enough money for food, clothes, shelter, etc.). The amount listed in §151 (see below), even adjusted for inflation, may seem inadequate for a taxpayer to subsist on. It is important to remember however, that in addition to personal exemptions, taxpayers may claim other deductions that further reduce the level of gross income subject to taxation.
Generally speaking, taxpayers may claim a personal exemption for themselves, §151(b), and their qualifying dependents, §151(c). A personal exemption may also be claimed for a spouse if (1) the couple files separately, (2) the spouse has no gross income, and (3) the spouse is not the dependent of another, §151(b). For taxpayers filing a joint return with their spouse, the IRS Regulations allow two personal exemptions as well, §1.151-1(b).
In computing their taxable income, taxpayers may claim all personal exemptions they are eligible for under §151, and deduct that amount from their adjusted gross income. The size of the personal exemption a taxpayer may take each year is adjusted for inflation.
4. What types of rating structures can councils use?
The largest component of the charges on your rates notice is general rates. General rates may be based on property value alone or based on a combination of property value, and a fixed charge (flat rate).
The council will set a “rate in the dollar” (or several differential rates in the dollar, one of) which is then applied to your land (and added to a fixed charge, if any) to calculate the amount of general rates for the year. The phrase “rate in the dollar” means a percentage of the property value. A council could apply no fixed charge and would apply the same rate in the dollar to all land. However, many councils, mindful of balancing the principles of taxation, choose to make some variation to this basic strategy. The options for variation may include one or more of the following:
•Differentials between categories of land (differential general rates)
•A fixed charge; or a
•Adjustments for specified values
1. Differential Rates
Councils may choose to apply different rates in the dollar for:
(a) Different land uses within their area, or for
(b) Different localities within the area, or for
(c) A combination of both locality and land use, as follows.
a) Land uses
There are nine different land uses that councils can differentiate between. They are:
2.Commercial - shop
3.Commercial - office
4.Commercial - other
5.Industry - light
6.Industry - other
The definition of each category is set out in detail in the Local Government (General) Regulations 1999 (at regulation 10).
Locality means either a zone (defined in the Council’s Development Plan) or whether land is inside or outside a particular named township, or both. For example, a council might set one differential rate for all land in a (named) town, a second differential rate for all land in a second (named) town, and a third differential rate for all other land. Alternatively a council might set one differential rate for a Town Centre zone, a second differential rate for land in a Flood Plain zone; and a third differential rate for all other land.
c) Combination of land use and locality
For example, a council might declare one rate for all residential land inside a (named) town, another differential rate for all residential land outside any town, a third differential rate for commercial land in its Town Centre zone, a fourth differential rate for industrial land inside towns, a fifth differential rate for industrial land outside towns, and so on.
Property rights are the basis of all other rights. With 10% private property in land and virtually 0% private property in minerals, it is obvious that freedom and enterprise in Australia rest on very insecure foundations indeed.
In a country like the United States, where the right to property is placed above the law, where the sole function of the public police force is to safeguard this natural right, each person can in full confidence dedicate his capital and his labor to production. He does not have to fear that his plans and calculations will be upset from one instant to another by the legislature. -Frederic Bastiat (1850)