I like living where I live because it’s a safe and stable country, no dickhead of one of our neighbouring country thinks about or even attends to invade us. It’s also good to live here because you can go to a doctor without paying anything, if you have a serious disease you get the full treatment to recover soon — without paying any additional Euro. You can send your kids to all kind of schools and universities, where they could make their degree without having a shitload of tuition and working the next 10 years just to pay back their fucking university debts. I don’t need a car because we have a thousands of kilometres of public transportation network here, connecting busses with trams, and metros with trains. I have access to that wonderful service by just paying € 1 per day. If I’d lose my job, I’d get € 1.400 per month for a couple of months as an allowance. Even if you don’t find a job for ages, you’d get at least “a little anything” (I think that needs oriented guaranteed minimum is something around 800 Euros per month you’ll receiving from state). If you’re 65 years old you could retire today and receive for the rest of your lifetime an amount, depending on your last income and the amount you paid during your working life — that should also be applicable for future-me, but it’s not really hard to see the fact, that this could not work. Less babies + longer life expectancy = bad pension outlook for everyone who is younger than 40 years old.
Therefore, I and every single Austrian (respectively persons, who live here even when they’re not of Austrian citizenship), living in that country, pay taxes. Last year, for example, I earned close to 81.000 Euro pre-tax, I cost my employer 100.000 Euro, because roughly 1/3 of my salary has to be paid by my employer for payroll taxes. Me personally I had to pay roughly 31.000 Euros in taxes and social security fees. And of course I also pay taxes when I buy food, go to the cinema, visit the hairdresser, pay my rent, get some dividends, etc. I don’t know exactly how much, but I guess that I had to pay at least 10.000 Euro in taxes for products, services and goods for which I paid 25.000 Euros in total. Summing up that figures, “my” share on the government’s tax-income was (maybe) 60.000 Euros. Not peanuts, but you cannot construct a single kilometre of a highway with that amount or treat a cancer patient with a 2-year chemotherapy.
I have no problem with paying taxes, because I think it’s a really good thing if a country has a solid infrastructure, a social reliable structure and can provide all kind of good things like medical treatments and schools to people who earn not enough money to pay for that on their own.
But from time to time I feel kidded. Like these days.
The two governing parties decided to make a tax reform. They want to save 5 billion Euros and distribute that amount through less income tax to us people. Not a bad approach acutally. Unfortunately they didn’t decide to make a reform of governmental administration (e.g. evaluate if Austria really like a dozen of public health insurances, or nine federal states with nine governments and hundreds of districts which also have a local government, etc.)
One of the points financing that tax reform is the increase of taxes on dividends and capital gains tax by 2.5 % basis points from 25 % to 27.5 %. I don’t have a big problem with the fact that the government is trying to make it harder for individuals to create wealth. It’s the plain ignorance that this tax increase is “a part of the rich people to realize that tax reform”. In such discussions the phrase “middle class” is often used. According to our politicans, owning stocks is just for rich people. Instead of incentivise and encourage people to take care of their financial future, they penalize this middles class people and stigmate them as “rich” and doing politics with that. Yes I earn a good chunk of money and I am in the lucky situation that at the end of month I still have some money remaining which I could invest. And yes, single moms, earning 1.100 Euros after-tax are not able to invest in stocks because they couldn’t barely live on their income. The government doesn’t have the foresight that the state cannot take care of all people’s pensions in the next decades. And the government doesn’t manage to create circumstances for people — all people: rich people, the ones who earn good money, the ones who earn less money — to invest in stocks. And that sucks! Because in the end the really rich people receiving millions in dividends pay – theoretically – the same tax rate as I do with an income from dividens of € 2.000. In reality someone who’s really rich and earning millions (or even some hundred thousands) through dividends has probably his own trust and pays just the half in taxes (now: 13.75 %).
I’ll invest my money in future as well, even if the taxes on dividends and capital gains would increase to 30 % or 35 %, which was a first proposal from the reigning parties. But it really makes me sad that nobody in that country is able to understand, that this is obviously the wrong way.