Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nobody told me that.

It was news to me that my home state, Louisiana, is considered "tax friendly."

In fact, it's ranked #3 on the list of tax friendly states.

So, how come my property tax is way more than double the what they claim it usually is for a median house (and ours is very median, if not below), our sales tax is through the roof, and my younger kids who only work part time and don't make much pay income tax to the state even when they don't end up paying federal tax?

Maybe we are tax friendly, after all.  We certainly have the washboard roads, low education scores, and generally awful infrastructure to prove it.

The problem with me, i guess, is i've never seen throwing money at problems solve anything.  In fact, the opposite, it just leads to more graft and corruption.  For example, one municipality's public transportation bus  system was in trouble.  In fact, because everyone who possibly can owns their own vehicle and avoids public busses like the plague, it's always in trouble.  It went to the city and begged for tax money to help keep it open, making huge promises.  Otherwise it would have to raise fares, which would be very hard on the working poor who rely on it to get to work.

(That last part is true.  The routes are poorly planned and busses come few and far between, and waiting for them is a pain, so only people who truly can't afford even a beater car use it.  They cannot afford an increase in rates, they are already scraping to keep food on the table in most cases.)

Just over a year later, the new tax money given them was gone, the head of the system was nowhere to be found (rumor is he skipped the country), and while a few new busses have been bought and there are a couple of new routes, nothing else has changed.

So we are tax friendly, and that's supposed to be good, except that we are almost last in everything else, and some people quit their jobs with national companies if they are told they will be transferred to a branch of the company in this state.

Yes, really, sometimes they do.  As one man put it, when he told his boss to lay him off instead of transfer him here, "My wife said she will not have her children in Louisiana schools, and if I accept a transfer to that state she will divorce me to keep them here."

Yet if we weren't so tax friendly, as the bus system trouble has shown, the money would get misused, misspent, or just plain stolen.

It's a deal we can't seem to win.  Good thing we have good cooking down here, and Cajun music.  We need something to cheer us up.

And i need to talk to the property tax assessor.  Something's wrong there.

Today is:

Be Kind to Humankind Week: Speak Kind Words Saturday

Buffalo Wing Festival -- Buffalo, NY, US (two days of celebrating one of this town's favorite foods!)

Chatter Champion Announced -- Fairy Calendar

Constitution Day -- Kazakhstan

Day of Satisfying the Hearts of the Ennead (Nine Major Gods) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of Charisteria -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a day to give thanks)

Frankenstein Day -- in honor of Mary Shelley (Interesting, when juxtaposed to the next entry.)

Huey P. Long Day -- Louisiana, US

International Bacon Day -- good day for a double decker BLT with grilled onions and Swiss cheese

International Bat Night -- through tomorrow, go enjoy these wonderful creatures; or

International Day of the Disappeared -- Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances -- UN

International Whale Shark Day -- WiseOceans has more information 

Japanese Festival -- St. Louis, MO (celebrating the history, culture, and people of Japan at the Missouri Botanical Garden; through Monday)

National Holistic Pet Day -- celebrating the growing interest in natural/holistic medicine for animals

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Paryushana Parva -- Jain (beginning of the 8 day festival signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement, and a celebration of the natural qualities of the soul; local observances of the dates can vary)

Popular Consultation Day -- East Timor

Rhishi Panchami -- Nepal (continuation of the women's festival, a holiday for Female Employees Only)

Santa Rosa de Lima -- Peru

St. Fiacre's Day (Patron of box makers, cab drivers, costermongers, florists, gardeners, hosiers, pewterers, taxi drivers, tile makers; against barrenness, fistula, haemorrhoids, piles, sterility, syphilis, venereal disease)

Talk Intelligently Day -- holiday thought up by someone tired of non-intelligent conversations (maybe with co-workers?)

Turkey's Hellespont Swim -- over 300 participants swim the Hellespont from Europe to Asia

Usuki Stone Buddhas Fire Festival -- Usuki, Japan (torchlight at twilight lights the regions mysterious Buddha statues; through Sept. 7)

Victory Day -- North Cyprus; Turkey

Anniversary Today:

Roman Polanski marries Emmanuelle Seigner, 1989

Birthdays Today:

Cameron Diaz, 1972
Michael Michele, 1966
Michael Chiklis, 1963
David Paymer, 1954
Timothy Bottoms, 1951
Lewis Black, 1948
Peggy Lipton, 1947
Frank "Tug" McGraw, 1944
Jean-Claude Killy, 1943
Elizabeth Ashley, 1939
Warren Buffett, 1930
Kitty Wells, 1919
Ted Williams, 1918
Fred MacMurray, 1908
Roy Wilkins, 1901
Shirley Booth, 1898
Huey P. Long, 1893
Claire Straith, M.D., 1891
Ernest Rutherford, 1871
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Anna Lucasta"(Play), 1944

Today in History:

European leaders, in an attempt to end war "for all time", outlaw the crossbow, 1146
One of the largest naval battles in history, during the last decade of the ailing, Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty, begins between the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders, 1363
Capture of the entire Dutch fleet by British forces under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, 1799
Founding of Melbourne, Australian, 1835
Founding of Houston, Texas, 1836
Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, 1901
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in south Louisiana, the longest bridge over water (continuous, not aggregate) that is not also a viaduct, opens, 1956
The Hotline between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union goes into operation, 1963
Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1967
Guion Bluford becomes the first African American astronaut in space, 1983
NATO launches Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces, 1995
A commercial expedition to raise part of the sunken British luxury liner Titanic ended in failure, 1996
Harley-Davidson celebrates its 100th anniversary in Milwaukee with a parade of 10,000 motorcycles, 2003
India and Pakistan agree to release hundreds of fishermen and other civilians in each other's jails as part of their ongoing attempts to negotiate peace between their nations, 2005
Sumatra's Sinaburg volcano continues to erupt, two people are killed and 21,000 are evacuated from the vicinity, 2010
In Chile, 33 miners trapped half a mile beneath the surface make contact with their families for the first time in three weeks since the incidentally, 2010


  1. sad. truly. the corruption scandals that followed katrina brought a lot of that to light. i watched 'treme' and saw a lot of it portrayed there, too. i'd have to say, texas seems tax-friendlier just because it doesn't HAVE a state income tax and instead uses sales tax to generate a lot of revenue.

  2. I live in California and nothing is cheap here. Taxes and more taxes. That's what most want here. We have more on welfare here than any other state. Any other state. It's pitiful.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  3. Reading your excellent post I think this week should be "Be kind to taxpayers week" and "Let's roast politicians week"

  4. and oh yeah- I live in California too- like Sandee- I think it's pitiful all the help wanted signs I see around town and all the slackers loafing on the city benches...not to mention all the empty store fronts and the local government does nothing to promote a positive business's all about taxes.

  5. Good luck talking to that tax assessor, but i wouldn't hold my breath hoping for a reduction.

  6. Thank you , I'd forgotten the word graft, and can't wait to use it in a sentence soon. It is sad that it isn't just a problem where I live. We are suffering a national graft epidemic. Here, in HI, our taxes are high and include food, our tourists are double taxed and our schools and roads still suck, whose pocket got stuffed I often wonder.

  7. Since it is Talk Intelligently Day I shan't leave a comment!!!

  8. I was born in Bossier City (a long time ago, admittedly), and now live in New Mexico (in the top 10 tax-friendly states). We also have plenty of corruption, and a crappy public transit system (here in Albuquerque). There seems to always be a list that we're on the bottom of (or if it's awful, we're on the top of that).
    You aren't alone! Along with the good of a place, there's the terrible. It gives us something to talk about while waiting in line at the grocery store (where NM used to tax food, but no longer).......


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