Monday, April 17, 2006

Fun With Taxes & Postage

This is my 100th post in this blog. I'm starting to get the hang of it...

Today I paid property taxes. They aren't terribly crushing here in the outback of Arizona. But they still complexiate me. I can understand county tax, school tax, and fire district tax. But I, located on a hill overlooking a dry wash full of new homes, I, must pay $4 for flood district taxes? Oh, it must be for that 10,000 year flood that may involve my property. And for my 40 acres in Northern Arizona I pay $2 for flood control too, even though that vacant land is on a hill overlooking a dry wash. For you non-desert types, a wash is a dry bed of a stream also known as an arroyo. It is more comfortable to say wash because the more romantic word arroyo is colorful but tough on the tongue which gets wrapped around my eye tooth and then I can't see what I am saying. What do you mean? Complexiate is not a real word? Well, why not? This is the income tax deadline date for most of the US, and if anything is complexiated, it is the IRS.

Overheard in the U.S. Post Office today: a customer saying to the clerk: "I don't want to give the government anymore than I have to." The federal government employee, the clerk, let that one slide. Smart move. He probably earns a lot more than she does. I tread on dangerous ground when it comes to the USPS though. I use the mail service a lot. I appreciate the security and generally good service they provide. And half my family was or is employed by the Postal Service: a brother, an uncle, 2 nephews and a niece. My sister dresses as a mail carrier for Halloween. And they still deliver on Saturdays! But why do they insist on such odd numbers for the letter rate? 37 cents, now 39 cents. 24 cents for an additional ounce. 84 cents to Australia, 63 cents to Canada. No wonder they must use computers to ring up your sale at the counter! Ah just kidding there. I know it is for auditing purposes and all that. I am sure the clerk can add 39 plus 24 in his or her head. But I still like to stick a few 3 cent, 5 cent, and 23 cent stamps on the envelope and see how long it takes him or her to figure out how much more postage I need. That is not as bad as the letter I once received that was covered in 1 cent stamps, up to the correct postage amount. And was delivered as usual. Let's just say that the letter was a result of frustration and complexiation.

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