One of the things that really annoys me is the practice of several Eastern states to levy a property tax on motor vehicles. Virginia at least made some noise to the effect of eliminating it once, but as far as I know North Carolina never has.
The personal property tax on vehicles is levied by each individual county and is a completely separate thing from the sales tax that you pay on newly-bought vehicles when you put the tags on them. The State collects the sales tax.
I got the tax hit for the Mustang today. Four bills, amounting to about 1% or $100 per $10,000 assessed value. I also got the trailer bill, which was a little over $5.00 (I paid a little over $500 for the trailer).
It's a little concerning to me that I didn't get the tax bill for the Baja since I bought it before the Mustang or the trailer either one. I'll have to call the Franklin County tax assessor's office tomorrow to see if it got sent out. That will be another C note if the 1% rate holds true.
Last year I paid less than a hundred dollars for all my vehicles, but then again last year all my vehicles were crap anyway.
One of the seats up for grabs in this round of Congresscritter elections is NC2. The current incumbent is Democrat "Boxing" Bob Etheridge and his challenger is Republican Renee Ellmers. Etheridge is expected to keep his seat, and I can tell you why; Ellmers is just not a strong candidate.
When she announced her candidacy I checked out her website and emailed a question about her stand on the Fair Tax. I got no reply, but found the information elsewhere (she's all for it, for what it's worth).
I did get a nice email letter from the candidate thanking me for my donation and then asking for more. This was, to say the least, irritating since I had made what I thought was a pretty substantial donation from someone who makes less than 250K a year and so by definition isn't one of the evil hated rich. I round-filed the nice little note and made up my mind to McCain her (hold my nose and pull the lever for her because she isn't as bad as the other guy).
A couple of weeks later I got yet another email bleg, which I responded to (it came from the email address listed on the website as belonging to the candidate) by saying that I had not gotten a reply from earlier emails and if I wanted a Congresscritter to take my money and otherwise ignore me I already had that.
Once again, no reply.
Looks like I'll be voting for the Libertarian. Predictably the Republican party and their "candidate" (who hasn't show that she really wants the job all that badly) will not understand why.
Never underestimate the ability of Republicans (both the Party and the individual candidates) to shoot themselves in the groin.
"What could help would be a return to the American Way, the approach which made the US so historically powerful. The success of this model is illustrated by history. In 1820, twice as many people lived in the United Kingdom as the US, and its economic performance (measured by gross domestic product) was three times as strong and the average standard of living (measured by GDP per person) was a quarter higher. Today, there are about five times more people living in the US than the UK, America's economic performance is about seven times better than Britain's and the average American is about 50 percent better off than the average Briton."
We at the Last Refuge of a Scoundrel somberly honor Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, US Army, for his service as set forth in the following citation:
"Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Konar Province, Afghanistan on January 25, 2008.
While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle's turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support.
Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire.
As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team.
While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire.
His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller's heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army."