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Old 11-17-2022, 04:17 PM   #1
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Texas (Galveston Co) Experience

I picked my new 21C up in Sumas on September 16. It had actually been completed around August 17, but we had plans that caused us to put off the drive for a few weeks. After picking it up we meandered back to Texas via Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, and Colorado. (which was all good except for the $%@ sail switch on the furnace failing one 30 degree night in Yellowstone. But that's another story)

The week after we got home I took all the paperwork to get my license. Taking the advice from 75thRanger I just handed the clerk my paperwork and only provided information when she ask a question. It all seemed to be going well until the clerk stopped, looked up, and asked where I got the trailer. At that point she told me that I needed to have the Auto Theft Task Force perform a VIN inspection. No problem, except they only perform inspections once a week, on Thursdays, for $40, and have a 6 week waiting list.

I also had to take it to an inspection station and have them perform an inspection which was basically making sure the lights worked properly - they did. Another $7 for that.

The first clerk also informed me I would have a pay a late fee. It seems they calculate not from the pickup date, but rather from the trailer completion date. Huh? So, even if I had my VIN inspection completed immediately on my return to Texas I would still be late. Sheesh.

The only good news out of all this is that when I finally did get through all the hoops and returned to the court house to register the second clerk calculated the sales tax on the base price and not all the add-ons. That was about an $800 saving from what I was expecting.

So, advice for those from Texas - if your county requires a VIN inspection you should reserve a slot prior to picking up the trailer to avoid a late fee. And expect to jump through some hoops to get registered and licensed.
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Old 11-17-2022, 04:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smjayhawk View Post
I picked my new 21C up in Sumas on September 16. It had actually been completed around August 17, but we had plans that caused us to put off the drive for a few weeks. After picking it up we meandered back to Texas via Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, and Colorado. (which was all good except for the $%@ sail switch on the furnace failing one 30 degree night in Yellowstone. But that's another story)

The week after we got home I took all the paperwork to get my license. Taking the advice from 75thRanger I just handed the clerk my paperwork and only provided information when she ask a question. It all seemed to be going well until the clerk stopped, looked up, and asked where I got the trailer. At that point she told me that I needed to have the Auto Theft Task Force perform a VIN inspection. No problem, except they only perform inspections once a week, on Thursdays, for $40, and have a 6 week waiting list.

I also had to take it to an inspection station and have them perform an inspection which was basically making sure the lights worked properly - they did. Another $7 for that.

The first clerk also informed me I would have a pay a late fee. It seems they calculate not from the pickup date, but rather from the trailer completion date. Huh? So, even if I had my VIN inspection completed immediately on my return to Texas I would still be late. Sheesh.

The only good news out of all this is that when I finally did get through all the hoops and returned to the court house to register the second clerk calculated the sales tax on the base price and not all the add-ons. That was about an $800 saving from what I was expecting.

So, advice for those from Texas - if your county requires a VIN inspection you should reserve a slot prior to picking up the trailer to avoid a late fee. And expect to jump through some hoops to get registered and licensed.

Appears numerous Texas counties (Travis in my case) believe that a "safety" inspection (in addition to the required VIN VTR 68A certification) is required for an imported trailer under #7,500, though the Texas DMV states otherwise.

I emailed Texas DMV with all the pertinent details on my new 19 questioning the need for a "safety" inspection, their response:

"Thank you for contacting us. It is my pleasure to assist you today. Inspection is not required for trailers less than 7,500 pounds."

But, as I don't want to waste a trip, guess I'll get a safety inspection before heading to the tax office.

Hmmmmmmm................Appears Travis county Tax Assessor just updated their website relating to trailers:

https://tax-office.traviscountytx.go...ation/trailers

"Current vehicle inspection report if your trailer’s gross weight is above 7,500 pounds (You can find a copy of your inspection report at mytxcar.org)"

Also, the 30 day penalty window is 2 parts - title versus registration:
(generic "vehicle" importation verbiage below, which appears to have some counties require the "safety" inspection as well)

https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buyi...reign-vehicles

"A vehicle must be titled in your name within 30 days of the date of sale to avoid delinquent transfer penalties. Additionally, you must register the vehicle within 30 days of bringing the vehicle to Texas, and the vehicle must pass a Texas inspection before it can be registered. After having it inspected, take the following to your county tax office to title and register the vehicle:"

Luck of the draw I guess.................
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Old 11-17-2022, 04:51 PM   #3
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Bummer! Here in the St. Louis, MO area I just took in my paperwork, had a nice conversation with a very nice person at the DMV, wrote a check and drove home. The whole time at the DMV only took about 30 minutes and that included waiting for my name to be called.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:26 PM   #4
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Your peculiar situation

I'm in the middle of selling my deceased bachelor uncles home, as I am "trustee successor" of his estate. I spent the day on the phone, scanning documents, emailing lawyers, emailing documents, death certificates, etc, etc. All for a required city inspection of the home, which will show numerous code violations.

No way around all these hoops. Ya got to "work the problem". My tact is to shower them with more paper and documents than they want or need. They seem to respond to that and finally approve. Go figure.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:54 PM   #5
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Bastrop County, TX, 2021 Escape registration experience

Yep, clerk procedures seem to vary a lot among the 254 Texas counties, I happen to reside in Bastrop County.

Before getting my Escape in September 2021 I read the TXDMV guidance for Purchased a Vehicle Outside of the United States and used that as my 'checklist'.

I didn't balk at the $7 Safety Inspection - figured it's a one-time thing for an out-of-country vehicle knowing that my 5500# trailer would never require another, so got it done the day after I got home with the Escape.

Shortly prior to my scheduled delivery I'd coordinated the VIN inspection per the info on the Bastrop County Sheriff's website. The friendly designated Investigator scheduled me within a week of returning home with the trailer (he was impressed with the outside of the fiberglass Canadian trailer, welcomed my invitation to take a look at the inside, thought the Andersen Hitch pretty nifty, too).

Walked across the street to the County Clerks office immediately upon completing the VIN inspection with all the checklist items in-hand .... walked out ~30 minutes later with my license plate and paid title-fee receipt. No late fee - the clerk used the documented Texas hub delivery date as basis for when it entered Texas which was well-within 30 days of application. The Clerk apologized 'for taking so long', explaining she'd not done an out-of-country title before so needed to check with the boss to make sure she was getting it all correct. "No worries!" I replied with a smile .

Received my original blue title from the state in the mail a few weeks later.

This year I renewed the license plate without Safety Inspection, no problem.

All good in Bastrop County!
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:03 PM   #6
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Angry gee whiz

Why the heck do folks have to take threads completely off-topic to hot-topics so quickly on this forum ?!?!?!?

More often than not obviously tip-toeing ON (not around) topics specifically prohibited by the forum posting etiquette

It's really making this place difficult to enjoy.
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Old 11-17-2022, 08:14 PM   #7
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Why the heck do folks have to take threads completely off-topic to hot-topics so quickly on this forum ?!?!?!?

More often than not obviously tip-toeing ON (not around) topics specifically prohibited by the forum posting etiquette

It's really making this place difficult to enjoy.

Yes it's sometimes difficult, but after a while you get to know who the "players" are.


I still find a lot of useful (and thoughtful) posts here.


FWIW my experience with the Oregon DMV was very positive. There were problems getting my title (purchased used), which I could document, and they waived my late fee. The golden ticket for Oregon residents is: Make an Appointment Online!


I was a Texas resident for decades. I know some of the laws seem odd. I used to drive a pickup with the passenger seat removed (for cargo space). I could not pass safety inspection because there was a seatbelt present but no seat! Back home to bolt in the seat, back again to the inspection station right before they closed - breaking many other laws to make that happen - then "Yes" to my sticker, then back home to remove the seat.
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:06 PM   #8
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Minimal hassles in my county on anything at the courthouse. Competent staff, no inspections, reasonable plate fee ($35) per year, Free roadmaps.

Took a drive last week, went to a county park that I’d never been to before. Nature center, re-established prairies, nice low head dam with waterfall and fishing, spacious camping, showers, electric, water, dump station, playground for the kids, all on hard surfaced road, no park entry fee. Less than 60 miles from our home, 9 miles to a nice grocery store. Only 8 to the Dairy Queen. All this for $24.00 a night.

Iowa: A place to grow……..old. Beats the alternative. My high school class of 551 is 25 percent gone now. Two last week.

Have a great weekend, it’s Eggnog season.
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Old 11-18-2022, 09:13 PM   #9
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I registered in Denton county in Texas. Did the don’t question until asked routine… They just required me to go get a safety inspection, guessing they really wanted someone to verify the VIN on the trailer matched the paper work. Not to big of hassle.
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:36 AM   #10
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Here in Wise county, handed them all the paperwork n walked 5 minutes later with tags and an empty wallet. No inspection of any type needed
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:44 AM   #11
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Group, I just edited and deleted some posts. Please help us keep the EscapeForum NON-political. Go someplace else to post your political views. It's not wanted or welcomed here.
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Old 11-19-2022, 06:53 PM   #12
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CenTex
Thanks for the primer on Bastrop County. Will be jumping through the hoops when we get back from picking up our 21C early next year. Plan on the return taking a while: Down 101 and Hwy 1 in some of the best state parks in the country to San Simeon, east to Tucson (Pima aircraft museum) and home.

Will contact the Sheriff's office ahead of time for the inspection, but probably cannot avoid late fees. Small potatoes on the overall purchase. Helps a lot to know what to expect.
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Old 11-19-2022, 07:23 PM   #13
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CenTex
Thanks for the primer on Bastrop County. Will be jumping through the hoops when we get back from picking up our 21C early next year. Plan on the return taking a while: Down 101 and Hwy 1 in some of the best state parks in the country to San Simeon, east to Tucson (Pima aircraft museum) and home.

Will contact the Sheriff's office ahead of time for the inspection, but probably cannot avoid late fees. Small potatoes on the overall purchase. Helps a lot to know what to expect.
No worries, congrats on the new 21C and y'all have a wonderful trip!

More local FYI - I got the safety inspection at the Main Lane lube stop down the 1-way frontage road from the HEB, just parked on the side-road adjacent to them, avoided parking-lot crowding, they inspected it where it was parked, didn't skip a beat at the not yet titled / licensed Canadian trailer
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Old 11-19-2022, 07:23 PM   #14
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Here’s my story.

In February of 2022, I discovered from a reliable source (a lending institution) that a lien in the amount of $2789.57 had been attached to my domicile by the PA Department of Revenue. This came as a mild surprise since a) I am not in debt and, b) I never received any notification that I was in default of some obligation. Applying some investigation techniques, I picked up from watching the CBS program 60 Minutes, I discovered that PA Revenue was referencing my May 2019 purchase of a 21C from Escape Trailer Industries.

I attempted to call PA Revenue. Unfortunately, they do not have a working phone number. Not at least one that I could access. I sent a certified letter – return receipt requested to PA revenue with what relevant documentation I had in my records. Included were:
1. Copy of Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection ENTRY SUMMARY
2. Copy of Form MV-1. (Application for Certificate of Title)
3..Copy of canceled check made out to PENNDOT. (Sales Tax - $2,150.00)
4. Copy of the “Certificate of Title for a Vehicle” issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on July 22, 2019.
5. Copy of the most recent Registration Credential for the Escape Trailer.
6. Copy of the Lien which the PA Department of Revenue recorded in the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County.

A month went by, and I didn’t hear anything from Revenue including acknowledgement of my certified letter.

I reached out to Andrew Spade, the Lancaster County Prothonotary by way of letter because the phone number at the courthouse was out of order. I inserted my email address in my letter. Mr. Spade responded in a timely manner. He wrote: “As for your issue, I am afraid our office can offer little assistance. Pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure we are required to immediately enter judgment when filed with our office. We do not have any discretion in the matter. This can be somewhat frustrating for me, as we do see mistakes and abuses of this from time to time. I personally think a judgment should not be entered without having to go through a judge, but I’m bound to follow the Rules as they are currently constructed. And even in cases where these issues are brought to our attention, we are unable to make any changes to the record.

That would need to be initiated by the filing party or be by Order of the Court.”

He also admitted that: “While we have seen incredibly unreliability on the part of the US Postal Service, this could also be an issue with the Dept. of Revenue. I completely understand your frustration with that department, as we experience the same thing ourselves. Believe it or not, we do not have a phone number to directly contact anyone with issues. And even if we did, our experience has been that the vast majority of administrative offices in Harrisburg have been working remotely. And I use the term “working” loosely. We had an experience early on in the pandemic where someone admitted that they were not filing satisfactions even if the tax lien had been paid, as they weren’t in office. So, I do empathize with your frustration."

Mr. Spades advice: a) Hire an attorney, b) contact the politician who represents my district, c) pay the sales tax a 2nd time plus penalty --now $687.00 and counting) then appeal.

After four phone calls and two letters, and five emails, I finally was able to discuss this matter with an administrative assistant who works in the local politician’s office who represents my district and who allegedly deals with their constituency's problems.

Some 45 days later, someone from PA revenue contacted me. They were unaffected by my story. Nor did they have any record of my previous certified letter. I had to resubmit all of my documents which was no big deal: copy/paste.

Revenue's argument was that I was in error for not responding to the several letters they wrote advising me that I was delinquent in not paying the sales tax. I responded by saying that a) I paid the sales tax, and b) I never received any letters and if I had, I surely would have gotten back to them.

This back-and-forth banter went on for about 4 months. PA Revenue refused to release me from the lien until I reimbursed them the $41.00 they shelled out for filing the lien. Which I did. In June.

Just last week I got this letter from PA Revenue.

Dear Mr. Carner,

You submitted an Offer in Compromise on your outstanding tax liability with the
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Your request for an Offer in Compromise of the above referenced account and tax periods has been approved. The periods will be adjusted to a zero balance and any liens associated solely with those periods will be satisfied.

As a reminder, the acceptance and approval of this offer is contingent upon your future compliance (i.e. filing and paying) for a period of five years from the date of this notice. If you fail to meet any of the terms of the agreement, the offer will then be determined to be in default.

In conclusion: I am now in a 5 year probationary period.
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Old 11-19-2022, 07:42 PM   #15
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In conclusion: I am now in a 5 year probationary period.

Yipes! That is a bureaucratic Black Hole you fell into.
I feel your pain.
I ran into a nightmare, applying for Medic-Aid for my 101 year old mother. 3 submissions of the full 5 years of financial records and every money transaction, with 2 lost, somewhere. A stack of documents 2" tall. My Masters degree in Paperwork. She got approved days after she passed away. I could have had a small amount of money refunded to me. I wanted nothing to do anymore with that outfit. It was a state run program, poorly managed. I also was in contact with local State Representatives to find out the status. They tried, but the process had to grind away.
Another nightmare. Yours sounds worse. YIKES!
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:37 PM   #16
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I have titled and registered 2 Escapes in Texas. The first in 2015 in San Jacinto County. The clerk had never done an out of country trailer so she called Austin and they guided her through the paperwork. No vehicle inspections required. I believe this was before all the new laws. Sales taxes were based upon the total USD sale price. No problems. I was done and out in 20 minutes.

The second was in 2019 in Galveston County (League City office). The clerk was knowledgeable and sent me on my way to get the same two vehicle inspections. I returned a week later with all the paperwork and the same clerk processed everything in about 10 minutes. The only potential glitch was the value of the trailer. At first she wanted to use the CDN dollar amount. . When I politely corrected her and showed her the USD amount then she recalculated the tax and all was good. I wish she would have used the BASE amount. I wasn’t that lucky.

There are 254 counties in Texas and while they should be identical clearly there are minor differences. Now add 2,000 plus clerks across those counties and the variables increase exponentially!
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Old 11-20-2022, 05:42 PM   #17
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2017 In Ohio was pretty easy, I obtained 45 day tag upon a mailed copy of the paperwork from Escape . Picked up the trailer drove it across the country to home. Got a $5 vin inspection at a license bureau and presented the bill of sale (along with the exchange rate at the time so its simpler now) , paid the sale tax and a had a title and plate in under two hours. Almost identical any out of state vehicle sale. Will be going through same dance soon. Though the sale will be in the US not having to deal with import stuff.
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Old 11-20-2022, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
Here’s my story.

In February of 2022, I discovered from a reliable source (a lending institution) that a lien in the amount of $2789.57 had been attached to my domicile by the PA Department of Revenue. This came as a mild surprise since a) I am not in debt and, b) I never received any notification that I was in default of some obligation. Applying some investigation techniques, I picked up from watching the CBS program 60 Minutes, I discovered that PA Revenue was referencing my May 2019 purchase of a 21C from Escape Trailer Industries.

I attempted to call PA Revenue. Unfortunately, they do not have a working phone number. Not at least one that I could access. I sent a certified letter – return receipt requested to PA revenue with what relevant documentation I had in my records. Included were:
1. Copy of Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection ENTRY SUMMARY
2. Copy of Form MV-1. (Application for Certificate of Title)
3..Copy of canceled check made out to PENNDOT. (Sales Tax - $2,150.00)
4. Copy of the “Certificate of Title for a Vehicle” issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on July 22, 2019.
5. Copy of the most recent Registration Credential for the Escape Trailer.
6. Copy of the Lien which the PA Department of Revenue recorded in the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County.

A month went by, and I didn’t hear anything from Revenue including acknowledgement of my certified letter.

I reached out to Andrew Spade, the Lancaster County Prothonotary by way of letter because the phone number at the courthouse was out of order. I inserted my email address in my letter. Mr. Spade responded in a timely manner. He wrote: “As for your issue, I am afraid our office can offer little assistance. Pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure we are required to immediately enter judgment when filed with our office. We do not have any discretion in the matter. This can be somewhat frustrating for me, as we do see mistakes and abuses of this from time to time. I personally think a judgment should not be entered without having to go through a judge, but I’m bound to follow the Rules as they are currently constructed. And even in cases where these issues are brought to our attention, we are unable to make any changes to the record.

That would need to be initiated by the filing party or be by Order of the Court.”

He also admitted that: “While we have seen incredibly unreliability on the part of the US Postal Service, this could also be an issue with the Dept. of Revenue. I completely understand your frustration with that department, as we experience the same thing ourselves. Believe it or not, we do not have a phone number to directly contact anyone with issues. And even if we did, our experience has been that the vast majority of administrative offices in Harrisburg have been working remotely. And I use the term “working” loosely. We had an experience early on in the pandemic where someone admitted that they were not filing satisfactions even if the tax lien had been paid, as they weren’t in office. So, I do empathize with your frustration."

Mr. Spades advice: a) Hire an attorney, b) contact the politician who represents my district, c) pay the sales tax a 2nd time plus penalty --now $687.00 and counting) then appeal.

After four phone calls and two letters, and five emails, I finally was able to discuss this matter with an administrative assistant who works in the local politician’s office who represents my district and who allegedly deals with their constituency's problems.

Some 45 days later, someone from PA revenue contacted me. They were unaffected by my story. Nor did they have any record of my previous certified letter. I had to resubmit all of my documents which was no big deal: copy/paste.

Revenue's argument was that I was in error for not responding to the several letters they wrote advising me that I was delinquent in not paying the sales tax. I responded by saying that a) I paid the sales tax, and b) I never received any letters and if I had, I surely would have gotten back to them.

This back-and-forth banter went on for about 4 months. PA Revenue refused to release me from the lien until I reimbursed them the $41.00 they shelled out for filing the lien. Which I did. In June.

Just last week I got this letter from PA Revenue.

Dear Mr. Carner,

You submitted an Offer in Compromise on your outstanding tax liability with the
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Your request for an Offer in Compromise of the above referenced account and tax periods has been approved. The periods will be adjusted to a zero balance and any liens associated solely with those periods will be satisfied.

As a reminder, the acceptance and approval of this offer is contingent upon your future compliance (i.e. filing and paying) for a period of five years from the date of this notice. If you fail to meet any of the terms of the agreement, the offer will then be determined to be in default.

In conclusion: I am now in a 5 year probationary period.
Personally I'd think about suing them for filing a false lien.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:43 PM   #19
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Personally I'd think about suing them for filing a false lien.
I am on probation for 5 years. I better keep my nose clean. Maybe ETI will come to the rescue. After all, in October Karl sent out this email blast in which he said: "This is a reminder that we need your help. May you please fill out the survey (even if there is no State tax) and upload a picture of your registration receipt if applicable, i.e., the proof that your tax was paid when you registered your trailer at https://escapetrailer.com/tax/This is much appreciated."

Sure, the horse had already left the barn in my situation. So I don't know how much cover ETI could have provided me in the interim. I can just visualize some PA revenue types sitting around a cheap Formica table chowing down on lukewarm Chinese takeout scrutinizing a copy of my canceled sales tax check. And reflecting on the heavy responsibilities they have assumed to squeeze every last drop of money out of PA citizens.
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Old 11-21-2022, 08:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
I am on probation for 5 years. I better keep my nose clean. Maybe ETI will come to the rescue. After all, in October Karl sent out this email blast in which he said: "This is a reminder that we need your help. May you please fill out the survey (even if there is no State tax) and upload a picture of your registration receipt if applicable, i.e., the proof that your tax was paid when you registered your trailer at https://escapetrailer.com/tax/This is much appreciated."

Sure, the horse had already left the barn in my situation. So I don't know how much cover ETI could have provided me in the interim. I can just visualize some PA revenue types sitting around a cheap Formica table chowing down on lukewarm Chinese takeout scrutinizing a copy of my canceled sales tax check. And reflecting on the heavy responsibilities they have assumed to squeeze every last drop of money out of PA citizens.
I don’t think they teach that whole 1776 thingy in schools anymore, makes it so much easier for them.
The census bureau keeps telling me I’ve been selected for a special survey, I keep telling them no thanks I already did the mail-in. They want to send someone over to do a 68 minute interview on my spending habits, I’ve turned the lady away twice.

Police, Vampires and any government workers-never let them in your front door.
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