Change Pays

By Doug Farmer 

As the story goes, when an early electrical motor was shown to a British member of Parliament, he disdainfully asked, “What use is it?” His skepticism vanished when he was told, “Someday you will tax it.” 

We are so used to taxes, we forget that the following taxes were not a factor in our lives 100 years ago. 

Listed below is just a sampling of the taxes Americans pay each year: 

Air Transportation Taxes

Biodiesel Fuel Taxes

Building Permit Taxes

Business Registration Fees

Capital Gains Taxes

Cigarette Taxes

Disposal Fees

Dog License Taxes

Driver’s License Fees

Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax

Employer Medicare Taxes

Employer Social Security Taxes

Environmental Fees

Estate Taxes

Excise Taxes on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

Federal Corporate Taxes

Federal Unemployment Taxes

Fishing License Taxes

Flush Taxes (this actually exists in some areas)

Food and Beverage License Fees

Franchise Business Taxes

Garbage Taxes

Gasoline Taxes

Gift Taxes

Gun Ownership Permits

Hazardous Material Disposal Fees

Highway Access Fees

Hunting License Taxes

Import Taxes

Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes

Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses

Inspection Fees

Insurance Premium Taxes

Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes

Inventory Taxes

IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Library Taxes

License Plate Fees

Liquor Taxes

Local School Taxes

Local Unemployment Taxes

Luxury Taxes

Marriage License Taxes

Medicare Taxes

Medicare Tax Surcharge on High Earning Americans Under Affordable Care Act

Obamacare/Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate Excise Tax

Obamacare/Affordable Care Act Surtax on Investment Income

Parking Meters

Passport Fees Professional Licenses and Fees

Real Estate Taxes

Recreational Vehicle Taxes

Registration Fees for New Businesses

Toll Booth Taxes

Self-Employment Taxes

Sewer and Water Taxes

School Taxes

Septic Permit Taxes

Service Charge Taxes

Social Security Taxes

Special Assessments for Road Repairs or Construction

Sports Stadium Taxes

State Corporate Taxes

State Park Entrance Fees

State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

Tanning Taxes

Telephone Universal Access Taxes

The Alternative Minimum Tax

Tire Recycling Fees

Tire Taxes


Use Taxes (out-of-state purchases, etc.)

Utility Taxes

Vehicle Registration Taxes

Watercraft Registration and Licensing Fees

Well Permit Fees

Workers’ Compensation Taxes

Zoning Permit Fees

And yet, there is never enough money (tax revenue), while governments all over the world play accounting games and run up humongous deficits that are never resolved. With Election Day approaching, it is timely to remember our government’s priorities as laid out in the Constitution: domestic tranquility (safe streets), common defense (terrorism) and general welfare (clean water, good sanitation).

A government that levies such taxes, runs such deficits and doesn’t deliver the top three priorities is an unreasonable burden upon a hardworking people.

Doug Farmer has worked at Park Bank since 1981 and began his term on the State of Wisconsin Banking Review Board in 2003.He’s lived in La Crosse since 1971. You can reach him at

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