Nobody likes to pay taxes.
Robert Fernandes, of Forks Township, Pennsylvania, wants people to know exactly how much he doesn't like paying his taxes. Last week, the father of three took his wife and children - and $7,143.54 in cash - to the tax collector. He paid the township tax bill in single dollar bills. And, just to make sure that he made his point, he posted the whole thing on YouTube.
Fernandes made his public statement to protest money that he claims is being "stolen" since he does not wish to "voluntarily" pay for services that he doesn't believe he benefits his family. Specifically, Fernandes' young children (ages 1, 4 and 7) are not enrolled in a brick and mortar school in the school district: Fernandes' wife is currently homeschooling the children. He said about the tax, "We don't even use the public system, yet I am being forced to pay all this money into a public school system. I don't think that's really either fair or just or even ethical. It would be the equivalent if McDonald's were to force vegetarians to pay for their cheeseburgers."
Fernandes figures that if folks understood how much they were actually paying in taxes, they would protest, too. He believes that most taxpayers don't know how much tax they're actually paying since homeowners with mortgages tend to escrow their real estate and school taxes and pay monthly; that sounds terribly patronizing. I would venture to say that most homeowners know more about the totals of their real estate and school taxes than they do about other hidden (or nearly hidden) taxes like sales taxes and excise taxes on utilities, gas and alcohol.
So what does Fernandes hope to accomplish with his statement? "I'm hoping people see this video and do the same thing: stop paying in their escrow and mortgage and start paying taxes the way I did."