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Visitation Taxes – The Hunt for Taxes Part IV

It has been a while since we added to this series.  Not because there hasn’t been any examples to write about but rather because there have been too many and I have been suffering from analysis paralysis.

Just recently it came to my attention that the state of California is going to further and further lengths to increase its income.  Here is one of the latest – but not greatest.

Let’s imagine you live along the coast in Washington and are love to sail.  In fact you own a sailing boat.  You decide to take your family on a little vacation to Mexico.  You plan to sail down the coast to Mexico and the back up to your home.  You are blessed and have a great vacation, good weather, everyone gets along, no one gets sick, just a wonderful vacation.  Along the way you stop in two cities in California to refresh and replenish your supplies.  Of course you had to pay docking fees and other costs for using the port.  After you have been home for a while you get a property tax notice from the state of California on your boat.  Yes, a property tax notice.  You are not a citizen of California.  One or both of the cities you visited in California reported your boat for property tax.  The cities and the state simply have billed you and shifted the burden of objecting to you.  You have to get legal and or tax help to fight the bill.

You have a choice to make.  Do you go to the expense of hiring the legal and tax help to pay the bill or just pay the bill.  Either way you have caught in a web of corruption to get more revenue for the places you only VISITED.  For many people it is cost effective to just pay the property tax.  I am sure there is forethought about how much can they bill you and you just pay it instead of fighting against it.

Remember, the federal government can create money – i.e. print it.  States and cities cannot print money.  If they need more money they have to find ways to raise it.  They are hunting for ways to charge you more taxes.

Questions to ponder:

  1.  Does this surprise you?
  2.  Will there be more examples of new taxes?
  3. Can you avoid those taxes?
  4. When should you start tax planning?
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