July 26, 2006

Three things about OR

In Oregon you pay no sales tax, you cannot pump your own gas and every two years the state government gives the people back any monies over collected. Each of these things is under constant fire from the governments.

The sales tax keeps rearing its head and we the people are being told that it would lower other forms of taxation making it a 'good thing' If they ever bundled it with the elimination of payroll tax and property tax I would take a strong look. I know that the government, any government will swell to the size of the monies it has. No matter how much is put into any program we taxpayers are told that they need more and there is always some scare tactics involved as well.

Self Service gas stations are supposed to lower the cost per gallon dramatically. This is a hard sell when we are paying thirty cents less a gallon then california to the south. Earlier this year there was a story in the newspaper that CA gas has all these emission standards on them that makes it cost so much more. One of our radio talk show guys then found out that around 80% of Oregon gas is the same gas California uses. They just do not charge for the emission addititves becuase um.. we dont use that??? My mom is in her eighties, everytime they try to get self service gas going I think of her in mid winter at night trying to fill up the gas while some punk sits in a little booth reading.

The kicker check is simply this, the state govt sets a budget, if they collect more money then they need they return the money back to the taxpayers in a kicker check. Whenever it comes time to return the money the polotikians up in Salem debate and try to put the money to 'better use'. Some have even called the taxpayers 'greedy' for wanting our own money back. I am very unconvinced that I can not make better use of my own money then the government can.


Tina said...

I like the kicker check. You never know how much it will be - enough to pay for dinner at Taco Bell? Enough to pay off the Macy's card?

For a while, I was driving a van & the little door over the gas cap was stuck open. The hook that holds it shut had snapped off. I would wedge stuff in the groove to hold it shut. At first, some cardboard (which didn't survive the rain), then a stick, then a piece of rubber for a long time. The guys at Safeway recognized me by my little wedging tool. Finally, one guy took pity on me and managed to fix it. That never would have happened if I was pumping my own gas! And all that time they were so nice to stick my little tool back in the groove! hehehe

And of course, no sales tax. How great is that? If it says $5.00 on the sticker & you have a $5 in your pocket, it's yours!

I love that.


Joe Williams said...

Alaska has the dividend check -- they tax the exported oil, and put all the spare money into a "permanent fund" that will fund the state after the oil runs out. (There's no income, property, or sales tax.) When the permanent fund grows faster than planned, they kick back to the residents -- who didn't even pay taxes -- about $2 grand for every man, woman, and child.

As a free market guy, I think it's dumb for the government to mandate full-serve gas. Theoretically, gas stations should compete by providing different services at different prices. Once upon a time, self-serve saved you about two cents per gallon. If it was cold, or you're old, you could pay it, while if you're young and poor you can pump your own gas.

For some reason, in California they saw fit to charge $0.50 a gallon for service. Lo and behold, nobody paid it, and eventually no stations even provided the option. If _I_ ran a gas station, I'd charge a nickel extra and pump the gas for the customer. Why not?