William Phelps

Since there are no exemptions and no tax shelters under the fair tax, there would be no work for the tax lobbyists in Washington who currently manipulate the income tax for the special interests.

Because the fair tax includes the prebate reimbursing on the necessities of life, there is no need for exemptions.

Fair tax is not based on any existing system, but was developed based on original research by leading institutions and economists on the charge to develop of the best tax system for the federal government.

Q: Does it apply to non-profits?

No, it applies only to the purchase of new goods and services for personal consumption. There are no business to business taxes. Because the imbedded corporate income taxes, other income taxes, payroll taxes and compliance costs in the price of all goods and services under the income tax are repealed by the fair tax, purchases by non-profits will cost about 20-22% less than today.

Q: Are used goods taxed?

No. Goods are taxed only once when first sold for personal consumption. The differential between new and used property will be about the same in the market place as it is today, because the fair tax does not add to the cost of new property, but replaces the imbedded taxes of approximately the same rate. Only new replacement parts would be taxed if a used product is rehabilitated.

Q: What about transition?

It will be smooth and will not cause a rush to buy as Bowyer asserts because the total costs paid for goods and services will be about the same the day before and the day after the fair tax becomes effective. Bowyer seems to have the erroneous idea that the fair tax increases to price on new goods. It doesn't because the imbedded taxes are eliminated of approximately the same percentage on the average. There would be a one time credit issued to retailers for the imbedded taxes on inventory on the effective day of the fair tax so that inventory would not be double taxed.

Q: Isn't it that the rate is not really 23% but 30% at least, because it's tax inclusive?

Bowyer doesn't understand that inclusive and exclusive ways of computing rates don't change the dollar amount of the tax. Either way the tax is the same $23 per $100. Computed the same inclusive way as the income tax, the fair tax is $100 -$23 = $77. Computed the exclusive way it is $23 divided by $77. =30%. If you computed the income tax on the exclusive basis, the 25% bracket would be the 33% bracket, or $25 divided by $75 =33%. Either way it is the same $25 tax per $100.

Q. How do we determine interest rate portion of the mortgage?

Just as now, the market rate is the interest rate, but market interest rates will fall to the level of tax free bonds today which will make it easier for home buyers who will be paying the purchase price in pretax dollars, rather than after tax dollars under the income tax. The borrower and lender will continue to state the interest rates in the debt instruments, but this is irrelevant to how the home would be taxed.

The fair tax applies to the purchase price of the home, if it is new. If the home price is stated artificially below market value and the interest rate artificially higher than market rates as Bowyer envisions, then it would constitute tax evasion. Reputable home builders would not be tax evaders subject to criminal penalties for tax evasion and reputable lenders and borrowers would not be willing to participate in a conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

Bowyer should go to www.fairtax.org and become informed about the fair tax.

William Phelps

Bill Phelps was elected Lieutenant Governor of Missouri in 1972. He now works as a national spokesman for the FairTax.