Wednesday, January 30, 2019

California Text Tax

Dear Daytonian,

Thank goodness we live in a sane state.

There seems to be no end on the creativity of other state governments to try to raise more money so they can pay for their favorite giveaway program.  This usually entails bigger taxes on business or high-income individuals, a tax on arguably bad things like cigarettes, candy, soda pop and "excess" packaging, or a very small fee spread across a very large population like the recent proposal to tax texting in California.  Fortunately this particular tax was prevented by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which ruled texting was an "information service" and not a "telecommunication service".  Now can somebody explain why California taxes fruit at a whopping 33 percent when it's sold in a vending machine?  Crazy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Paying For Gas Repairs

Dear Daytonian,

One more thing to know if your planning to leave our friendly confines for another locale is determining who is responsible for residential gas line repairs, as it varies from place to place.  We're fortunate to have a common sense approach, with everything coming from the supplier, up to and including the gas meter, being their responsibility and everything from that point forward, which is either mostly or fully inside our home, belonging to us.  But in other cities repairs for some of the outside, underground pipe must be paid for by the homeowner, and those can be expensive.  You can buy an insurance policy to cover that, but that's just one more hassle to deal with.  The link below shows all the finer details for our Vectren service, but again, it's pretty common sense.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vehicle Property Tax

Dear Daytonian,

Fortunately Ohio is one of 23 states, and the District of Columbia, that does not have a yearly tax on each car you own.  No one likes paying taxes, but this type of tax is not just about the money, it's about saving some each month, taking the time to write and mail a check (or the online equivalent) and dealing with the inevitable government screw-ups.  As detailed at this link below, the top ten states that levy a vehicle tax start at an average of $413 per year and top out, in Rhode Island, at an average of $1,333.  I paid less than that for the first car I bought.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Vehicle Safety Inspections

Dear Daytonian,

Do you remember the days when we either had to take off work or wait in long Saturday lines to get our cars "smog tested" for $19.50?  Fortunately that went by the wayside around here, but it's still going strong in other parts of the country where air quality problems continue.

But did you know that fifteen other states have periodic safety inspections?  In Pennsylvania, your suspension, steering, tires/wheels, brakes, electrical and lighting systems, defrosters, windshield wipers, speedometer, odometer,  horns, fuel system, chassis and mirrors are checked for proper operation every year.  How do drivers in the other thirty-five states get by, without the government holding their hands?  Just fine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Highway Ramp Metering

Dear Daytonian,

Here's another sign you won't see around here.  It's purpose is simple, it signals drivers when it's their turn to enter the highway.  The sign cycles slower as highway traffic gets heavier and more quickly when the coast is clear.  As the sign below says, only one car is allowed to enter at a time and this helps the merging process be more effective.

Of course, only highways with ridiculous volumes of traffic, typically around the morning and evening rush hours, need this type of assistance.  So if in your travels you encounter a ramp meter at the wrong time of day, calm down and enjoy the view.  You're not going anywhere very fast.

Mile-Based Exit Numbers

Dear Daytonian, Exit numbers in Ohio are useful for more than just knowing which off-ramp to take.  In the 1970s Ohio renumbered from sequen...