Tuesday, May 3, 2016

All those little charges do add up. Don't they?

Recently, I received my water bill and was confused. (Not an unusual condition for me to be in). This bill came from a small town called Forsyth located in southwest Missouri. (I would assume that it is typical of most water bills in other towns and burgs of similar size).

Now I think my little town has about 2,419 citizens with about 2.1 people living in each dwelling (source: http://www.city-data.com/city/Forsyth-Missouri.html). That means about 1200 homes, give or take, pay water bills whose amounts depend on some formula developed by some bureaucrat some time ago. Following is a section taken from Forsyth's web page (http://www.cityofforsythmo.com/page9.html)....

My questions are simple - 1) What formula was used to justify the cost of the infrastructure and its expansion and maintenance? 2) What do the Primary fee and sewer fee cover and why are they there? and 3) Where do the taxes go? Why are they even there?

Being a simple man, I am almost always perplexed at how we humans seem to make a game out of what and how we charge our fellow humans. (The problems starts at the top of the pile with the IRS. The federal internal revenue code is 2,412,000 words long and federal tax regulations are7,655,000 words long. And this does not include the substantial body of tax-related case law that is often vital to even fully understanding this unholy mess)! What we need and must do is to begin the work of making more simple that which is currently complex. And we can start that process at the local level with something as basic as a water bill!

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