When I lived in England I openly laughed at their screen-door tax, white-picket fence tax, outdoor-spigot-for-a-hose tax, and even a television tax - you weren't allowed to steal the Queen's airwaves. Trip-Trap, trip-trap, trip-trap went Big Billy Goat Gruff. The whole Boston Tea Party and Sheriff of Nottingham were suddenly very real and very current.
And while we certainly have our share of death and taxes in America (I actually wondered on a news alert that said Texas executed its 500th inmate whether they meant since the beginning of time, or just so far this year), what we haven't had is a history of crushing taxes without due process.
So our city councilmen and women, congressmen, and senators have been proposing something with far less baggage than taxes. Fees! Fees are okay :) Fees are expected, and friendly. You wouldn't want to not pay a nominal fee would you? Fees for this and fees for that. Sure it all adds up, but its not like its a tax, right?
Wrong. Its a tax under the guise of a different name.
So when my renter in Anna called about a leaky hot water heater, I got a reference and called to see about it getting replaced. The guy actually started with the new "permit" Anna required. I thought to myself, "Waterheater permit? That's odd." Until he told me how much the permit was - then it made perfect sense: Money. The Sheriff of Nottingham sits on the Anna City Council and robs from the poor.
Tax. To replace your waterheater. I also appreciate the thoughtfulness that I don't really have to worry about paying this tax until I am already burdened by the cost of parts and labor. The only bright-stop in this $1400 hell was my plumber, a local named Robby at Genzel Plumbing. Awesome tech, really appreciated him.
The house goes on the market July 17th.