Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taxes Taxes Taxes

We live in a new era where governmental organizations at all levels are encroaching ever more aggressively for the capital and time of the private sector in order to fund their programs.

A few personal examples:

  • My recent T-Mobile bill included a note about a 40 percent increase in a Regulatory Programs Fee that it passes to its customers, that will cost me $12 more per year per line. I have three lines on my account, so that adds up to $43.56.

T-Mobile says its a 'fee we collect and retain to help us recover the costs associated with funding and complying with a variety of government mandates, programs and obligations, such as enhanced 911 programs, number portability, and governmental requirements concerning the construction and operation of our network.'

I also pay another $15.67 in taxes against $120 in T-Mobile charges on my monthly bill. So, my total mobile phone taxes are $19.30 or roughly 10 percent now.

  • Now, on to the state of Louisiana. I employ one person on a part time basis in Louisiana. My first payroll for her was in October 2008, the fourth quarter of 2008.

I've already had to deal with two errant money grabs from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. First they sent me a bill saying I owed $250 for unemployment insurance for the third quarter of 2008. The problem was that I did not have an employee payroll in the third quarter. I had to take time out of my business life to contact my payroll processor and ask about this problem and then after researching it on their end they advised me to call the Workforce Commission and tell them that their billing was in error. I called and the Workforce Commission acknowledged their error and reversed it. But the question is whether they just assumed I had not paid the third quarter installment and billed me so as to get the money. What if I'd paid the money? Would I have gotten it back once the mistake was discovered? Or was this an attempt to get me to pay it in hope that I'd just look over their mistake and assume it was right?

Then a few weeks later I receive another correspondence from the Louisiana Workforce Commission telling me I needed to start paying benefits for a person who I supposedly had laid off. Problem was that I'd never had that person in my employ. So again, calls were made to the LWC and faxes sent and hopefully the problem has been resolved. We'll see. All the while, I'm out about 4 hours in terms of lost productivity in taking care of these issues.

My point here is simply that all levels of government are going to be actively scrounging for tax revenues in any way they can get it because the are seeing huge shortfalls in their normal revenue generation operations. Keep an eye on them and protest at every possible turn. It will keep them tied up from doing more damage.

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