Do you think I go too far in this blog?
I don’t feel that I do.
Sure, maybe I can forgo some of the ball busting, but what fun would that be?
I feel that I’m an observant person.
And I also feel that I bring to light some alternative takes on what the local commercial media might think but certainly aren’t able to say.
I’ve been pretty public and vocal about the local amusement tax fight. And the local tax collector absolutely hates that.
You see, I’m pretty sure that the local tax collector is a nice guy. He’s gotta be. But because I question the legality, fairness and value of the amusement tax, he’s got a bullseye on my back for every single show that I do or have done.
Quite some time ago, the tax collector for the city filed a citation against me for “failure to pay the amusement tax” and we both appeared in front of Judge Solomon.
The tax collector made his case and I made mine- but of course, I lost.
Found guilty of “failure to pay the amusement tax”.
I think that the fine is something around a hundred a fifty bucks.
But I still haven’t paid it.
It’s not that I’ve ignored it. It’s just that I haven’t paid it yet. (Even though every dime that I’ve owed to the city in amusement tax has been paid, I guess I still have to pay the hundred and fifty bucks.)
ANYWAY- I’ve been wanting to write a blog about “A Night in The Life of a Harrisburg Police Officer” and go on a ridealong. (Note: If the Patriot News writes a story featuring a night in the life of a Harrisburg police officer anytime in the immediate future, you’ll know they got the idea here first)
So I called the Harrisburg Police and spoke with the officer in charge of the ridealongs. He was very enthusiastic and explained the process to me. I have to give my requested ridealong times and beat (I told him I want the busiest, bloodiest, most dangerous shift- he told me 4-11 on a Wednesday).
After giving my information, he explained that they would run a background check to make sure that my ridealong doesn’t turn into a ride-to-the-clink and that he’d call me back when it cleared to set the time.
About fifteen minutes later, I got a call back.
“Michael, this is xxxxx xxxxxx with the Harrisburg police”
“Oh, hey. How’d everything turn out?”
“Well, you do have one thing on here that you’re going to have to clear up before we can take you out on a ridealong”
“Uh oh, is it a parking ticket?”
“Ha, no. No, this is something about failure to pay amusement tax?”
“Ah, the amusement tax. Yeah, I guess I forgot about that. So all I have to do is go and pay that and we’ll be all set?”
“Yup, sure thing. Just go square that away and we’ll schedule you a time for a ridealong.”
“Okay cool. Can I ask you a question?”
“How long have you been on the force?”
“And in eighteen years, you’ve seen a lot of stuff, eh?”
“Well let me ask you this- in your eighteen years on the force, have you ever seen someone charged with failure to pay the amusement tax?”
“Uh, nope. Never.”
So, folks, because of the amusement tax, I’m not able to report to you on exactly what it’s like to work a shift on the Harrisburg Police Force.
That is, until I pay that stinkin fine.