I frequently write here that almost never does a month go by, even in a state where I have operated for over 10 years, that I don't discover yet another tax I owe or license I must obtain.
Today, I got a note from the state of Arizona that we must license our two septic pumping trucks with the state. Already, these are licensed each year with the County in which they operate, a process that includes a fee (of course) and an inspection by the County. Now I have to fill out a bunch of forms to send the exact same information to the state, with yet another fee (of course) and the need for another inspection each year by the County. I asked if my current County license would suffice to cover the inspection, and I was told no. So, to operate this truck in Arizona I must
- Fill out forms and send fee to County
- Get inspected by County
- Fill out forms with the same information as already sent to County and send fee to State
- Get inspected yet again by County, but this time on the state form
- Repeat every year
It is interesting to note that the state does nothing except file my form and bank the fee. This is just another money and power grab -- more cash for the bureaucracy and yet another useless task (filing these forms and sending out compliance letters, etc) to justify their headcount. Then the next time someone suggests "brutal cuts" to state budgets, everyone can scream that the rivers will run brown with sewage because the state won't have the people to collect all the paperwork that duplicates what the County already collects.
Just after wasting an hour or two of my time with this (and sending it to my managers to waste days of their time), I got a happy note from the US Census Bureau that I had been selected to file quarterly reports about my business (they have a special survey of the lodging business -- I presume they do this for other industries as well). I wrote back:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am not sure what we have done wrong to be punished with this extra workload, but unless I hear back from you that this report is required of us by law under threat of some sort of dire consequence, we will not be filling it out.
We are a small company and only I, the President, am equipped to fill out this form. We already fill out your annual survey and it is incredibly time-consuming for us, for it asks for data in ways we do not normally track it. Further, it asks for our P&L in a form that does not match GAAP accounting, which causes all sorts of difficulties in completing it. And we don’t normally compile results on a quarterly basis, only annual, so this report would be particularly onerous. We actually have to run a business here.
Finally, I might add, I am loathe to send the government yet more data since this data will likely just be used as a justification to raise my taxes or increase our regulatory burden.
So no thanks.
PS- let's just assume the "you have a crappy job" jokes have already been made and move forward from there in the comments.