Taxes from Hell
By Eric Jayne
Last month Joseph Stack flew his single-engine airplane into the side of an IRS office building in Austin, Texas. The attack killed Stack, one other man, and injured 12 others. The flurry of complaints and unhinged anger in Stack’s suicide note made it difficult to read but it was clear that he had a major grudge against American tax policies and the IRS. Like Stack, most of us don’t enjoy paying taxes (even though we enjoy the services their revenue provides) but before you take a page out of his nefarious playbook on how to stick it to the man maybe you should consider going to Hell instead.
Let me explain. Hell is a delightful place surrounded by beautiful lakes (of water, not fire) where about 300 people live. To get there from the Twin Cities you can hop in your car and head east on I-94 for about 650 miles. If you end up in Detroit you know you’ve gone too far because the town of Hell, Michigan is about 60 miles west of the Motor City. While there’s not a hell of a lot to do in Hell there are a few devilishly unique activities and events including one that soothes the sting of filing your annual income tax return—as long as you don’t mind submitting your tax return to the IRS the old fashioned way. The local post office, conveniently located in the general store, will postmark your envelope with the message “Taxes from Hell” for no extra charge. Pay no mind that the extent of your anti-tax protest will probably go no further than the passing notice of some mailroom clerk at the IRS; what’s important is that you will receive a bit of therapeutic satisfaction from your efforts.
After you’re done sticking it to the man, reward yourself by taking in the charming local culture. Treat yourself to a delicious frozen treat at Screams Ice Cream and Halloween or rent a canoe and go fishing in one of the many nearby lakes (of water) near Hell. Cap the evening with cocktails and live music at the Dam Site Inn which sits in the middle of Hell’s quaint downtown district. Before you take the highway out of Hell, be sure to get some souvenirs at the general store gift shop. One popular item sold there, for a fitting $6.66, is a deed documenting ownership of one square inch of land in Hell, and you don’t have to worry about reporting that real estate investment to the IRS.