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Tax ManPosted Wednesday, October 13, 2010, at 10:21 AM
Lots of folks around these parts bristle at the notion of government regulations. Our state and federal legislators never seem to run out of ways to put new laws in the books, whether or not we actually need them, and in fact government regulatory interference is blamed on any number of business, personal, and economic maladies... thus my stupid tax.
For me, it all started in 2005 when the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) ruled that by 2008, all new cars sold in the US of A had to have a tire pressure monitoring system. Survey and accident investigations had shown that drivers operated their cars with low tire pressure a lot, and the resulting loss of fuel economy and safety issues nationwide justified the new regulation.
Now why, you may ask, does a NHTSA rule force me into a high stupid tax bracket? Here is the story...
To start the story, you just have to know that we own a 2008 Ford with these mandated tire pressure sensors. Margie and I had plans for a family get-together in Colorado on a Saturday, but on the Wednesday before our scheduled departure on our way home from McCook, we had to take the roads shoulder to avoid a careless driver passing a combine. We've done this numerous times, but this time apparently we hit something. By the time we got to Indianola just a mile away, the tire pressure sensor warning light on the dash came on, and the car was pulling hard to the right. We stopped right in front of Ag Valley's Indianola shop as the tire finished loosing all its air.
We ask the shop if they can fix? No, sidewall of tire is cut too badly. Do you have a tire? "No" is his reply... and the stupid tax collector starts to work.
Well, I ask the repair guy if he can put a tube in the tire so we can get to Colorado Saturday? Yes! Only one problem, He had to remove the wheel mounted tire pressure sensor for the tube to work. The reason to forgo getting a new tire sooner is that I have road hazard insurance on the tires through one of those membership warehouse stores, and I'm sure I can get a new tire for a big discount.
Off to Colorado Territory for the family get-together Saturday morning, and upon arrival I head to the store where we got the tires. "HAHAHA" goes the tax collector as the clerk at the discount membership store we bought the tires from tells me that I must be a current member to get the tire warranty. But we've moved from the area and have no use of a membership I plead... tough is the answer. "HAHAHA" I think. I'm not gonna pay an additional $50 to get a discount on a full price tire, so off I go out the door to a tire shop I've dealt with before.
All is going well until "HAHAHA" goes the tax collector. The tire is not problem, but the band that had to be removed for the tube is. It seems it takes a new Ford made band to hold the pressure sensor on the wheel. "HAHAHA" says the tax collector since every Ford parts place is closed until Monday.
Well, to try and shorten the story a bit, we got home, went to Ford to get the tire pressure sensor put back on the wheel, then had to have Ford reprogram the sensor for a substantial extra charge in my opinon. Took just three hours to get the work done, and I really like the fact that it's almost all my own cheap fault.
Trying to save a buck cost me plenty in the long run so the next time, I'll just immediately put on the spare, go to the local tire shop, and wait for a tire to show up if necessary.
Now if we just didn't have those pesky rules about tire pressure sensors...
Dang I hate stupid tax!
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