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You wrote, I would also like to pay less taxes. Usually a state will find a way to get your money, either through property taxes, income taxes, sales tax, or some combination of these taxes and other taxes.

Sales taxes are a bit deceptive. Not every expense is taxed. Not all are taxed at the same rate -- ex: gas & phones. The Texas state sales tax rate is 6.25%. The Dallas area has an additional 2% local tax -- the maximum allowed by state law. But less than 1/3 of my gross income goes toward taxable purchases.

More burdensome are our property taxes. Property taxes are 2/3 of my local/state tax burden. Even so, that burden is less than 6% of my gross. Some states go as high as 11% on just the income tax. And just because they have an income tax doesn't mean they don't also have a sales tax.

In general, I think Texas government is relatively cost-effective. When I say realtively, I mean relative to the per-capita cost in other states. And at least half that money goes toward public education.

- Joel
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