“Taxes! Taxes! Beautiful, lovely taxes!” “Sire, you have an absolute skill for encouraging contributions from the poor.” “To coin a phrase, my dear counselor, rob the poor to feed the rich. Am I right?”
So went the conversation between crafty Prince John and his loyal sidekick Sir Hiss in Disney’s version of “Robin Hood.” Shortly thereafter, they accosted the poor people of Nottingham, taking every last farthing for “taxes,” while adding to Prince John’s chest of gold.
With the deadline for filing income taxes with the IRS looming (Apr. 18), a wide range of emotions spring up depending on one’s circumstances. An anticipated refund is good news; having to pay, bad news. No one wants to pay. It seems like money going to a black hole. Bruce Horovitz, a journalist who has written money matters for forty years, recently said, “From what I’ve experienced, no topic riles people as much as their tax bills.”
For a certainty, the tax system is complicated and that alone can be frustrating. Bart Bradshaw, Winthrop CPA, offered this:, “Trying to do your own taxes is like a do-it-yourself mugging. Most do-it-yourself people screw up even the easiest tax return. It’s just too complicated.” He also explained that every time the government says they are going to “simplify” taxes, they almost always make it more complicated. “Tax law change is job security for accountants,” he adds.
Still, according to Mark 12:17, even Jesus told the Pharisees — in answer to their tricky question “is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not” — “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”
So, we file our taxes, pay our due (or not) and move on to spring. The hillsides are coming alive with arrowleaf balsamroot. Those lovely yellow flowers can bring nothing but cheer!
In follow-up to last week’s column about pickleball, I heard from a reader with a poignant story. She wrote about her husband whom she lost last year just shy of their 54th anniversary. Both of them played tennis for many years, but one day he came home from a match with his guy friends, threw his racquet down, and said, “I can’t play any more.”
Struck with a movement disorder akin to Parkinson’s, his stability and agility were compromised. Since she had taken up pickleball, she asked him if he would like to try it, believing that with less movement, he might be able to play. He lit up with the possibility.
She painstakingly measured and drew out a pickleball court in their garage and taught him the basics. He could do it within reason and, at least for a few months, they could play a sport together and share some brief happy moments amidst the sadness of what lie ahead.
What a surprise here in Mazama to wake up to a fresh dusting of powder sugar snow on Tuesday (April 5)! Fortunately, it didn’t stick around.