The Case for a Single Tax Rate

Each year, on the third Tuesday of November, the Worcester City Council goes through
the ritual of setting the tax rate for the fiscal year that began on the previous July 1. In
determining the rate, the Council debates how far to use the “tax classification” system to
raise property taxes on businesses so as to minimize the burden on homeowners. Some
justify charging higher rates to businesses on the ground that they can afford to pay tax
increases more easily than homeowners can. (A skeptic might respond that the real point
is that homeowners vote, while businesses don’t.)