“It’s them dern revenuers,” Kaitlin said, sounding a little like Granny Clampett.

Our view from the kitchen sink kept us more informed of our neighbors than we intended, and sure enough, the assessor’s sign was plastered on the car parked at our neighbor’s house. The workers got out, knocked on the door, and delighted at finding no one home, took the liberty of roaming the property for about twenty minutes, while we fumed about their invasion of our neighbor’s privacy, as we huddled at the window stalking the stalkers.

They had visited us, too, creeping like poison ivy down our back driveway, a private lane, without mailbox or welcome sign. . . hoping to find a hidden chicken house or outhouse they could tax.

When she finally came to the front door, she leered past me like a vulture, hoping to discover that I might have an extra toilet they could tax. “Oohhhh, tile,” she drooled. “We’ll have to tax you for that. . .”

“Well, I see that you’ve added a new construction,” she observed. (She acted like we were trying to hide that big monstrous thing hanging off the side of the house.)

“Well, yes, we did finish the garage.”

“Know how many square feet it is? We’ll have to tax you for every square inch. Mind if we measure it. . . so we don’t accidentally charge you too much?”

First mistake. . . never give them permission! Yes, I mind!

She disappeared for way longer than it should take to pull out a 20 foot strip of measuring tape. Where did she go? I finally poked my head out the back door of my bedroom, and saw her greedily eying my back porch. Who knew that they taxed porches? My husband built it for me off the back door of our bedroom, so that I could go out there and enjoy the crickets and the rustling leaves as I write. It doesn’t even have an egress to the backyard. . .it’s more like a balcony. . . Wherefore art thou, Oh Revenuer?

As an honest tax payer, who gives (more than) my fair share to the government, it just grates on my all-American nerves to see them pull into my driveway like they own it. . . pulling in way too far, and at an angle so that they can hopefully peer into the backyard before I come out to ask if I can help them. (I’ve learned to head them off at the pass.)

They showed up again last year.

“I see you’ve built a new building since we were here last. . . ”

“No, we haven’t.” I should know. We’ve built everything with our own two hands, trying to save money so we would have enough to contribute to the tax base.

“Yes, you have (her voice oozing ‘you big fat liar’). It’s not on our diagram.”

She showed me the diagram as though I was trying to cheat them out of my hard-earned money.

“Oh, you mean the pump house?”

“Yes. . . we’ll have to tax you for that.”

“You’re kidding. . . You know, it’s not really a house. We just kinda call it that. In fact my husband and I can’t really agree if it’s a pump house or a well house. We kinda have this ongoing debate. What would you call it?. . .Oh, right. A tax increase. You know, it’s more like a protective covering for our pump, so it doesn’t freeze. . .we didn’t really intend for it to be a ‘building’. . . Oh, thank you for not charging us ‘this time‘. And, by the way, did you notice the dog house?”

Oops. . . no reason to volunteer information. . . I’ve learned that, too. No wonder we hate to see them dern revenuers coming; it always means more taxes that we have to pay them for the privilege of having a house, and a garage, and a pump/well house/building/covering. Guess I’ll have to tell our son that he won’t be getting that tree house any time soon. Can’t afford the taxes on it!

As Jesus instructed, we give to Caesar, what is due Caesar — and not a penny more — I added that last part. 🙂

Honesty and our Christian duty requires that we report our income and duly pay our taxes. However, I believe that it is bad stewardship to give one penny more to the government than is their due, that could instead be invested into godly charitable programs or into our own children’s futures (honest future tax payers, who will enhance society).

Your government invests your money in failing educational systems, welfare programs that reward laziness and gluttony, programs that encourage abortions that kill babies and permanently wound girls and women, and child protective agencies that don’t protect children. The less money I give that entity, the more my conscience is eased.

With a little effort, we can all make sure that we are getting as many eligible deductions as we’re entitled. And although I’ve run out of room today, I’ll share some easy (legit) ways to lessen your tax burden in the next installment of Money Monday.

Meanwhile, watch out for them revenuers!