Monday, April 11, 2011

Aerie Report, April 11, 2011

We enjoyed a taste of late spring/early summer today with the temperature soaring to 77 degrees this afternoon. It could have been higher, but we had clouds most of the day. Tonight we will see a cold front come through with some thunderstorms possible (75% chance according to AccuHunch). That means tomorrow will be back to near the average temperatures for this time of year: the mid 50s.

Terry and I took advantage of the warm weather to do some yard work. She picked up the stones I had plowed into the garden along the driveway while I raked leaves from around the flowering crocuses on the hill and pulled weeds (mostly blackberry canes) from the edge of the deck. I also cleaned up some leaning deadwood in the woods adjacent to the trail leading west into the field. Dangerous stuff those widow makers. The had to hit the ground. There are a few more to go but they will require the chainsaw and I was just using brute force today.


We got some other unpleasant, unavoidable business out of the way this morning as I wrote the checks for the IRS and PA. I don't feel badly about having to do so as it means we didn't provide a free loan to either Uncle Sam or Harrisburg. The former got about $700 from us and the latter got just $7.

Later this month I have to write another check for the town and county taxes on the Aerie's two pieces of property (7 vacant acres and 10 acres on which the home sits) plus something called a personal tax ($5 each) that total will be around $1500. The school taxes to be paid in the fall will be about the same. So, all totaled up, the property taxes here in PA--for the year--are about 1/2 what I pay on the Bolt Hole (where I can not, of course, vote on how they are spent) and about 1/4 what we would have paid in New Jersey.


Two things bug me around this time of year: 1-All the adds about tax refunds and 2-All the lawyer ads about how they can get your tax bill reduced to a fraction of what you currently owe.

The refund ads are either about how this or that company can get you the largest refund you deserve, or about how you can spend said refund for this or that (usually a car or a trip).

First off, I'd want a company to tell me how I can pay as little as possible to the government during the course of the year so as to keep my own damn money at home and not send it off as a free loan to the government. Then I wouldn't have to worry about being sure to get it back.

The second type of ad makes me wonder just how someone gets $20 or $30 THOUSAND dollars (or more--much more) in debt to the IRS in the first place. How did they screw up THAT badly? Or was it just Murphy's Law that put them in the hole? And, for added measure, if they really do owe that much, why would the government let them off the hook for a fraction of the debt without forcing them into bankruptcy? And, if they don't pay what they really owe, then wouldn't the rest of us have to pick up the slack?

I don't know. Maybe I just don't understand how the game is played. Perhaps I am naive in the way's of taxation. I know I get frustrated after looking for just five minutes at the forms and that instructions to file and that is why Terry does the filling out of the forms while I just write the checks.

Give me a simple little tax from that says something like: "1-How much did you make? 2- Send us 10% of the above." No deductions. No exemptions. EVERYBODY pays. Make a dollar? Send them a dime. Simple. No? No need for all the big companies that do taxes fro frustrated folks like me. We could eliminate over half of the IRS, cut the amount of paper needed to a tiny, tiny little fraction of what is used now--and it wouldn't have to be revised Every. Stinking. Year.

Nah. Never happen. Not enough opportunity for graft or cheating.


I intentionally did not put the bird feeders out today. I'm hoping the Common Redpolls get the message that it's time to head north. There were a few around today but only about a dozen or so. That's a huge drop from what we have been seeing. I'll keep the feeders in fro a couple of days just to provide more encouragement but then will put them out for the newly arrived Goldfinches and other resident birds. The migrants from the south should be arriving soon, too, and I wouldn't want the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings to pass us by. The hummingbirds should be showing up soon also so those feeders need to be filled and hung.

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

No objections to a flat tax here, either. For the record, Older Daughter, who made 13% of what my wife & I jointly earned, owes 3 times as much tax as we do, after the withholdings are calculated. She's not too thrilled, either.