If you get too cold I'll tax the heat, If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.
Don't ask me what I want it for If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
- The Beatles -
Seven-year-old Carter King likes to fish with his dad. He likes it so much that he and his dad built a fourteen-foot wooden boat in the garage together so they could go fishing more often. Being good citizens, (or knowing they'd get nabbed by the state if they didn't have a bunch of ugly letters and numbers painted on the side) they properly registered the boat, paying the appropriate fees.
Not long after, Mr. King began receiving letters from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, informing him that because he was a boat dealer and manufacturer, he owed an additional $539 in taxes on the boat.
Of course, Mr. King assumed it was a mistake, so he contacted the auditor assigned to his case. Nope, there was no mistake. The state knew the boat was built by Carter and his dad in their garage, for their own use. Indeed, the state doubled down, warning that the family could face injunctions or misdemeanor charges if they don't pay up.
The Department of Revenue isn't talking. Requests for interviews are rejected, not only for this particular case, but about the issue in general.
When you have the guns and cuffs, own the courts and hold the keys to the jail cells, why be reasonable about $539?
Mr. King, instead of focusing on the piddling $539, should be preparing his operation for an onslaught of other government agencies, now that he's been declared a boat dealer and manufacturer.