Are Crazy Taxes Just a Way of Life?

Problem #44: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes, and More Crazy Taxes.

I don’t think this PROBLEM needs much explanation. In general taxes are a pain in the  . . . . but if you don’t pay . . . well, you know what could happen. I don’t know about you, but I strongly dislike taxes in all forms. Especially what I call – crazy taxes.

It’s just frustrating at times to see the difference between my paycheck and what actually gets deposited into my bank account. And then to pay more for a product because . . . taxes. And then there’s the crazy taxes.

But taxes are a part of life. Some are expected, others just seem . . . crazy. But I digress.

No Taxation Without Representation

usa sign

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. The day we celebrate our Independence Day. With cookouts, fireworks, and parades. We celebrate the brave men and women who stood up to tyranny and shaped our country. chants softly . . . U. S. A, U. S. A.

And what a great country it is . . . still . . . even today we are blessed to call the United States home. I personally am grateful to those who sacrificed for my freedom, and for those who currently serve.

One of the reasons for the Revolutionary War was that the colonists felt that the taxes imposed on them by England were unfair, and that they had no representation in parliament. For example, the Boston Tea Party was a reaction to one of these “unfair taxes” on tea.

You didn’t think that the Boston tea party was a group of women in Boston sitting around a table sipping tea did you?

“No taxation without representation” was their (not the Boston women, I’m talking about the men who poured tea in the harbor) cry, as they demonstrated their contempt for the tax. Many took up the “cause”. They certainly felt the sting of outrageous and crazy taxes.  So they fought for the right to have representation in a government that imposed those taxes upon them. They fought for our freedom. So now, we at least have a say, no matter how small, in the taxes we pay.

Taxes are a Part of Life

I fully understand that taxes are necessary, and that our tax revenue (is it really revenue?) pays for a myriad of social programs, infrastructure, and defense. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to limit your tax exposure when possible. Unfortunately you can’t wiggle out of all taxes. So how many different taxes do you pay?

Of course there’s income tax (Federal, State, Local – depending on where you live), sales tax, and property tax. And all these vary by situation, income, and location.




But there are other taxes as well. Like . . . a tax on gasoline. I think most of us are familiar with this one too. But did you know that Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the nation at 58.4 cents/gallon! And diesel is even worse at 74.7 cents/gallon. For comparison, the federal gas tax is only 18.4 cent/gallon. So when you add the federal and state gas tax together, we pay 76.8 cents just in taxes for every gallon of gasoline purchased here in PA!! We’re headed toward crazy taxes territory if we’re not there already.

But wait, there’s more . . .

Local “Head Tax” = Crazy Taxes

I thought I understood at least most of the taxes I pay in here in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But there is at least one local tax I wasn’t aware of.

I received in the mail the other day a letter informing me that I would be forced to pay a “head tax”, sorry – an occupational assessment. This tax is only $20/year. But it is levied on all persons over the age of 18 that live in my township. Just for the “privilege” of existing in this township, you have to hand over a cool twenty-dollar bill once a year. If you don’t – who knows? Jail or fines?

Just to have a head? Lunacy! Just to exist! What has our government come to?

taxes

I know my township/state is not alone. There are other crazy taxes being imposed on Americans. Just check this out (from Turbotax).

  • Illinois taxes candy that does not contain flour at 5.25%! If it contains flour, it’s instead considered food.
  • New York taxes prepared bagels at 8 cents a pop. Slicing a bagel makes it “prepared”. If you slice it and spread your cream cheese yourself, you save $0.08.
  • In New Mexico you pay state income taxes until you turn 100. After that, it’s smooth sailing. -this isn’t crazy I guess.
  • In Colorado, non-essential packaging is subject to a 2.9% tax. For example, a coffee cup for your coffee is considered essential, but a lid is not. So you can save by keeping the top off.

These taxes seem unreasonable to me. Are they to you? Is there no other way to balance the budget than to impose crazy taxes such as these? Was this what the founders had in mind as they fought and died for our freedom? I don’t think so!

What Can We Do?

Vote! Vote! That’s one of the freedoms this country was established upon, and to not vote is just irresponsible. If you can vote, you need to vote.

You can also let your local and state politicians know your opinion about specific bills or issues. Make your voice heard. You can call or write. The links below are a good starting point for State Representatives and Senators.

For now, I plan on paying the head tax, even though I think it’s crazy. After all it is only $20. But let me be clear, I think this tax is absolutely ridiculous.

But you can be sure that I vote, and I will continue to vote. Taxes such as these are an example of the laziness and incompetence of government in general. Can you say, Stop Spending?

What crazy taxes are you required to pay? Let me know in the comments.

-Chris

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6 Comments

  1. I use to live in PA and I agree the township taxes are especially nutty. It always seemed like the townships spending was a bit out of control given their responsibilities to boot. Ten brand new cop cars every year for an area of maybe 5k people when I was a kid. We moved to a cheaper state.

    • Thanks for stopping by.
      I wish they’d use the money to fix some of the roads, but until someone breaks an axle . . . . oh well.

    • I feel like we are nickel and dimed to death by all the little taxes. And not a lot to show from it at a local level.
      I’m all for reducing the amount of taxes I pay. There doesn’t seem to be much recourse with this particular township tax though.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hahahaha this was too funny. Seattle has this thing called democracy vouchers (so dorky sounding) and our property taxes pay for it, they mail us 4 paper democracy dollars and we vote. The idea is to make it a fair vote without big money…. No one (not even us) sent it in. 20% of the vouchers mailed it in. 18% from one person who had big money and brought a bunch of vouchers from people who couldn’t care less.

    Hahahaha the same old game.

    • Hmmm, democracy vouchers? And how did they decide to send 4 of them?
      What kinds of things were they voting on? Anything important? So many questions.
      That’s certainly one I had never heard of.
      Thanks for sharing.

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