By Emerson Drake
When people pay their utility bill I think everyone probably notices the 6% Utility tax added to the bottom. And maybe you think everyone has to pay it, but you’d be wrong.
On November 29, 2011 the City of Modesto Finance Department sent a letter to businesses reminding them of the $1,500 annual maximum user tax ceiling. This is a combined tax ceiling encompassing electric, gas, telephone, cable and cellular.
So Modesto may need money to pay its police and fire but it doesn’t believe in equal taxation.
The city’s finance department even goes a step further, if you prepay your tax they’ll notify the providers of these services to stop charging you the 6% user tax. If you don’t prepay and fail take advantage of the city’s “offer” it is your responsibility to request a refund of any overpayment you might have made.
Now let me see if I have this correct. The tax money all goes into the same pot to pay the bills and we’re all required to pay the 6% utility user tax, except for those that hit the ceiling.
Now the Supreme Court says Corporations are people too. But Modesto says they’re ‘special people’ who don’t have to pay the same taxes as you and I.
And just for curiosity’s sake we’ll be asking the city how many and who took advantage of this prepayment if any.
Don’t worry; we’ll let you know too.