Ben Szymanski

Software Engineer • πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ & 🐊

escape from new york movie poster

Today I learned that Louis Rossmann fled New York City after what appears to be an insane and tyrannical encounter with the NY/NYC tax officials.

In a sick sense of humor, his biggest enemy wasn't Apple or other tech vendors, it was local government.

I don't keep up with him and his channel too much, but it was shocking. He had practically made NYC part of his brand/identity. I had to know more, and probably as a form of catharsis, he aired that dirty laundry all online.

NYC authorities probably don't care, but he does have a big audience/impact - what a bad look, to be needling someone who appears to have been running a business in accordance with their rules, to the best of his abilities.

Naturally after facing like a million dollars in auditor fees, he fled.

While I can't imagine what kind of headrush and sick-to-his-stomach feelings he felt, I can somewhat relate because I fled nearby Connecticut also partially due to the insane tax system they have there.

And let me be clear, it's not just the amount of taxes that I was being asked to pay, it was the odd schedule the bills would arrive, the lack of notice, the you-have-30-days-to-pay-us-800 or else shakedown.

Like Louis, I tried to take it on the chin as best I could, but everyone has their limits, no matter how much they think the taxes are a civic duty for the greater good. (tm)

For me, it was the constant needling about my car. In 2021, I probably paid close to 1.5k/1.6k in property taxes on my car. One bill arrived in March. I paid more taxes on it in August when I bought my lease out. In December, I was given less than 30 days notice to pay an additional $800-$900 in property taxes.

How could I forget that wonderful clean air fee and mandatory emissions test on top of it all.

The lack of notice, the strange schedule, and the sheer amount is what sealed my fate - I fled to Florida. Like Louis, the sickness and anger I felt overrode all of my guilt and second thoughts about leaving everyone and everything behind.

Even in Florida, I have paid an additional TWO tax bills on my car to Connecticut, at least 1k combined. I'm praying to every deity they just leave me alone now.

In Florida, I register my car and update that registration yearly for reasonable administrative fees. I don't worry surprise tax bills, I'm hardly bothered by taxes at all. I don't think about opening letters and wondering "imagine if I had children to provide for, how would I be able to pay this surprise expense." It's got to be a scary situation for many.

Note: I drive a base model six-year-old Jeep Wrangler. It is not a decked out Rubicon.

The message is clear - If you're an honest person living in a dysfunctional state, it's time to leave, else you'll be terrorized.

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