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Privatization Madness: Now Private Companies are Collecting Our Taxes

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As the soon-to-be-furloughed tax director Shay added, "It's always better if your tax collector is closer to the people paying the taxes." He explained that this proximity makes it easier to catch cheating, and also easier to help taxpayers when there are problems (like mine). Just one example: figureing out one's local tax bill can be complicated -- for example, someone who works in nearby Philadelphia, and pays a 4% tax to that city, can have that payment deducted from the local bill, thus wiping out any local tax completely, but this can be hard for a number-challenged resident. The friendly tax staff at the township were always happy to do the work right in front of you at the counter -- for free.  Berkheimer isn't even located near the township, and offers only a website to work with.

So what's ahead? Republican legislatures are mandating privatized tax collection for local taxing authorities. We already have privatized prisons, privatized schools, privatized highways, privatized police. Will things move upwards now to the state and federal level? How long before the Berkheimer-type companies are collecting our state taxes? And with some Republicans pushing for an end to the IRS, how long before some Berkheimer clone gets the gig for collecting our federal taxes?

By then, I would suspect that when you call the company with a complaint about your taxes, you'll get someone with a strong Indian accent calling him or herself Richard or Marilyn answering from a phone center in Bangalore.

DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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than just the salary paid.  The savings also ... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 at 8:51:39 PM
NOT a savings at all, if the employees end up need... by Jill Herendeen on Friday, Oct 19, 2012 at 3:16:06 PM
One has to admire those Republicans.  They ar... by Sara Cope on Friday, Oct 19, 2012 at 9:37:19 AM
It keeps on getting better, doesn't it?... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:37:41 AM
Yes, at the rate it's going, it could be the IRS, ... by E. J. N. on Friday, Oct 19, 2012 at 1:50:22 PM