Dallas Days Twenty Two to Twenty Four

Some random facts about being here in Dallas.

  • I’m actually in the city of Irving. It’s a part of Dallas County, as opposed to being a part of the city of Dallas itself.
  • The taxation system here is inordinately complex to an outsider. When you go to a shop, the price on the price tag doesn’t include the 8% sales tax which is added on at the till. So you never know how much you will pay for anything.
  • But taxes are all payed separately, so you have a federal tax, a state tax and a city tax. There may also be county tax, and there’ll be a tax for your local school district. So taxes are set at a very local level.
  • And that’s because lots of things are organised at a local level. The local police are the Irving police, paid by the city of Irving, from city taxes, and not from state or federal tax.
  • And the taxes on internet purchases are fascinating. If I buy a DVD from Amazon, I pay no sales tax because Amazon have no shops in the state of Texas (or anywhere else, of course). But if I buy a DVD from Best Buy or Frys Electronics, I will have to pay sales tax because they both have shops locally. I didn’t buy it from the local shop, but because I could have done, sales tax must be applied. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I am a simple man…
  • And the road labelling system is opaque too. Roads have so any different designations. An Interstate will have a interstate number, and a number for each state it passes through. But some of these roads get names as well. So the John W Carpenter Expressway is also state highway 114. I like names, as does Mrs Satnav. But the big road sign says 114, and the name only appears on a small green sign about 1 meter from the junction, so it’s almost impossible to know when you’re due to turn. Likewise, he sometimes tells me to stay on Interstate 35, but at that point in time, all the road labels refer only to state road numbers. As I say, I find it confusing.
  • And I went back to the IHOP last night, because I think it’s great.


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