Friday, December 8, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, January 24, 2016
Tax Is for the Birds
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:01 AM :: 3741 Views :: Taxes

Tax Is for the Birds

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii

Every so often, we run into a story that reminds us that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously all the time. Here’s one that reminds us that even at the tax office customer service is important. Otherwise some very interesting things can happen.

The Register-Guard in Oregon reports a recent incident involving a 66-year-old taxpayer who, after a meeting with state revenue officials, was in a really fowl mood. So much so, that instead of squawking over the outcome himself he released seven chickens in the revenue office lobby. No word on how the revenue office staff reacted when they saw the poultry running around the premises. (They certainly experienced a “WTF” moment. As in, What the Flock?)

The revenue office called police. (Obviously, fowl play was involved.) An officer responded, as did someone from the animal welfare department. No word on how the revenue office employees reacted when the officers asked them what happened. (Did they have egg on their face?) The officers proceeded to round up the chickens and then took them to a nearby animal shelter.

Representatives of the Greenhill Humane Society, which operates the shelter, didn’t immediately return messages from the press seeking comment. (Perhaps they were having lunch. Fried chicken maybe?)

Neither humans nor birds were harmed during the course of the altercation. The revenue office was not damaged, except that the chickens pooped on a few things. (Some Register-Guard readers remarked that it was tough to distinguish between the chickens’ presents and the revenue office employees—but wait, that’s not true; the employees have badges.)

The revenue office’s spokesman said office employees had prior dealings with the taxpayer and that the taxpayer was “frustrated with the outcome.” (Perhaps this taxpayer remembered that back in the old days, people used to tar and feather the tax collectors. Apparently he ran out of tar.)

No word on whether the chickens were credited to his tax account.

One point we can take away from this story is that it’s critically important for our government employees (and for the rest of us in business) to deliver good customer service, especially when they may be bringing news to the customer that the customer might not want to hear. Was the customer treated like an individual, or was he treated like a nameless bird in a flock? Maybe that was the point the customer here was trying to make.

Certainly, when you or I or a government agency employee are in business and have been in business for a while, we develop specialized knowledge that others will not have. Someone working in a plumbing company may know lots more about pipes and fittings than most normal people. Someone working at a department store may accumulate vast knowledge about brand names, fabrics, and product quality. With that enhanced knowledge, it’s easy to look down upon the rest of us normal people and treat us as if we aren’t human. Customers, of course, think that being treated that way is for the birds. We need to hear the rooster crowing, wake up, and focus on providing a great customer experience.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii