Thursday, May 17, 2018

Only in government?

Take a system that involves paying a license fee to hold a charitable gambling event.  The fee is based on anticipated revenue.  If you go over that amount you upgrade your license to a larger.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right?  For our veteran's non-profit charity is ranges from $61 (if we are going to take in less than $5,000 in a year) to $1632 (for revenue over $75,000).  It has been pretty easy.  The first couple years we either overpaid by a little or had to upgrade partway through the year.  That was when we were larger and raffling off Harley Davidson motorcycles.  Now we just keep a $61 license, run a few small raffles a year, and Bob's our uncle.

So I get an email a few months ago followed by a new one today, announcing the "Fee Simplification Process".  Comment has been taken, meetings have been held, the new process has been adopted, and it goes into effect this summer.  Simpler is better, right?

Feast your eyes on what the government considers simplified.

See the part that says "Pay base fee"?  Yeah, that's all I used to have to do.  The "simplification" part comes in the next line.

As gambling manager I now have to calculate the fee each quarter based on our revenue stream and submit a payment along with a quarterly report.  $65 to start plus 3.38% of every dollar we take in up to a max of $2,000.  For us, staying under $5,000, that works out to a fee increase of about $100 per year.  If we were to raffle another Harley Davidson (unlikely given the amount of work that requires, but for the sake of argument) it would cost us an extra $1,000 in fees over the old system.

So let's recap.  Our fees have more than doubled, I have to calculate how much we have taken in four times a year and submit a payment based on those figures, and this is called "fee simplification".  If the government were a private business there would be four competitors lined up to offer the same service in a less expensive and simpler way.

No comments: