Fighting the taxman can prove expensive

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In polite terms, vehicle property taxes are a pain in the butkus.

They’re not typically part of the escrow account many homeowners set up to take care of property insurance and real estate property taxes. And to compound the misery to your wallet, the state recently combined vehicle property taxes with license tag renewal fees.

You won’t pay any more money than you would if the two expenses were still separate, but opening the envelope on the combined bill has triggered a new kind of sticker shock for many vehicle owners.

In too many cases, vehicle owners have simply refused to pay. The result has been an increase in the number of vehicles on the road with expired tags and a decrease in expected revenues for the affected counties.

If it somehow feels better to thumb your nose at Big Government by refusing to pay the tag bill, consider the possible consequences.

If you’re caught months or even years after your tag has expired, you’ll have to pay for the license tag anyway, plus the cost of a ticket for driving with an expired plate.

You’ll also have to pay your property taxes in order to have your license reinstated – plus interest on the tax bill that has accumulated since its original due date.

And you’ll more than likely have plenty of time to cuss and fume over the whole ordeal because you’ll be standing in line at the local Division of Motor Vehicles office. Paying on time, on the other hand, means you can enjoy the convenience of taking care of the bill online.

Fighting the taxman is almost always a futile exercise. Better to pay off on time.