“The only two things certain in life are death and taxes”. This comes to mind as it is the time of year that we are scurrying around, collecting everything that needs to be taken to our accountant for him to begin preparation of our income taxes.

Many years ago, my accountant stated, “If you are paying taxes, that’s a good sign. That means you are making money.” That one always brings me back to reality. It seems to me that most people look at the first statement and determine that it is a choice. That they must choose one or the other, death or taxes. In turn they act like the responsibility of managing their money to include taxes in the budget is going to kill them. 

Without the taxes how do we function as a society, as a community? Specifically, how do we function and maintain the form of government that we have chosen? Sure, there are other ways to fund government and those services that are shared in common, but these methods require an entirely different form of government and place conditions and restraints on the citizens that we have vehemently rejected.

Yet, there are many people, friends and neighbors who walk into the polls on Election Day and immediately vote NO on anything that contains the word tax. This coming election our Fire Protection District will have a tax proposal on the ballot. Right up front I am going to tell you that it is going to cost me and the goodwife more each year to pay the tax than to pay the membership fees. We looked up our assessed value and ran the numbers. It is going to be an increase in annual cost, but we are still voting for the tax. Why you may ask? Let me tell you why. There are many people, sixty percent to be exact, in the district that don’t pay their membership fees. The tax will make certain that everyone within the area of benefit is contributing to the system. Equipment, trucks, and communication all need to be updated. Our firefighting forces need training and workman’s compensation coverage. An improvement in our ISO rating will result in lower insurance cost. All of these things cost money.

By the way, if you live in a community that does not have a Use Tax, you need to get that taken care of. Ignore it and it will mean a loss in services and place an undue burden on your local government. This one, the Use Tax, is a no brainer. It isn’t even an additional tax; it is an instead of tax. Times they are a changin’ and we that live out in the county don’t mind paying a city tax when we shop. We do expect you to take care of business, however.

So, for now, give me taxes, let’s all pay for the services that we need. We can all die later!

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions and writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On, for the Neosho Daily News and Aurora Advertiser.