Archive for the ‘Car’ Category

Cash In A Clunker, Pay The Tax Piper

August 26, 2009

When the government decided to redistribute up to $4,500 of taxpayers’ wealth to people who drive old cars, the owners of the “clunkers” jumped at the chance to get their cut. And why not? It’s free money.

Not so fast. You suckers should know by now that what one government giveth, another government taketh away.

Uncle Sam agreed to give your dealer cash so you could get that big discount on your car, but Aunt Virginia is going to take her cut from you by taxing that cash discount as income. And if your dealer doesn’t get you all of the proper paperwork in time, you’ll be paying interest and penalties, too.

Enjoy the ride.

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

A Century Of Tax Mischief

May 5, 2008

My Dad forwarded to me an e-mail that included this gem about all of the taxes conceived in the minds of politicians over the past century (the impact of several of them on just our family has been chronicled on this blog):

Accounts receivable tax
Building permit tax
CDL license tax
Cigarette tax
Corporate income tax
Dog license tax
Federal income tax
Federal unemployment tax
Fishing license tax
Food license tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline tax
Hunting license tax
Inheritance tax
Inventory tax
IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor tax
Luxury tax
Marriage license tax
Medicare tax
Property tax
Real-estate tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security tax
Road usage tax (truckers)
Sales taxes
Recreational vehicle tax
School tax
State income tax
State unemployment tax
Telephone taxes
— Federal excise
— Universal service fee
— Federal, state and local surcharges
— Minimum-usage surcharge
— Taxes on recurring and non-recurring phone charges
— State and local phone taxes
— Telephone-usage charge tax
Utility tax
Vehicle registration tax
Vehicle sales tax
Watercraft registration tax
Well permit tax
Workers compensation tax

The kicker to the e-mail: “Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?'”

Higher ‘Tag Taxes’ In Ohio

April 2, 2008

The Advocate, a newspaper that serves Newark, Ohio, thinks the city council should boost the “tag tax” imposed for licensing vehicles in order to improve the city’s roads.

Somehow I doubt the editors would be in such a generous mood if the council suggested a newsprint tax to, say, improve the local education system. Funny how attitudes change when the taxes get personal.

No Fuel For Washington’s Engine Tax

March 16, 2008

Good news from Washington state, where lawmakers occasionally resisted the tax-and-spend urge and represented the best interests of the people on (excerpted from a legislative recap in the Tacoma News Tribune):

Engine tax: SB 6900 would have required car and truck owners to pay an annual fee based on the size of their vehicle’s engine. Its mere introduction by Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Bellevue generated a widespread opposition campaign. It died without getting a hearing.

Universal health care: SB 6221 would have created universal health care in the state by replacing employer-provided health care with a payroll tax. Died in committee.

Catastrophic coverage: SB 6603 would have provided catastrophic care for the uninsured or underinsured, funded by a 1 percent payroll tax. Died in committee.

Paying For The Privilege Of Potholes

February 18, 2008

Reader Brian e-mails:

I was wondering if you were familiar with or know of those who have been burnt by the privilege of titling and licensing a car in West Virginia. When coming into WV from another state, you are required to pay 5 percent of the market value of your car in order to pay the licensing fees that allow you the honor of navigating the most treacherous roads in America.

When [my wife] Debra purchased her first car in Pennsylvania, not knowing the law in WV, she paid the sales tax for PA. Two weeks later when she moved to WV and went to get WV tags for her car, she was welcomed with a $500 privilege tax. Another fine example of money for nothing!

Yep, that sounds like something the bureaucrats in my home state would do.

I’ll bet it’s their attempt at collecting “use taxes,” those nasty penalties imposed on people (but rarely collected) who shop for tobacco and other goods across state borders because taxes are lower. That’s why so many brick-and-mortar store owners hate the Internet these days.

The Car Inspection Rip-Off

January 29, 2008

You may recall my recent post about the taxes we paid on our Toyota Sienna when we bought it a year ago this month. Well, that one-year anniversary means Aunt Virginia is waiting for another handout, this time in the form of the annual vehicle inspection.

There goes another 26 bucks down the bureaucratic drain.

I appreciate the rationale behind inspections. We don’t want people driving cars that are unsafe or unnecessarily pollute the environment. But in the quarter-century that I’ve been on America’s highways, I’ve only had a car fail inspection two or three times at most — and usually because I’ve been lax in getting the brakes changed or doing other regular maintenance. I’ve never had a serious problem revealed in an inspection.

So why do we have to go through the hassle every year? Do you really need to ask? The explanation is the same for fees like the annual inspection as it is for taxes: The government wants our money to work its fiscal madness.

Buy A Car, Go Without Food

January 27, 2008

This time last year, we took the plunge and bought a new minivan. The Oldsmobile Silhouette we had bought used from my parents had about 150,000 miles on it, so we jumped at the chance to lock in 0 percent interest on a new 2006 Toyota Sienna.

Our salesman reminded us of that purchase with a corny “anniversary” letter several days ago. The letter made me remember the tax sticker shock I had when we bought the car, so I dedided to relive the experience.

At a rate of 3 percent, we paid $692.04 in sales taxes. But that’s not all. There was also a $38.76 charge for the “dealer’s business license tax,” $34.50 for “government license fees” and $10 for “government certificate of title fees.”

The total tab for taxes and fees for a new car: $775.30. That’s enough to feed a family of four for two months or more, even with today’s inflation.