On the front page, above the fold where you couldn't miss it, the May 22nd edition of The Brazil Times (Brazil's leading newspaper) headline announced: "Property tax bills in the mail"!
Issuing these bills is, I feel certain, a tribute to the hard work and efficiency of our elected county officials and those who serve them and us at the Courthouse.
It is also something of a tribute to the efficiency of the United States Post Office that our bill arrived the following day. (Note to Postmaster General: If you want to go through with your bi-annual threat to stop Saturday delivery, I could have waited.)
Within the microscopic limitations of my meager comprehension of Indiana politics, seems like these bills are something of a controversy. But I can't imagine why. I looked over the instructions and explanations and none of it makes sense to me. I've been trying to figure out stuff from government agencies for some fifty years -- it never makes sense.
From what I can glean out of the gobbledygook sent with the bill, our money goes to help my city, the county, and our grandkids schools. Some goes to the Library, but I'm not sure what that means since only city residents can use it free. The State and something called "Redev Comm", whatever that is, get nothing this year. Guess they don't need any money? The last of it is doled out to Townships )this city boy never heard of Townships before coming to Indiana -- what is it they do for $6.44?).
With the issuing of property tax bills the flood gates of commentary must now follow with the certainty of taxes themselves. Some will say it is too high. Given the real world, some will truly not be able to pay the toll. I figure we elected people to do the best they could -- we made our choices, took our chances, and this is what we got.
What we got was a fairly good life in an obscure corner of a great country, a corner called Clay County Indiana. Overall, there are those who appreciate living here as much as I. It is unlikely anyone appreciates it more. Maybe that's only because I spent so much of my life in an impersonal big city, while most folks here had the advantage of always calling this home and therefore lost sight of said advantage.
One of the many things my father taught me is that taxes are the price you pay to live in a civilized country. I kinda like the country (and the county) and think the price seems something of a bargain. Of course, what do I understand about Indiana politics?
For confusing reasons I write the checks for three separate tax bills. I know the county needs the cash; and for unclear reasons have the impression they may or may not be paying interest on borrowed money until they get mine. I wrote the checks, Debbie James, they'll be in the Treasurer's account soon. Given the blessings of living in Clay County Indiana, United States of America, I'm just not sure it's all we owe.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.