Posted by Tim Stobbs on April 4, 2013
I think I have a similar point of most people when it comes to taxes. I don’t mind paying them if they provide good service, but I don’t want to pay more than required. Yet when it comes to my yearly tax bills there is one they could potentially double and I would still pay with a smile on my face.
Yes, you did read that correctly. I like paying one of my taxes, actually forget that, I LOVE paying this one tax. Which one? A small part of my property tax bill is devoted to our local library system which I gladly pay and hell I would still be getting a bargain even if they doubled it.
Why? Because for the mere $200 or so I pay in tax each year I’m saving a TONNE of cash. How much? Well I haven’t actually tracked a full year of what we borrow from the library, but this is what we have borrowed in March alone:
- 12 books for my wife
- 12 kid movies (including a full season of Star Wars Clone Wars as one item)
- 15 kids books
- 5 DVDs for me
- 3 book for me
- Two ebooks for me
and a partridge in a pear tree
What what exactly would all this retail for? Well it sort of hard to say since I don’t actually pay for these and haven’t in such a long time I often don’t have a clue how much someone would pay to rent a DVD. I’ll go with a rough estimate of $4/DVD rental (based on the prices on iTunes and Google’s Play stores).
The books are a bit more complex. My wife tends to borrow more paperbacks than I do, but new hardcovers are really pricey, so I’ll just average them and say about $14/book. The kids books include the little level reader ones and hardcovers so again the prices vary, but let’s average $12/book.
So in total the movies were worth 17 x $4 = $68, the kids books were worth 15 x $12= $180, and the adult books 17 x $14= $238. Or in grand total $486 for March alone.
Now March was a bit high for books for my wife, but otherwise a fairly normal month for us. We like to read and watch movies a lot so we tend to borrow a lot of material. Yet to be fair I’ll scale that down by 20% to be more representative of a long term average, so that would take it down to $389. So over a year our library usage is worth $4668 for the mere tax of $200/year or over 23 times the value I pay for it. And people wonder how I’m able to live on so little.
Yes the library is the best tax payment I make ever year. Now a fair number of people don’t realize how great the library really is and thus don’t use it. So to those people I will say: thank you for paying for my family to use all that material. Just because they are too impatient to wait for a hold to come in, I get easier access to my materials and still save a boatload of cash.
So what’s your best tax bill you pay each year? Or what do you love/hate about your local library?