I was wondering if anyone out there has had to do a unit on taxes, and if so are there any ideas or activities that you have done to increase students' interest in this area? I would appriciate any help that can be given! Thanks.
I have some ideas on activities but it depends on what area of taxation and what angle you want to approach this from. Property, income, payroll, unemployment, social security, excise, and sales tax are just the ones that pop right up when I think tax.
A good overall interest approach could be the an article about Gene Cranick in Obion County Tennessee. In early October 2010 his house caught on fire but he had not paid his out of service area fee required to receive fire protection from the City of South Fulton. Cranick lived outside the city limits and those who want fire protection in the county must fork over the "pay to spray fee".
Should the county just add this amount to the property tax bill? Should the firemen stand by and let a house burn because a man didn't pay his fee? Should homeowners or individuals be able to opt out of all taxes or government fees and waive the right to public services? Should the fee depend on the value of the property or should it be a flat fee? Speaking from experience of answering these questions in Masters level tax classes, the debate can turn otherwise normal human beings into irrational children. For many different sides of the argument no less. I do think this article is very representative of taxing in the United States and how difficult it is to draw the line of what is a suitable amount of taxation.
Let us know what areas you want to cover and I'll be glad to answer in more detail.
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