Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

$$$ and All: Clinging to Control

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Something there is about making a list to keep the onerou$ little ta$ks under control… That, of course, would mean the onerous bookkeeping tasks that, given the reins, you would ignore until the planet freezes over.

What’s about it is that there’s something ridiculously satisfying about checking off chores, one at a time, as DONE!

The mountain of money paper that comes into this house beggars belief (to say nothing of beggaring me).

  • Five bank accounts
  • Four investment accounts
  • Four health insurance policies (Medicare, Medigap, Part D, long-term care)
  • And bills coming from more directions than I can reckon

87 berjillion bills came in to make life a little more miserable this month:

  • Property tax: raised over $200
  • Car registration: almost $400
  • Painter’s bill: three thousand buckolas
  • $260 power bill: holy sh!t
  • $153 water bill: holy sh!!t
  • Gerardo: $120 for working himself and his underlings half to death…

So it goes.

You can see why I hate doing the bills.

On the other hand, paying off the loathèd car loan in a bull market was smart. Very, very smart. When times are good, my guys can crank the money (and yeah, they are guys: if there’s a lady financial manager among them, they’ve kept her hidden from me). After ponying up $3,000 for the painter and something over 16 grand to pay off that effing loan, total net worth is barely down a few thousand bucks.

How do they do that?

Oh well: I guess that’s what I pay them for.

So that was encouraging.

Also encouraging: I’d allowed about $800 for the Venza’s 2018 Arizona registration — really, registration rates here are just exorbitant. But not, as it develops, that exorbitant: the bill, which came this month with less than 30 days’ notice to pay up or be cited, was “only” $386. So that adds about $34 a month to this year’s budget allowance…nice. I guess. One meal out, anyway. 🙂

Next year the amount will be lower: Arizona’s registration bills drop as your car ages. Part and parcel of our bat-brained legislators’ astonishing stupidity: cars pollute more as they age, and so it would make sense to give people a break for buying newer, more fuel-efficient and less polluting vehicles and to whack them for hanging onto the stinking junkers. Here, we always go in the opposite direction of common sense.

So this is the most difficult of the set of tasks to do today. Others:

  • Clean pool, re-install Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner. Dive in after he breaks loose from his hose, rescue him from the bottom, reattach, fix, get him going again.
  • Haul trash to the alley. Pick up dog piles as part of this joy.
  • Finally get around to ensconcing the Blue Barrel in its new home, out of my way in the garage.
  • Organize completed client journals’ essays; confer with bidness partner on rest.
  • Call handyman to come rebuild patio roof.
  • Re-install dog safety pillows in back of car.

Now for a nap before having to spring back to life for choir rehearsal. And so, away…

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Author: funny

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6 Comments

  1. I think the registration costs are tied to the fact that it’s seen as a tax of sort, and if people had to pay more and more for something that’s worth less and less over time, well you can maybe see where lawmakers might not be too keen on having that vote on their record.

  2. Much as I hate to see beaters on the road, the AZ registration schedule seems to make sense, and is progressive (in the tax sense of the word). Rich people buy new cars, so it’s an opportunity for a revenue grab from those who can afford it.

    Here in Communist Canada, most provinces have a flat rate per vehicle, and that rate is LOW – like $85 per year. And my particular province has the most beaters on the road of anywhere north of Mexico. So there’s no dis-incentive to replace your beater, or to limit the number of cars you register – almost everybody of any means has multiple vehicles per driver.

    Not saving the planet, at that rate.

    • Wow! Mine was $385. Even when I was driving a 17-year-old junker, it was never as low as $85.

      Arizona’s car registration rates are among the highest in the nation. And if you’re a snowbird — you’re here 6 months or more per year — it’s illegal to drive a car registered in your home state: you’re required to register the car here, even if you’re really just a visitor.

  3. one downside to states like Arizona where there is not state income tax is that other things have to cost money to compensate if they want to keep same level of government and social services. $400 is a crazy amount of money for car registration! We pay $70 in PA, and retirees pay $30 flat. But we do pay more for gas tax, which in my opinion, I’m cool with as it encourages people to a) drive less or b) get a more gas efficient car.

    I will agree with an earlier poster that because of cheap car registration, a lot of people do have a lot of cars, lol. My husband’s uncle has 4 cars registered in his name! Although now that he’s over 65, I think he gets the discounted registration rate for all of them.

    I also think with Arizona that water bills especially are going to get more expensive. I think any landlocked state without access to a water reservoir that doesn’t have problems with depletion (like Nevada’s Lake Mead) are going to be facing some serious water crises in the future. Although in PA, I’m sure with all the dang fracking, a lot of people in rural area where fracking is common (Central PA) may have issues with water cleanliness down the line if the EPA is essentially demolished.

    • No state income tax? That’s news to me… I wonder who I’ve been making all those annual payments to? And who gets the 10% sales taxes? And you realize that a substantial part of the property tax also goes to the state, not just the county…

      Interestingly, we have the highest sales tax burden in the country (https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2012/10/10/arizona-has-highest-sales-tax-burden.html). And it’s a regressive tax, in the sense that everybody has to buy food, clothing, and household goods, and most also have to buy gasoline and a vehicle. Rent is taxed. A paid-off house is taxed. Every which way from Sunday, here’s another tax coming at you.

      Last winter’s rains effectively ended the drought, so we’re told. Central Arizona Project has enough water stored to keep the urban areas going for quite awhile. Plus that’s just surface water: we also have ground water. Not that we have NO water worries, but it’s nothing like California’s.

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