Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Tax Refunds October 11, 2010

As in any election year, we’re hearing a lot about taxes and fixing our schools…and that got me thinking. I have no issue with paying taxes. I like that our government takes care of things like maintaining roads and bridges, supporting our armed services, providing social services, and running arguably the fairest judicial system in the world. And back in the days when I was certain kids were in my future, I didn’t see a problem with supporting public schools with my tax dollars. Now, however, I feel kind of cheated. Since I won’t be sending any kids to public school, I’m kind of pissed about having to support other peoples’ offspring. In fact, I’d like a refund.


Do you think it’s fair that childfree people have to contribute funds to public schools? And what did you invest in pre–LWB days for which you’d now like a refund?



Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on


7 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Tax Refunds”

  1. Sue Says:

    My husband actually brought this up recently after reviewing our tax bill. He was surprised to see how much of our taxes went to public schools and didn’t like that we had to pay it even though we had no children. I agreed.

    This post also reminds me of a something a former coworker had said a few years ago. He was angry he wasn’t getting as much back in taxes that year. He said the following year, with their new child credit they had gotten back more than they paid in taxes and this year the government got paid $100.00. He didn’t owe money, he just actually had to pay some taxes. Meanwhile, my husband and I who take out the max, plus additional moneys still ends up owing the government because we don’t get that child credit. I said to my coworker, “Well guess who’s paying you that extra money you didn’t pay in and who’s making up the difference to Uncle Sam? I AM!”
    I don’t mind paying taxes either, but It’s completely unfair to pay more than “families” and for things we don’t use.

  2. mina Says:

    we pay taxes for lots of things we don’t use. Social welfare, prisons, roads we don’t drive on, subvention to all sorts of things we don’t profit from. And we DO profit from the school system. Good education is good for the whole of society. You want your country to advance, culturally, technologically, socially? You need educated people for that. You don’t want to be threatened by unemployed, deprived young people turned into criminals? You need good education. You want whoever is selling you a service to be a person who is actually able to be clever about what they do, think for themselves and be able to understand you as a customer, read what you write to them and write to you to communicate? You need good education.

  3. lmanterfield Says:

    I don’t have a problem contributing to social services that I don’t use, including public schools. I figure our public education system needs all the help it can get and education shouldn’t be something only available to the wealthy.

    Where I do have a beef is with the tax credit for children. It does seem grossly unfair that people should get a tax break for reproducing. I like to believe that most people don’t consider this in their decision of whether to have children or not, but I may be just being a tad Alice in Wonderland about that.

  4. happynenes Says:

    I agree completely. I’m happy to pay for schools and things. I vote for school bonds every time! But I don’t think people who have kids should pay less than I do. Considering overpopulation and the impact a first world child will have on the environment, I certainly don’t think there should be any financial incentive to have more children. I smell a letter to our elected representatives, ladies. If anyone has a form letter, do share.

  5. Kate B Says:

    I don’t have too much of a problem with paying the school tax. It’s the same for people who send their kids to private schools. We support a good school system because, among other things, it increases our property values. We bought our home in the section of town with what is supposed to be tthe best elementary school – therefore our section is the most desirable. We expect that it will help our propert value. I never really thought about the tax credit much. What does bother me is that people with kids get more compensation from my employer than I do. Why? My employer pays about $19k for my medical insurance, and $24k for family insurance. I really pity the single person who is only getting a $9k benefit.

  6. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    Love our discussions! So insightful, and I always have my eyes opened to new perspectives. I agree supporting our schools helps all of society. I also bristle when I feel like I’m paying more than my share. Kate B, I had no idea about this other imbalance — employers giving more benefits to families. That should be money in our pockets!

  7. loribeth Says:

    I don’t mind paying taxes for schools. Public good & all that. But I do mind tax credits for parents. In Canada, there’s a tax credit offered if you enroll your kids in sports. I also get ticked off when I think of all the money I have paid over the years into employment insurance (which also funds maternity leaves in Canada). I will never be taking maternity leave, & they have made the rules so strict for EI that I have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever collecting it if I were to lose my job.

    On the positive side, my company did institute what it calls “flexbenefits” some years ago. Everyone gets credits to purchase whatever benefits coverage they want/need for themselves & their families, based on their salaries & whether they’re a smoker (if you smoke, medical coverage costs more). Inevitably, your credits only cover part of the cost, & you pay the rest through payroll deductions. There was a huge uproar when the switch was made, because obviously, if you have four kids, your benefits are going to cost more than if you’re buying just for yourself or for you & your spouse. IMHO, it’s infinitely fairer system.

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