Monday, October 15, 2012

Charm City Confidential: Let the latest shakedown begin

Living in Maryland you soon discover that everything is taxed.  Whereas nothing is taxed in the state of Delaware, save property, and clothes and food are free of tax in Pennsylvania, in Maryland you start feeling like you are going to have to start paying taxes on the taxes you are paying.

Not that Cookie is complaining, far from it, because you get stuff because people pay tax.  I don't mean that I, Cookie get anything personally, but the roads are good, the services are good and the arts are well funded.   And in general, except from that part of Baltimore where it really is like "The Wire", its a nice place to live.

The husband refers to these taxes as "The Shakedown" because they pop up in the usual places, but also in the more unusual places, too.

Today's Shakedown is taking place at a car dealership, where we are having my car inspected so we can get it registered in Maryland.

In Ohio an out of state car is registered via a trip to the DMV.  Show proof of ownership, they check it against the VIN number, and then you have to go to the Clerk of Courts to pay for your registration and get your title. THEN you have to go to a license bureau and get your plates.

In Maryland you do the same thing BUT a car repair place FIRST gets to combover your car and inspect everything - from ball joints to the click of your safety belts.  THEN they try and shake you down for the repairs of the things that fail.  Of course you can always take your car to another inspection place, but they are hoping that you let them "repair" your car.

So I did some homework and found a Toyota dealer that has a better than average rating on Angies List, so we are hoping that the Prius gets through on flying colors.

But it is the next step where Maryland, sweet Maryland fucks you raw.  You see, you have to pay them the difference in sales tax on the car that you paid when you bought the car.

Let's say that I, Cookie, bought the Prius in December, 2010, and used at that.   I paid 5.5% sales tax to Ohio on the sales price.  Baltimore County has a sales tax rate of 6%, making the net difference of .5% that I have to pay to Maryland on this car.

So it's annoying.  But what are you going to do?

So hear I sit in the quiet room at the dealer giving dirty looks to a woman who is on her cell phone.  I wouldn't really mind it if her conversation was interesting, but its mostly grunts, Mmmyeah's and Uh-huh's.

Luckily, when comes to my Merry Oldsmobile, I don't have to worry about it because that have no way of pegging its market value.   So it pays to be 50 years old, for once.

Still, I won't know when this opera is over until the Service Manager sings my name.   If you all hear a scream in the distance, it'll be Cookie, with a request to do any work over a $100 on a perfectly sound car.


  1. Is Gorgon hanging from her talons in the car repair shop rafters?

    The joke here in VA is if you encounter a bad driver, the car is usually tagged from Maryland. Now I know why: escaping taxes as fast as they can!

  2. Oh yes, the fun of inspections. We had a bit of a problem when husband got his new car, but that's something I should fully explain on my own page. I hope it all worked out well though!