DEAR SUN SPOTS: Maybe you can explain my telephone bill. Even though it is not large, I do not understand the additional taxes and surcharges I must pay. I already pay a terribly high school and library tax, especially when we are in our 70s and have no one in school.

Why do we have to pay for all the outside extra activities? Why don’t the people enjoying them pay for all their sports? How many times do we have to pay for the same item — telephone, property taxes, state taxes and federal taxes? Does the state think we don’t see this? — John Dube, Rumford

ANSWER: Sun Spots explained all the taxes attached to your telephone bill in her Feb. 23 column (http://tinyurl.com/c298by4).

And yes, taxing authorities — state, federal and local — are well aware of all the different taxes. Because most people don’t want to pay taxes, governments try to “hide” them by attaching them to things that people do want, such as phones, alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, etc.

They also know that many seniors object to paying for schools. Sun Spots suspects that young people also object to paying for discounts and services that seniors get. It probably all evens out in the end.

Right now seniors are doing better than children when it comes to benefiting from at least the federal portion of taxes. As a Feb. 15 Washington Post story (http://tinyurl.com/cmnvkno) noted, federal spending on children has stayed about the same (10 percent), while spending on seniors has blossomed. Currently, the federal government is spending about $7 on seniors for every $1 spent on children.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to your Feb. 23 column on phone service charges, since I don’t have long distance on my phone, I called Fairpoint Communications about the Federal Universal Fund charge. The girl said that it’s a local charge for every line. Thank you for your help. — No Name, No Town

ANSWER: According to the research Sun Spots did, there are two different charges called “Universal” to help pay for providing local service for everyone. One is federal; the other is local.

Not every phone company charges both. All of these taxes are very complicated and vary depending on your phone service provider. Visit fcc.gov (exact site is http://tinyurl.com/d2xdy4e) if you want to learn more. Sun Spots has decided to just pay in blissful ignorance.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Saturday, May 4, High Street Congregational Church UCC will hold its eighth annual indoor yard sale. The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the church at 106 Pleasant St., Auburn.

We are renting eight-foot tables for $15 to anyone who would like to participate.

If you have any questions or would like to rent a table, please call me at 782-2835.

Thank you, Ms. Sun Spots, for all you do! — Connie Ray, Auburn

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Sumner Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will be holding a yard/garage/bake/plant sale at the Sumner Fire Department on Route 219 in Sumner from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 1.

We are accepting donations in the form of baked goods, plants (house or garden) and other gently used household items with the exception of clothing.

Please call me at 207-388-2981 with questions and/or donations. All proceeds benefit the Sumner Volunteer Fire Department. Thank you for your service. — Wilda Dunham, Auxiliary president

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Calvary United Methodist Church at 59 Sabattus St. in Lewiston will be having its annual spring rummage sale from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 19, and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 20.

We would like to donate any remaining items to any organization that would be able to pick up items between 11 a.m. and noon on Saturday, following our sale. If interested, please call 225-5263. 

We are anticipating a good assortment of clothing and household items and fun catching up with friends and neighbors. — Calvary United Methodist Women

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]


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