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Pedestrians cross North Street downtown. MovEBR sales tax collection began on April 1 with syncing traffic lights likely to be the first thing for which the city-parish will use the tax money.

I keep hearing about increasing certain taxes, like the recent gas tax, or a business tax, or a restaurant tax, etc. Does anyone really believe that the "entities" that are targeted really pay the taxes?

All taxes start at the very beginning of the chain and are passed on to the next link in the chain. For example, the raw materials supplier is totally free to add all of its taxes when the materials are sold to the manufacturer. The manufacturer can add its tax when its product is sold to the wholesaler. The wholesaler includes its tax to the next rung up the ladder, say, the distributor who adds the tax to the retailer purchasing it. When you purchase any item marked $5, do you pay $5? No, you pay about $5.50 (in Baton Rouge) to pay that business's tax for that item.

EBR spending rises .02% in May

When the plumber presents you with his itemized bill, you will see "labor," "parts" (and any other charges), and at the bottom you will see "tax"; you are paying his tax for him. If you look on the side of the gas pump, you will see a sticker that reads "price includes all applicable taxes"; you are paying that oil company's tax for it. If taxes are increased at a restaurant, you can bet your last dime your next meal won't cost the same as your previous one. If your landlord's utility taxes are increased, you better be prepared to see a note on your door soon. Even professionals (like doctors and lawyers) who don't itemize will definitely add their tax to the "professional fee."

Am I knocking all businesses and professionals (as everyone reading this is assuming)? Not at all. Every practice I have just described is totally legal, totally ethical, totally accepted as the fair American way. All I am saying is — only the final, end-of-the-line, the-buck-stops-here, no-more-links-in-the-chain, no-more-rungs-on-the-ladder, retail purchaser pays taxes.

Harold Mayeux

retired medical and chemical laboratory technologist

Baton Rouge