It’s not possible to do much about income taxes, or the taxes we’re forced to pay on “our” property in order to maintain the fiction we – rather than the government – “own” it. These taxes eviscerate the “freedoms” which “the troops” are purportedly fighting for and make a mockery of the annual summer celebration whose name I will not mention – much in the same way that sitting on Santa’s lap and dragging a pine tree into the living room makes a mockery of another day.
As the late great social critic George Carlin once put it, you have the freedom to chose Coke – or Pepsi. Chevy – or Ford. And that’s pretty much the extent of your freedoms. What “the troops” are fighting for is something rather different. You might consult Smedley Butler (see here) to learn about the what.
But there are ways of fighting back – without actually fighting. That – actually fighting – would be stupid at this point, in the same way that it would be stupid for most of us to get into the ring with Brock Lesnar. I’ve come up with a better way – a passive way.
Let forgetfulness be your ally.
And – use their own “laws” to your advantage.
I simply stopped renewing/paying the “registration” fee (another of the state’s euphemisms for “tax,” which is itself a euphemism for legalized theft) they insist I “owe” each year, endlessly, in order to maintain the fiction that the vehicles I paid for are actually mine to own and operate. This keeps roughly $60 per year, per vehicle in my pocket – which adds up when you have several vehicles, as I do. Several of these mostly sit. And of course, I can only drive (or ride) one at any given time. Yet, they expect me (and you) to pay, pay, pay just the same.
And here’s some good news: Unlike declining to pay the income or property tax, “forgetting” to renew vehicle registration won’t put your life in peril. The very worst that may happen is that one of the state’s collectors of revenue (i.e., a cop) will notice an out-of-date registration and issue you a befehl – and order to pony up what you “owe.” You will – usually – not be caged or killed for this “offense.”
If you’ve managed to avoid paying the tributum for several years before you’re noticed, the math adds up in your favor – particularly in the case of people who have multiple vehicles. The cop might notice the one you happen to be driving that day – but the others are safe, assuming they are in your garage and away from prying eyes.
Just be sure to keep your insurance up to date – as there are severe repercussions for “forgetting” to renew that. And, they actively check. With out of date tags/registration, you may be able to go years without a worry.
Or, go “antique.”
In some states – my home state, for instance – one can buy permanent registration Antique Vehicle tags for a car that is 25 years old or older. There is no annual registration renewal fee. The tags are valid (i.e., your permission slip is good) in perpetuity.
Even better, in most cases, vehicles with “Antique” tags are exempted from the obnoxious rigmarole required of everyone else – you know, being forced wait on line once a year and then hand over “your” car to a stranger with an air gun and greasy paws, so that he can “inspect” it for “safety” and “emissions.” After which you “owe” him another $20 or whatever the “fee” happens to be.
Get antique plates and you’re free of this albatross – legally free.
There is a catch, of course. Technically, you’re not “allowed” to drive a vehicle with “Antique” tags on a regular basis; e.g., as your daily to-work-and-back car. But as a practical matter, it is pretty easy to bob and weave the law. Just avoid driving the same route regularly – and be on the lookout for the revenue collectors (i.e., cops). And of course, don’t drive a Panther Pink AAR ‘Cuda, either. Go for something low profile that will blend into the crowd.
Or, just get “Farm Use” tags.
These are even better tags than “Antique” tags, for two reasons: First, they allow you regular use – ostensibly, “to and from the farm, to pick up farm supplies” – and so on. Second, they fit better if the vehicle is old and beat up, an old beat up truck, especially. And what qualifies as a “farm”? It can be as little as a backyard vegetable garden or chicken coop. Anything that is plausibly agricultural. You use the vehicle to pick up/deliver seeds or plants, or bedding for the chickens, or eggs – and so on. Work it.
As with “Antique” tags, “Farm Use” tags may require as a condition of obtaining them that you have another vehicle that’s registered normally. But – inside tip – the “vehicle” can be a motorcycle. Or even a scooter. A 1982 Honda CB550 is as much a “vehicle” – as far as the law goes – as a 2014 Honda Accord. But guess which one costs less to register (and insure)…. ?
Speaking of old cars – driving one (antique-tagged or not) is a fantastic way to dodge – or at least, greatly reduce – the fleecing you’d otherwise face for the privilege of being allowed to temporarily possess and operate a new car. If you live in a state that has a “personal property tax” on motor vehicles. This is typically assessed annually – and based on the current retail market value of whatever you happen to be driving. If you happen to be driving a brand-new $40,000 SUV, you could dunned for several hundred dollars every year, just because you happen to have a new(er) vehicle in the garage. This can easily amount to thousands of dollars over a period of several years.
If, instead, you go out and buy an older car – especially a “beater,” a downtrodden older car – your annual tributum will be much lower. And – here’s the good part – this tributum is not based on the actual condition (and thus, value) of your particular older car.
Do you see where I am going with this?
If you’re mechanically hip (unlike most Clovers) you could buy a distressed older car for a few hundred bucks (and pay next to nothing in sales tax, by the way) and then discretely fix it up in your garage. Even if you were to replace the entire drivetrain with brand-new components, restore the body and interior to as-new condition, as far as the cowheads at the DMV are concerned, it’s just an old whatever-it-is . . . and the tax will be the same (low) hit you’d pay for the same car in barely-operable “beater” condition.
We can’t fight them openly – yet – but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight them in our own way. Which brings up a story.
After World War II, a German general described the Wehrmacht’s fight against the Soviet Union as akin to a mighty elephant battling a horde of ants. The elephant might trample millions of “ants,” the general explained. But in the end, the ants will overwhelm him just the same.
It’s a lesson we “ants” could learn from.
Throw it in the Woods?
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