This is the the first year we have directly received a Montgomery County tax statement. Prior to 2007, the statement went to and was paid by the Wells Fargo Mortgage Company. Since we paid our mortgage on full in April, we are now the recipients of this notice. In the fall of each, I’ll now be billed for taxes due. Before now, I paid no attention to this detail. I didn’t have to.
I recognize that my neighbors and other property owning residents of Montgomery County are receiving such notices too. Such notices can evoke feelings about the prospect of paying taxes: frustration, anger, stress. These are unhealthy responses if dwelled upon for any length of time. Remember, our feelings are triggered by our thinking. To think of taxes as a negative fosters resentment, but there is a more wholesome attitude if you shift your focus.
This is what works for me: I choose to mentally remind myself of the benefit received for my tax dollars. I begin by seeing my tax payment as a community asset; it has value to the community. I know that my tax dollars are supporting the educational system in my community, and I believe that education is the foundation for success in life. I am, therefore, making a distinct contribution to the lives of children.
I also affirm that my tax dollars are supporting protective services such as police and fire services. My tax dollars enable me to sleep soundly at night, knowing these services are available.
A final thought: my taxes are supporting an infrastructure including the salaries of leaders of government. An all-volunteer force isn’t practiced in a county as large as ours, and they needed to be compensated for their labor.
An integral part of my life is my personal faith, in my case, built upon United Methodist tradition. In my tradition, the words of Jesus are helping in our transition to the realm of direct taxpayers: “Render therefore to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s…” I think this covers the dilemma of paying taxes.
We all personally benefit from our county tax system. I’m an advocate when it comes to appreciating the benefits received from the payment of Montgomery County property taxes. Join me in concentrating on the positive results of tax payments; it helps us accept the inevitable and the necessary with peace of mind.