Between out-of-town company and the pressures of being on deadline with several assignments, I have neglected my blogging duties.
I still have out-of-town company and a couple of pending assignments with ASAP deadlines, so I'm not out of the woods just yet.
I won't get much in the way of work done today. It's Saturday. A friend is throwing a little shindig this afternoon. Today will be completely lost.
In working on one of my assignments, I've been trying to nail down a list of gas guzzlers and the exact dollar amount each is accessed for the Gas Guzzler Tax. This sounds relatively simple, doesn't it?
Not so much.
I need this information from the source; not reprinted on some consumer Web site like AutoTrader or Edmunds. Not that being able to go to such sources would be much of help anyway; they don't have all the dollar amounts either.
No issue finding a list of the "offending" cars. It is available on the EPA's Web site. The rub comes in trying to find the exact tax each car carries.
A couple of hours of this past week were burned chatting up bureaucrats in "it's not my job" conversations about the list.
I talked to the EPA that sent me to the IRS that told me "Hey, there's no central list."
If the IRS determines the tax amounts, why isn't that centralized in a single office somewhere? Can't say, but apparently it isn't.
After investing 15 minutes or so in a phone call to our federal tax collecting agency, I was advised that a single list doesn't exist. "But please put your request in writing and e-mail it to us," the friendly lady in the IRS Media Relations office told me, "and I'll see what I can pull together."
What do you think the chances are that I will hear from her again? That was on Thursday morning and so far, nada.
Our tax dollars at work.