Teabag This

Accident response fee headed to Tennessee?  Possibly.  I know that our “wheel tax” in this county damn near doubled in the past few years.  Our property taxes went up roughly 20% in a single year, last year, while the value of our property went down. If I make improvements here, they will go up yet again.  I’ll never understand taxing a deck.

Anyway, this article reports on cities and counties finding themselves inventing new fees, and raising existing ones, to cover budget shortfalls.  Again, here in this tiny hamlet, if your dog escapes the yard and is picked up by animal control officers, it will cost 130 clams to post it’s bail.  This is inevitable, since we long ago lost the war of words regarding taxes and all that they do.

If the end result is that you wind up with less money to keep, what difference does it make what you call the process of removing it from you?     I guess its just not as sexy to drive around the County dog pound honking your horn like an idiot.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Teabag This

  1. democommie

    Mack:

    I recommend a solution. Not to solving the problem, but to giving a shit about it. Put Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” and “Closing Time” on a continuous loop and listen to it on your overtaxed deck while applying 35ml of 100% blue agave juice, every 15-2o minutes (for internal use only) until the pain recedes.

  2. I still consider our car registration fees a deal. In Los Angeles getting your car registered could cost $200 a year. Here it’s still a bargain, well under $100.

    I’m tired of being nickle and dimed to death, though. Just levy a fucking income tax and be done with it already, instead of death by a thousand (non-deductible) fees.

    Teabaggers love love love to protest taxes but they’re the first to scream when services are cut.

  3. In my county, Beale, it’s 130.00

  4. No taxation without equal representation. This mantra was embraced by our forefathers to combat the fees, taxes, & surcharges the Brits imposed on them. People need to be more self sufficient to reduce the costs that our government is imposing on all of us. The only thing is, all of the taxes and fees create jobs. What a catch-22, huh?

  5. Taxes, fees, surcharges, assessments, contributions, impositions, dutys, levys, fines, & tariffs all mean the same and they all suck.

  6. Haha, in LA county your LUCKY if your car costs you 200 or less.
    It costs 700-800 bucks to register a new car.
    Ten years later I’m down to about 180..

  7. My family is all up in tax-happy New York. I spoke with my mother over the weekend. She had bought her current house back in the 90s for $35,000 and has done damn little to fix it up.
    She said her property taxes would be about $4,000. The only thing that saves her is that she gets a credit for her age and a “veterans’ credit” from my father’s service.

    My sister lives in the middle of nowhere but has about 50 acres of forest. Her property taxes are about $8,000.

    But gee whiz, they have nice schools.

  8. Haha, in LA county your LUCKY if your car costs you 200 or less. It costs 700-800 bucks to register a new car.

    Well, I haven’t lived there for over 25 years. I guess I’m still stuck in 1980s prices. I can totally see that, though.

    So, Mack, quit yer whinin’! $130 is a steal!!!

    🙂

  9. $130 is a steal in multiple ways. We thought it was bad enough at $85 in Cheatham county – until we moved here, that is.

  10. democommie

    Exador:

    Next time you’re talking to your mother or sister, make sure you tell them that one of the reasons their state taxes are so high* is that they are getting less federal tax dollars back then they pay in–unlike such states as; AK, AL, AR, AZ,ID,KS,KY, LA,MO,MN, MS,OK,SC,SD,TN,UT,VA, WV & WY. **

    * Although NY is ranked 22nd of the 5o states, for average tax burden–behind such LOW TAX bastions of “rugged individualism” as AK, AR, KY, LA, MS, MT, NC, ND, OK, UT, WV and WY. (information from this webpage: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/07taxbur.html–Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis)

    **http://www.nemw.org/taxburd.htm–yeah, it’s four years old–but not nearly as old as your argument–and a bit more accurate.

  11. I’d tell her, but she (as with most people there) is pretty convinced that it’s because of the out of control teachers’ union. The teachers in NYS make great money and have excellent benefits and retirement.

    My aunt is a middle school teacher. She makes about $84,000/ year, not working over the summer. She’ll be retiring soon, at 50, and will get a $52,000/year pension for life, which according to my mother, is exempt from NYS taxes.

  12. democommie

    Exador:

    And that’s a bad thing?

    We pay cops and firemen pretty well, too (and LOTS of folks bitch about that, too). But then again, you can never tell when a teacher might go berserk and beat some student senseless because they argued with the teacher over a lesson plan or have a teacher working 4o or 50 hours a week at a second job, so they can make a lot more money–at the risk of not being at their best in their public safety job.

    Teachers are the whipping boys of a lot of folks. Meantime they are saddled with being life coaches, counsellors and referees in a lot of schools–in addition to trying to teach their students.

    I assume your aunt has at least a bachelors if not a masters degree; that she has at least thirty years in the system and that she’s good at what she does.

    So, what would be fair? No pension and health benefits for teachers? A minimum wage and “merit based” raises? No job security? I know I would not want my children’s education to be in the hands of someone who doesn’t get paid very well and has no hope of advancing beyond a pretty low payscale unless they leave doing a job they love. Yup, I always see the happiest, most dedicated folks in those dead-end jobs.

  13. Your argument is one step away from “How much would Jesus pay the teachers?” Sure, it’s a sweet deal, unless it’s bankrupting the system.

    In a town where beers are $1.50 and houses routinely go for <$100K, I’d say that’s a little on the generous side. Especially the retirement plan (which many upstaters believe is the real killer). If you can’t plan your own retirement with that kind of dough (remember they don’t work all summer, or could make extra money teaching summer school) than maybe you’re not smart enough to teach.

    Since you brought up firemen, there’s this gem:
    http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090322/NEWS01/903220344&template=printart

    Johnson City last spring adopted a contract that granted 41 percent raises to firefighters, a move that also included the expenditure of about $250,000 in retroactive pay. The Empire Center for New York State Policy, a watchdog group in Albany, gave the village and its fire union a dubious honor: “Most Generous Public Sector Contract in New York State for 2008.”

    In January, the village floated a bond issue of up to $830,000 to meet fire department payroll obligations.

    If you’ve been to JC, you’d know how ridiculous that payscale is.

    Taxes are bad when they are driving people away. You end up with a third world economy: only the very rich and the very poor. (Ask California)

  14. There has to be common ground here. Pension obligations do tax the system beyond its ability, but there must be a solution that allows for retirement for a lifetime of service.

    I agree Ex, about taxing the Middle Class into extinction…so lets set an arbitrary figure, say…100K, and ease the burden on those wage earners. Sure, 100K isn’t squat in Calif or New York, but in Tn and other States its a damn good living.

    All or nothing tax positions in this debate are ridiculous.

  15. All or nothing positions in every debate are ridiculous.

    There, Mack, I fixed it for you.

  16. Oh really? How about nude beaches? Hmmmmm?

  17. Taxes create jobs. It’s that simple. Without them, the line at the soup kitchen would be a whole lot longer. We have got to pay for all of these new programs most of us have been crying for. We can’t continue to borrow it from the Chinese and expect them to not want it back. Borrowing it also makes the value of our dollar plummet. Then again TAXES SUCK!

  18. We have got to pay for all of these new programs most of us have been crying for.

    Theres the rub, Concrete. To some, (like me) i think taxes should create the world’s best schools. To others, it means a military that can whup ass around the planet. Do we keep building outdated fighter jets to keep people working?

  19. Do we keep building outdated fighter jets to keep people working?
    No, Obama and congress need to spend that money with a little more thought. Impossible? They need to remember Americans are much more engaged with the people that we choose to lead. We are all tired of wasteful spending and will vote them out. They could kill 2 birds with one stone. Half of our problems can be solved with more money. The other half the American people are going to have to change. That is precisely what Obama envisions for us. Maybe its not a utopia, but it’s better than what we’ve had for the last decade.

  20. democommie

    Exador:

    Retirement and health benefits are, as you suggest, the killer in most contracts. It used to be that teachers, fire fighters and cops got a paycheck and nothing else. The benefits became part of the negotiations when companies and government decided to offer those items instead of better pay. The fact that health care costs have gone through the roof and the fact that a lot of teachers and other public employees put up with the 20 to 30 years of being vilified annually (or whenever they seek a new contract) and then have the bad judgment to live a lot longer, collecting their pensions and other benefits is just a consequence of short sighted thinking on a lot of folks’ parts.

    As for these people not being smart enough to teach. It looks like they’ve done a lot better in the past six months than all of the geniuses who have Harvard and Chicago U MBA’s!

    I get nothing in the way of a check or benefits these days, but I don’t begrudge the folks who’ve earned theirs. You want to talk about the lazy, chiseling bastards who’ve managed to come to work–and not do their job–well, on that we can agree.

  21. I went to a nude beach in CA once – by accident, but still… Only the guys were nude. It was a bummer for me.

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