DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENTS: Taxes, taxes and even more taxes

  • Posted: 3/9/2013 4:21 PM
    6/1/2013 5:56 PM

Throughout your life you work to live, to own property, to have the things you want, and if you work for someone else, they take the taxes out of your check each pay period as well as Social Security.

If you work for yourself, then it is your responsibility to take care of the taxes and the social security. If I understand what I have read, you work all week, your wages are taxed, then some is set aside for social security and retirement: your money. When it comes time to stop working, you may opt to draw your Social Security but, lo and behold, it is taxed again.

In the good old days, Social Security was non-taxable, but it seems now if you make below $25,000, including maybe part time wages, dividends and Social Security, then Social Security is tax-free. But, if you make more than $25,000, all inclusive, up to $34,000, 50 percent of your social Security is taxable, so that is double taxation - which I thought was against the law.

It gets worse. If you make more than $34,000 and your social security is taxed 85 percent, it leaves one to wonder why people are being punished for continuing to be productive or for having put away money for a rainy day. You have choices; you can work fewer hours or you can cash in your investments (capital gains tax), defer your dividends and you can struggle to pay rent/mortgage, eat, purchase gas, clothes - you know, the things that keep us alive.

The Social Security rule is that if you work after beginning to draw, you cannot make more than $14,000 per year. If you do, the overage is then calculated, and that amount is withdrawn from your monthly Social Security check in increments, depending on the amount earned.

While I am on the subject of taxes, here is another tidbit. I was lucky enough to get a raise at the beginning of the year and my hours increased at the same time; therefore, I was looking forward to getting that first check and maybe, just maybe, have a bit of money left over each week. What was I thinking? Get ahead?

Well not this year, or any time soon. Since the new tax law went into effect, I saw a $3 increase in my weekly money. What can you do with $3? Save it? Maybe buy a lottery ticket? But hey, if I win, it's money they will just get more of through taxes. So it is a lose, lose situation.

More taxes, sort of. Since it seems impossible to get a change of address executed with the city, I went online to find out how much my property tax bill was for last year. I sent a check with a change of address then waited for a receipt; none was forthcoming. I know they received the check because it had cleared the bank. Therefore, I went online again and sent an email requesting a receipt.Three or four weeks have passed and still no receipt, and I can bet they sent it to my old address. It does no good to call, no one is ever at their desk and voicemails do no good. Guess I am going to have to go down there in person.