Thursday, February 28, 2008

Marred by taxes

Talking about personal finance is all-too-often a sombre, serious pursuit. Which is why I'm relieved that the conventional media in which I work is slowly waking up to the potential of the web as a medium for telling stories in a different way.

Case in point? Marred by taxes.

Garry Marr, real estate reporter at the Financial Post (and former colleague of mine) has begun a weekly series of videos on FP's website in which he rants and raves about the myriad ways that Canadians are overtaxed. What really works about the series is that it's not an act -- Garry's just a curmudgeonly guy who does this all day long at his cubicle anyway. Somebody just had the brilliant idea of videotaping it.

Maybe it's because of the headaches I'm currently going through dealing with various utility companies while I extricate myself from my apartment, but I really loved Garry's thinking aloud about why, exactly, his gas, hydro and water bills seem to be intentionally obtuse and misleading.

A customer charge? Delivery charge? Gas supply charge? Debt retirement charge? Since when does making sure there's a free market for electricity in Ontario cost me $18.82 every month? What ever happened to the concept of billing me for the amount of electricity or gas that I use.

I tried to embed the video below, but in case it doesn't work, click here to be redirected.


nancy (aka money coach) said...

I posted earlier on my blog about why I don't have a hate on for taxes, but I have to say, those are awesome videos by Marr. Tx for pointing them out!

sharebear99 said...

I posted a complete breakdown on my blog on the cost of electricity given all of the extra charges.

You can turn of all of the power to your home and live in the dark for a month but the power company will still charge you $12.68 for having the privilege of being their customer. You will also pay a charge of $0.25 for administrative fees.