I do not usually get this vexed about things beyond my control. I usually just shrug and say "whatever" when it comes to stuff "The Man" does. But recently, a few issues have really stated to eat at me and I am seriously going to rant, here.
Personal Property taxes are due in my county this month. This does not include land taxes. This is taxes on personal property. Like our two trucks. We have to pay around $1000 per year in our country to drive our two heavy duty trucks. We pay the tax, we get the county sticker and get to use the dumpster and the Green Box.
We don't pay the tax, and the DMV won't give us new stickers for our tags, so we can't drive.
We live in the county, but we have to get our power from the City of Danville, in the next county. We're billed every 2 months. Our last bill was something like $449.63. Usually, our bill is something like $200.00 for 2 months.
We were both like, HOLY CRAP! We've got to cut back!
So I quit using the electric wall heater in the kitchen 24 hrs. a day. I started to cut off the desktop and use a power strip with a switch. I keep lights off. I have nothing plugged in upstairs; and we only use the light at night when going to bed or whatever. We run a small heater in the bathroom at night to keep the pipes from freezing in there (old house under renovations, y'all.) We bought those new fangled light bulbs. I quit using my dryer and dry clothes outside on the line (yes, even in cold weather) or on smaller drying racks in the house in bad weather. I mean, I have lived like an electricity miser these past 2 months, trying to see if we could cut our bill in half.
The bill came in the mail last week, and I eagerly opened it to see how much we had cut it -
It was the exact amount as the month before.
I was outraged. How could this be? I talked to my brother about it and this is what he found out:
The City of Danville doesn't come out to my meter and read how much power we actually use.
They base their billing on a group of neighbor's readings are. So if my neighbors all average around $500 in the wintertime, They bill us for that amount, also. They also base it off previous bills.
The thing of it is this: WE DO NOT USE ELECTRICITY TO HEAT OUR HOME. We use two huge wood burning stoves. And our home stays very toasty. My brother couldn't even sit in the room with the stove going the night we talked about this. He had to go into the cooler kitchen to "cool off".
So WE pay huge bills because our NEIGHBORS use electric heat pumps and drive their bills up, and in turn, ours: unfairly so!
There is NO WAY my husband and I use that much power.
And they do not even come out to the house to read the meter and see how much we use!
The city planner has had a lot of complaining about this system, and citizens are hoping that they go back to a regulated system where you get billed according to the electricity you use, and not get lumped in with how much the neighbors use on average.
The thing that gets me is, we don't even live in the city of Danville. We don't even live in that county. Geez.
My brother also found out that the city jacked electric rates and is using the money to offset budget shortfalls from a shopping center they built that has basically flopped.
I told Kevin that if we went and griped about this, it was just going to seem like we didn't want to, or can't, pay our bill. But how can we NOT say something about this unjust, totally unfair billing process?
So I am getting my "gripe" on, and am going NOT to the utilities department, but to the CITY to have my say. Not that it will change anything right away - but I can't sit around an cry and scream about it and not take some kind of action on the matter. I think it stinks that I have to do this, and I don't even live in the city.
I asked my brother what his electric bill was for his business in North Carolina (two miles away). For one month, he was billed $26.00. And he runs a huge pet cremation incenerator in his building..... $26.00?
Oh yes, I am ticked off. And this has nothing to do with how ticked I get when I inspect my pay checks and see all the taxes taken from it. Which was more last month, btw. My taxes were raised, no matter what the politicians say on TV.
I feel the righteous indignation rising up in me that compelled me to run for office in my hometown several years ago when I was a youngster of 27. I lost, but I ran on my principals and convictions and brought some naughty council people down with me when I lost, by jove. Over half of the council was replaced by candidates from our Political Action Committee.
You do not have to lay down and take it! You have a voice, and a vote. USE THEM if you do not approve of the manner in which your elected leaders govern, or of the stupid decisions they make which negatively effect you.
I know there are those out there who refuse to vote because they say it "doesn't work". Or, than it has "cost them nothing". No. I was born with my right to vote and speak up. I didn't pay for it.
Some one else did. A patriot on a battlefield gave his life and spilled his blood so that I could be born with this right. I will not defile that sacrifice by keeping silent and withholding my vote.
Even if I go mouth off to the City Council and they do nothing, at least I did something. At least I utilized my rights and voice. At least I will fell better and get it off my chest and let them know there is one county resident that has had it with this!!!!!!!!!!
And that is my rant for today. Sorry, people. I just had to vent.