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Sin Tax Era: America the not so Beautiful March 30, 2010

Filed under: Sin Tax,Taxes — afrocity @ 9:07 AM
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Perhaps the single one and only salutary effect that the passage of Obamacare has had on my life, is jolting my father out of the land of the Obama living dead by raising his concerns about the intrusion of the government in our lives.

I have not known my father for that long.

I speak to him about once every three months.

Everyday I text him an inspirational message.  “HEY YOUR LIFE CAN BE AS GREAT AS YOU WANT IT TO BE”

He texts back: “Thanks baby girl…let’s get 2 gethur soon.”

Okay, so I don’t know my father very well at all.

I cannot tell you his favorite color or anything that would require me to have lived around the man for sometime. Total time spent in the same room  with my father would probably equal about 1.5 months of my life.  However, I do know that we bear more than a passing resemblance. He contributed to my DNA. For some unexplainable reason we both like metaphysical/new age books. We both prefer to eat duck on Thanksgiving rather than turkey. And finally, we both hate to be forced into doing anything–especially if someone else like the government claims that it is for our own good.
Over the last year, I have noticed that I am taxed for doing everything wrong and nothing right.

I don’t own a home so I am a dirt bag in the eyes of the IRS.

I don’t have children so I am an even bigger dirt bag.

It is actually “greener” not to have a child but will the feds give me a tax break for that?

Nope, instead they tax me for drinking bottled water and 10.25% sales tax for living in a major liberal city.

The sin tax fever has also spread like a disease into our day to day and necessary life event  transactions.  After all, isn’t this is the heyday of liberalism and shouldn’t life imitate government?

This “make em’ pay” for their sins mentality translates into fees for the petty residual activities that we have to do just to make our lives work.   You see dear readers, if you have to perform step A in order to move to step B, then you must be charged for it.

I am moving this week, which is why I have been behind in blogging.  Let me demonstrate how moving is a sin.

Afrocity must move from apartment A to apartment B.

In order to move, I must reserve an elevator.  My reservation requires an administrative fee of  $500 to move out of apartment A.  What can I do, right? I must move out so I have to pay the fee.

Meanwhile Apartment B- the place I MUST move in to, requires an administrative fee of $600 to move in.

What can I do, right? I must move in so I have to pay the fee.  Additionally when I went to pick up my keys and parking permit, I was told that there was another administrative fee for getting the actual permit.  Meaning $100 for my actually picking up the permit. I pay an extra $175 a month in my rent for the parking spot but it was a one time administrative fee of $100 to actually pick up the permit.

As I discussed this with my father, he was puzzled.

“I remember a time when all you had to do was get a U-haul and just move in,”  he said.

“Not anymore,” I said as I recalled mother and I just paying the first month’s rent and a security deposit during the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s …heck even during the first five years of the new millennium.   “Now,” I continued. “If you have to do it, you have to pay for it…I would not be surprised if someday we were charged  “administrative fees” or taxed  for buying tampons. Why not? Women MUST have a monthly period.  A girl’s gotta move out of her apartment and bleed,  so why not tax us for it. “

My dad laughed but I was serious.  Every apartment I looked at had a move in/move out fee.  Even the small brownstone apartments.  Sure everybody, you already charge us tax for the shit we like to do such as smoking, drinking bottled water, eating junk food.  Now lets get together and figure out how to charge people for the shit they MUST do.

If you MUST do it let’s charge you for it.

On an airplane if you are on a long trip, you must check your bags.  Let’s charge you for it.

Actually this is a great strategy to screw people put of all sorts of money and their freedom.

Obama and his liberal minions have pushed healthcare into that all important MUST HAVE category.  If you don’t want it, you will pay.  You see health care is not something that everybody wants to have.

For some like my aunt, who loathes doctors and actually believes that they implant microchips into your immunization syringe in order to track your every movement,  healthcare is a dangerous thing.

For my father who hates to have to do anything because someone told him to, Obamacare is an imposition.

“I don’t like this business of us just having to get this government stuff.  If I wanted to pay I would have bought good healthcare to begin with…not that government crap…and you know it won’t be as good as Blue Cross or Aetna…waiting in line while people are dying in the chair next to you…But he [Obama] says he will help us pay for it…”

Dad didn’t sound too confident.

For my sane aunt, who works at a hospital  of all places, Obamacare is taking away her freedom to choose and keep the healthcare plan she has loved for years.  She voted for Obama. She does not want him to win a second term.

I never should of voted for him,” she said. “I will never again vote for a person because they are black.  I don’t want their [the Democrats] plan shoved down my throat. I wanted to retire next year, now Social Security says I can’t because they do not have the money. The hell with healthcare, just give me my money and let me retire. “

My reply to her, “But you know auntie, not having healthcare is a sin.”

” Then heaven help us,” she laughed but it was not a happy laugh.

She had worked at that hospital scheduling appointments for years. She remembered when a candy bar was a nickle.  She remembered the Korean War and a countless number of other historical moments.  Some of those moments just happened like the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. , others were legislated like the passage of the Civil Rights Bill.  Now for some reason, this historical moment seemed fake and manufactured like those old wax busts of Abe Lincoln you bought from a vending machine.

America has changed.  It is not kinder or gentler.  It has just changed into something sinful and the Democrats must save us from ourselves.

We should be thankful for this  bank account purging  of our transgressions and interpret the new sinful America as a consequence of liberal humanity and understanding.

Autographed Letter Signed,



Ghosts Of Hope n’ Change Past: Haunted Houses October 31, 2009

halloween_catDamn it feels good to be a renter. I may not have equity but every month I write one check that takes care of my rent, cable and electric bill. No assessments, no real estate taxes.

Halloween Eve I was all comfy, sitting by my light switch ready fireplace, bowl of microwave popcorn and dalmatian puppy in hand. The darkness of Lake Michigan could be seen from the window of my hi-rise apartment.  The original Amityville Horror was on television. Poor things, sinking all of that money into a house only to find that it harbors an invisible pig named Jodi and leaks blood just when you were planning the house warming to end all house warmings.

A homeowner is something I have never been. Afrocity moves around too much. When I have thought of it, watching the headaches that my condo owning friends had to endure was enough to scare me into being a lifetime renter.

Let’s just consider my failure to own as a Peter Pan/Wendy complex of sorts.  I can’t commit to a piece of property no matter how beautiful she is.

Perhaps my complex is a result of the trauma that follows homelessness. If I don’t own one I can’t lose it.

From this article in the Chicago Sun-Times:


Chicagoans taxes up 9 percent, Obama’s taxes up 1 percent

Obama’s bill barely edges up — but he still pays more than $22,000

October 30, 2009

BY Tim Novak

Many Chicago homeowners will see their property taxes rise sharply in the tax bills going out this week. But not President Obama. His taxes on his Kenwood mansion are up just 1 percent, records show.

Obama owes $22,456.43 in real estate taxes this year on his Kenwood mansion — $223.09 more than he paid last year, when he was running for president.

The median tax bill for city homeowners is up 9.6 percent.

That’s largely because the 7 percent exemption given to homeowners is being phased out.

But the president didn’t take that exemption during the last two years. So he’s not experiencing the pain of losing it, like most other Chicago homeowners.

Obama does pay more in property taxes than most politicians in Chicago and Cook County do, the Chicago Sun-Times found by examining online copies of the tax bills that Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas mailed out this week. But Obama’s seeing one of the smallest increases among Cook County politicians.


Sounds like the Obamas are on the treat side of the Chicago real estate tax trick.  I am posting a comments found at the article by a Chicagoans that obviously represents the “trick” side of things:

My property taxes went up 63%!!!! An extra $2600 a year!!!!”
Of course, you are not part of the elite……You are receiving…..”change.”

“Obama and all other politicians whose only answer is to raise fees and taxes should automatically pay the max. This is the same president who wants to fund health care off the backs of those who make the most money. They should follow their own logic and have to pay the most when they claim that they need more.”

“…maybe if Pres O had bought it for full market value instead of the Tony Rezko bargain basement price he would be paying his fair share,,,, And ya gotta wonder how many haven’t paid …”

“I am not a happy camper. My taxes went up a little over 30% – an additional $700 for the second installment. My house is upside-down and I can’t get refinancing, yet someone thinks it’s okay that I pay more tax for a house that’s gone down in value. People already in dire straits are only going to go deeper in the hole. I have to think hard about whether or not it’s worth it for me to keep this house.”


President Obama's Chicago Home. President Obama paid $1.65 million for the Kenwood mansion he and his family moved into in 2005. His real estate tax bill this year is $22,456.43 -- a 1 percent increase from last year. (Sun-Times file)

Maybe the treat part of “Change You Can Believe In” is coming a little later for those of you who were tricked into voting for the Great Pumpkinhead.

Little Devils

"Little Devils" cartoon by Stilton Jarlsberg at Hope N' Change Cartoons.

Autographed Letter Signed,



You are a Sinner and Deserve to be “State Raped” June 8, 2009


I have an awful confession to make. This is something that I have been hiding from my friends and family for years now. I feel terribly guilty about this problem and I don’t know what to do about it:


Yes, isn’t it terrible. I am such a bad person to indulge in such debauchery. The ultimate happiness and good fortune of drinking low fat 2% milk will never be known to whole milk addicts like me. Traditionally whole milk was always readily available in my home and school. My body pays the price. I am obese at 126lbs and 5′ 5″. My school is the one to blame for this and now that I am older, it may take some sort of ritual exorcism to get the whole milk demon out of my body. Thankfully, the great state of California has laws in place that will not allow this to happen to anyone.

Los Angeles Times

Assembly approves bill regulating food at child-care centers

The measure sets minimum standards for food served at licensed facilities and is meant to combat obesity. It now heads to the state Senate.
By Mary MacVean
June 8, 2009

The Assembly has passed a bill to set minimum standards for food in licensed child-care centers, requiring a vegetable to be part of lunch and supper and forbidding whole milk for children 2 or older.

The food children eat in kindergarten through 12th grade in public school is regulated for fat and salt content, among other things. But for many preschool children, there have been no such dietary rules.

“California enjoys a worldwide reputation for its sunny, healthy lifestyle,” said the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica). “Childhood obesity rates threaten to steal this enviable position.”

The bill, which passed the Assembly on Wednesday by a 48-27 vote, now heads to the Senate.

If it becomes law, AB 627 would require low-fat or skim milk to be served to children 2 years old and older. It would limit sugar in cereals and eliminate deep frying and sweetened drinks. It also would establish an 18-month pilot project to evaluate stronger nutrition and physical activities standards.

34753477Oh my, I don’t want to be obese. Perhaps I will cut milk out of my diet completely. Sorry, but I just don’t like the taste of skim milk. Recently, I have been making a conscious effort to drink more water. Bottled water is portable and very convenient for on the go PUMAs like myself. I purchase about four cases of ICE MOUNTAIN water a week.  On Sunday I just happened to look at my grocery receipt and noticed that I am taxed $1.50. per case of water purchased. Anger came over me and I felt the sudden urge to return the water. The thing is I have truly noticed improvements in my health and complexion since I have started adding more fluids to my diet. I went to the City of to look up the details.

City of Chicago Bottled Water Tax

Municipal Code Reference: 3-43
CAPS Code Reference: 1002920051904
Tax Return Form Code: Form 1904
Form 1904IN (for individuals)
Procedure: The Bottled Water Tax applies to the retail sale of bottled water in the City at a rate of $0.05 per bottle of water.
Tax Base: $0.05 for each bottle of water sold at retail
Exemptions, Deductions and Credits: The Bottled Water Tax does not apply to sales of bottled water to passengers on an interstate carrier.
Please see the Bottled Water Food Stamp Purchase Guide below for food stamp and link card sales.

$0.05 a bottle. @ 24 bottles = $1.20 per case. Hmmm if I drink 4 cases a month that is $4.80 month I am paying to the city of Chicago. As I researched this further on the, I learned that the Chicago City Council originally wanted the tax to be $0.25 per bottle

August 14, 2007
Chicago Alderman Seeking Bottled Water Tax

by Gerald Prante

A Chicago alderman has come to the conclusion that bottled water imposes negative costs on society and must be taxed. Oh, and he needs to fill a budget hole. From CBS 2 Chicago:

Cooling off with bottled water could soon cost you more within the Chicago city limits if one alderman has his way.

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, Ald. George Cardenas (D-12th ward) wants to slap a tax of up to 25 cents on the cost of every bottle to help close a $217 million budget gap.

“People enjoy jogging or driving with a bottle of water. There’s a cost associated with this behavior. You have to pay for it,” said Cardenas, one of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s staunchest City Council supporters.

Cardenas noted that there’s a nearly $40 million shortfall in the city’s water and sewer funds, in part because of a decline in water usage.

“How is this possible when we have a water system that’s won honors? It’s because bottled water has become a $15 billion industry that’s growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent a year,” he said.

Cardenas also said a bottled water tax would help the environment by dissuading people from buying the plastic bottles that end up in landfills.

The only legitimate argument Cardenas has is that bottled water may have an adverse effect on the environment. Merely because the city has a budget gap does not mean that he should arbitrarily pick something to tax to fill that gap. Such policies are totalitarian in nature and are not consistent with living in a free society.

sin taxNow comes the part where I learned that by drinking bottled water, I was committing an “Eco-Sin” . Yes I am a sinner and I should repent by paying more taxes. The Daily Green explained this to me quite nicely. In 2007 they ran an article on the Chicago bottled water tax:

December 24, 2007
An Eco-Sin Tax on Bottled Water
Chicago and the 7 Sins of Bottled Water

State, federal and international industry groups are suing Chicago in an effort to block its new 5-cent tax on each bottle of water, the Chicago Tribune reports today. The eco-sin tax, and the broad international outcry it has engendered, could become familiar, as public sentiment turns against bottled water.

Chicago is the first major U.S. city to tax bottled water, according to the Chicago Tribune, but it isn’t likely to be the last. Other cities have banned or limited the sales of bottled water, but if there’s a way to capitalize on fashionable resentment of the waste embodied by the ubiquitous water bottle, you can bet more will opt for the Chicago solution.

Sin taxes are familiar, when it comes to the likes of alcohol and cigarettes, which cost individual’s health and society health care expenses. Water doesn’t fit that mold, except for that bottle it’s packaged in. In a country that produces the cleanest water to the tap in the world, packaging, shipping and consuming water in tiny plastic bottles is an environmental sin.

At first, Chicago was the only place imposing this eco-sin tax and raising sales tax, now others are following suit. Chicago has the highest sales tax in the nation at 10.25%. Last week, the Arizona Republic reported that Arizona will soon raise sales tax, possibly making Phoenix among the top ten cities with skyrocketing sales tax rates:

Arizona sales tax could be 8th-highest

By Ronald J. Hansen – Jun. 6, 2009
The Arizona Republic

California and Nevada have already swallowed a sales-tax hike. Florida is looking at charging a sales tax on bottled water, and Kentucky soon will begin taxing cellphone ring tones.

Arizona is not alone in considering raising its sales tax during a deep recession that continues to sap jobs and revenue from state coffers.

But if the Legislature or voters were to adopt Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to raise the 5.6 percent state sales tax by 1 percentage point for three years, the state would vault up the scale of sales-tax rates: An Arizona Republic analysis found that the proposed increase would push Arizona from the middle of the nation to eighth-highest, assuming other states don’t follow suit…

Brewer’s plan faces stiff resistance from her fellow Republicans and has led to a stalemate on Arizona’s 2010 budget. Many GOP members view any tax hike as disastrous during a recession.

On Thursday, Republicans in the Legislature passed a budget plan that leaves the sales tax as it is and relies on program cuts and maneuvers such as raiding fund balances and the sale and leaseback of state property. State Democrats favor cutting the sales-tax rate to 3.4 percent but expanding the services subject to the tax.

If necessary, Brewer would like voters to settle the sales-tax matter, although any vote wouldn’t occur for months.

This receipt was said to be a fake but the taxes are still very much a reality.

This receipt was said to be a fake but the taxes are still very much a reality.

Tax on cell phone ring tones? WTF? Whole milk will most likely soon be taxed. The Obamas have nothing to worry about since they only eat arugula, Kobe beef steaks, lobster and drink champagne. During the 2008 presidential campaign there was a rumor that Michelle Obama indulged in a very expensive lunch at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The receipt (pictured) was said to be a forgery but at least for my purposes the New York sales are unfortunately true.

Autographed Letter Signed,