Last month I wrote about the 3 major taxes we are all hit with - property, sales, and income. And if that wasn't enough (it should be), there are more taxes than you and I even know! Let's start with your paycheck. It's not just federal and state income tax... hardly! What about the state and federal unemployment tax? You know, to give money to people who can't or won't find a job? Working men and women are paying for it! Then there is Medicare tax and Social Security tax - separate from income taxes.
There is a real estate tax, different than property tax. And there are plenty of "hidden" sales taxes, but I'm going to write about all the other "hidden" taxes. Actually, I'm going to list just some of them... I don't have enough room, nor do I know all of them!
Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Okay, here we go. There is the capital gains tax, corporate taxes, luxury taxes, school taxes, taxes on all the utilities that you use, fuel taxes, insurance taxes, recreational vehicle tax, worker's comp. tax, and parking taxes, just to name a few.
Now let me talk about your telephone taxes. You have the telephone federal excise tax; federal universal service fee tax; federal, state, and local surcharge taxes; minimum usage surcharge tax; usage charge tax; recurring and non-recurring charges tax; and telephone state and local taxes. Why so many different taxes? That way it won't look like that much... Give me a break! The average state and local tax on your cell phone in Illinois is 17.2%. Add on the federal taxes, and that average rises to 21.8%! In some areas it is close to 30%!
You also have fees, licenses and permits which are just other names for taxes - make no mistake about it. There are building permits, which in many cases raises your property tax. There are many other permits, fees, licenses, fines, registration costs, etc., etc. - too many to list! If there's a charge, it's a tax!
Parking taxes are crazy in Chicago. Together with the price of parking, it's easily $25 and up per day - in some cases, over $50 a day! Which brings me to my next point. I went to Chicago Botanic Garden in August with my daughter for her birthday and the parking was $25. No problem, since they charge no other price for admission. It is a way to support them. The parking attendant went on to explain that I could declare the charge as a tax deduction since they are a non-profit organization. Well, $24 of the $25 anyway; the other $1 was a tax!
There is no escaping the long arm of the government. Remember this basic rule: If you need it, want it, use it, or go to it, you're going to be taxed! If you total all the taxes and forms of taxes you pay, it is nearly half of your income - and in many cases, more. And be assured, the taxes will be higher next year!