“Stupid Tax” is a term I first heard while listening to Dave Ramsey. As I recall, it refers to money you’ve paid out because you did something stupid. I just paid what is hopefully the last installment of stupid tax as it applies to my daughter’s first car. Last year was the beginning of this sad saga. We traveled about an hour so she could buy a 1998 Dodge Neon that needed work – it ran but it needed work. She had an insurance quote but that wasn’t acceptable so I ended up agreeing to put the car in my name and have the title transferred to her at a later date. That was the first stupid decision. I didn’t want to have to drive back out there again so I signed the title.
Then there was the drama of thinking it was stolen only to discover that it had been “borrowed” and now needed a new tire and the moon roof fixed plus the original work still needed done. But of course there was no money for all of that. The car sat under my carport for months while my car sat out in the weather unprotected. Second stupid decision. Third stupid decision – should have turned in the plates and taken the car off of our insurance after several months of nonuse but instead just kept on paying the insurance.
Finally tell my daughter that she needs to do something or I will give it to charity. She says she is going to get a new tire. I check into donating the car but am discouraged by the scams and the need to actually do something outside of my comfort zone. A month and a half go by and my husband decides to get her a tire so she can drive herself to his shop since he gave her a job there. Ongoing bad decision – I still haven’t transferred the title into her name.
Again she gets a flat tire plus somehow the driver’s side mirror gets hit and ends up hanging down. She decides to get another car and leaves the neon parked outside of a friend’s house. Says she may sell it to another friend or perhaps donate it. Then life hits me with my father’s illness and death. Time goes by and I realize that she isn’t going to do anything and I have to. I want to get it done before it needs a new registration but I dither around and take too long.
I needed to go get information for the cash for junk car people and asked her to go with me because I knew she needed to get stuff out of the car. She said she was going the next day so of course I put off going to see about it because she could get the information for me and I didn’t want to go out of my comfort zone. She forgets to get one necessary piece of information but assures me her friend will get it for us. I don’t hear from her so I decide to just go get it myself. I drive out there only to discover the car is not there! Start wondering – was it stolen?? Probably not, it had the flat tire and wasn’t in the best shape who would steal it? Did it get towed because it was thought to be abandoned? Did she actually do something with it? Call her – of course no answer. Text and then wait and wait. Finally she texts back that she meant to call because it got towed.
Made several calls(way out of my comfort zone as I have a serious phone phobia) without finding out exactly what happened to the car. Ended up at the police station since no one answered the phone – I didn’t call 911 because I didn’t think that was an appropriate reason to call them. I don’t have GPS or a smart phone so I check the computer for directions and head out. It wants me to go the wrong way on a one way street and then I can’t find a place to park. Then since it is a small town there wasn’t actually an officer available and I had to wait awhile. The officer knew exactly which car it was and directed me to a tow station in the next borough.
Finally make it to the garage and he tells me that it would probably cost me more to pay the fines and storage costs and have someone tow it out of there than what the junk car dealer would give me. I was ready to be done with the whole thing so I end up paying for the tow, he takes off the storage fees and I sign over the car. Hopefully that is the last bit of time, money and energy I’ll have to put into that car. Oh no, not the last – I still have to call the insurance company and take the car off the insurance. UGH!