Some have been blaming the Post Office’s long lines of late to “T” time. We’re not talking “tee” time as in golf, as in the 2014 Masters Tournament, which officially gets underway in Augusta, Ga., today. For you history buffs, the Masters has been happening since 1934 — 80 years.
But the Betster strays, as he is frequently told he is prone to do. No, the “T” time that may be responsible for those long lines is a lot less glamorous than golf. It’s “Tax Time,” you know, the time of year when we pay our dues to Uncle Sam. So, in case you’ve forgotten, the deadline to file is Tuesday, April 15. If you’ve been procrastinating, the Betster aims to inspire you with a few famous tax facts, begged, borrowed and stolen:
• If brevity is the soul of wit, there’s nothing at all funny about the U.S. tax code. In 1913, the code was a mere 400 pages; in 2010, it was 70,000 pages.
• If the number of pages in the tax code doesn’t get your heart racing, let’s try the number of words: almost 4 million. The Betster estimates that’s about 8,000 Best Bets columns — enough for about 154 years. That’s if the Betster did his calculating correctly — and that’s definitely not a sure bet. (By way of comparison, the Bible contains just 700,000 words.)
• Nationally, Tax Freedom Day arrives April 21 — that’s 111 days into the year. The folks who figure such things say that’s how long most Americans have to work to pay off their total tax bill. Yikes!
• According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will spend more on taxes this year than they will on food, clothing and housing combined.
• Alaska men can be glad nobody has pounced on Russian Emperor Peter the Great’s idea back in 1705 to place a tax on beards. Story goes he was hoping the tax would encourage men to have that clean-shaven look that was popular in Western Europe.
If you need to quit taxing your mind this week, may we suggest some of these Best Bets:
BEST YIPPIE KI YAY BET: Enjoy some range-grown music, stories and poetry at the Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association’s Cowboy Cabaret at the Elk’s Club, 5-10 p.m. Saturday. The event helps in the purchase of Cottonwood Horse Park. Admission is $25 adults, $10 students. For more information, call Tim Quinn, 299-2780.
BEST LEARNING FOR A LIFETIME BET: If
you were smart, you’ve already purchased your ticket for the Celebration of Lifelong Learning at the Homer Public Library from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. If you didn’t plan ahead, you can still get you name on a waiting list by calling the library, 235-3180. This is Friends of the Homer Library’s big fundraiser of the year.
BEST STICK ON THE ICE, NOT IN YOUR EYE BET: Drop by the Kevin Bell Arena Sunday to honor the late Kevin Bell, enjoy some fun on ice, have a bite to eat and support the Homer Hockey Association’s fundraising effort to buy the rink.
BEST LIVE YOUR DREAM BET: There are dreamers and there are doers. Homer artist Christina Whiting is one of those people who lives her dreams — for example, walking 500 miles along the El Camino de Santiago, literally, “The Way of St. James.” Whiting shares her trip in photos and stories from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Public Library.
BEST CALLING ALL YOUNG ARTISTS BET: Got an interest in claiming the spotlight? Now’s your chance with auditions for the Jubilee Performing Arts Show. Performing artists in grades K-12 — solo, with a friend or in a group — are invited to the Homer Council on the Arts’ auditions from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, call Denise Jantz, 235-4288.