i was looking over the

water bill.  I rarely do that unless it's just crazy high.  Anyway, I was looking it over but zoomed in because everything was all shifted to the right so the billing date looked like the due date and other stuff like that.  By zooming in, I noticed the note "*voluntary contribution".  Okay.  Well I noticed the two asterisks included in my breakdown and sure enough, that all adds up to my amount due.  It reminds me of that whole fine print of tips being included.

Now, I'm not about to not donate to the city's emergencies services and I'll even donate the 50 cents to the beautification cause (even though it's a little questionable) BUT... it shouldn't be included in the breakdown of my total.  It should be one of those extras, like "Do you wish to contribute $1 to the Presidential fund?" - or whatever that lame, off the wall one is.  But no, it's thrown in there, mixed with the things we have to pay like garbage and tax.  And tax?  Am I being taxed for a "voluntary" contribution?  This just seems to be getting shadier by the minute. 

What I'm getting at is, sure, $4 isn't a lot of money but to somebody, that $4 could be a loaf of bread and carton of eggs or meat to have for dinner.  That could be going towards a kid's lunch money or haircut.  If the city's going to keep it added into the total due, it should be noted as a mandatory contribution.  There's a difference, you know.

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