Monday, July 27, 2009

Moral of the Story: Hidden Taxes Always Go Up

With today's update, this story is now in its fourth year of life:

I had to pay $19.62 today as an “annual assessment levied on New Jersey Employers by the New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development according to various statutes.” Talk about a hidden tax. Last year, when my assessment was about $9.00 (my first such assessment), my accountant advised me to “just pay it” since there’s nothing we could do about it.

This is infuriating. (1) I don’t like paying yet another tax (2) I don’t like paying yet another tax where my earnings are simply stolen and given to others (3) I don’t like that if this tax is going to be enacted, that it falls squarely on businesses to pay for people who are unemployed (4) I don’t like how the gov’t quietly enacts numerous little taxes so that none of them individually will get enough attention to block their passage, but taken together it’s a great cost and burden on us and on our economy. (5) I don’t like that I’m being forced to pay this with no opportunity to say, “No! I’m not paying this!" I wasn’t allowed to vote against it before it was enacted and I object to being forced to pay it. Sure, in theory it was enacted by the legislative branch, whose members I helped elect. And I had access to public records of bills and votes and therefore I was given an opportunity to voice my opinion. Unfortunately, political reality differs from political science. Funny how the insignificant $9.00 tax more than doubled in one year since nobody bothered to complain about it. Looking forward to next year’s letter.

UPDATE: Just received "next year's letter" and the tax went up almost 12 percent to $22.24.

UPDATE 2009: The tax went up to $24.37, another 9.5 percent.

UPDATE 2010: The tax went up to $25.37, a mere 4.0 percent increase.


Brian said...

We're about due for a little revolution, eh?

I suppose we don't get to have direct say in any tax changes. I wonder how many of these little add-on taxes it will take to get press coverage, then the majority of folks will notice and object. Or be ambivalent. Yeah, I'm going with the latter.

Swap out Shat & Ben for Neil & Alex in the picture and you've got Mt. MoreRush!

Paul said...

Ha, nicely done, Brian.
Direct say would require a democracy...but no need to care about the dying mass media, *this* is the new press coverage and we have assumed control!

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