It is disturbing when a tall, cadaverous man walks into my shop and gets a twinkle in his eye. It's like an undertaker saying
"I'm looking forward to seeing you again." I was printing shirts for a local band when a local Baptist minister came in. He is a great guy, but conversations with him redefine "eternity". While he was chatting -and keeping me from my work ( I don't multitask well)- Lurch strode in. I recognised him, noted the handful of fanfold he clutched, and continued my chat.
He looked at my new conveyor dryer, which is big enough to cook a pizza (don't ask...JUST KIDDING OSHA!) and I swanee,
his eyes lit up as he commented about the nice new big piece of equipment. He then was drawn into a conversation with the preacher. As I said, I recognised Lurch, and so we both settled into an uncomfortable wait until our Baptist friend took his leave. We had business to conclude.
You see, The Tall One is an agent of the local tax office. He was gentleman enough to not talk business in the presence of others. He was there to remind me of a small amount of tax I owe the County. No threats, no trouble, just makin' the
rounds. The rub lies with what it IS.
The tax is on "Personal property used for business". The mechanic must pay tax on the wrenches he uses, the baker must pay tax on his kneading bowl, the plumber on his Friend. The Tax guy first met me on a cold February day a couple of years ago after he discovered my little storefront whilst trolling for new business. A man I never met before came into my shop and informed me that I owed his office money. I must not only pay taxes on the money I earn, but also on the tools I use to earn my living. I was inwardly infuriated. I was given a form to list the items in my shop, with their estimated value.
As nice as this gentleman is- and I have reason to believe that he is a fellow believer- he could not disguise his joy on seeing my new $3000+ dryer.