Monday, October 29, 2012

Taxation Summation

Have you ever ordered a milkshake at your favorite diner?  You know, the kind in the metal shaker with real whipped cream topping, the kind that is so good you ordered a kids meal so you would have room to drink the whole thing?  But before the waiter can set it down, your 3 kids are asking for a bite and your husband just wants a taste.  All of a sudden, there are 4 straws in my milkshake besides my own!  Sometimes this is how I feel about taxes.  Separately, each tax just takes a few sips of my milkshake and I'm left wondering how much of it I really got to enjoy for myself.

To be clear, I am not taking a political position here.  I have always been curious what my aggregate tax rate is when you factor in payroll taxes, property tax, sales tax and income tax.  The recent political dialogue surrounding taxation did prompt me to figure the numbers but I will simply present the numbers and leave the conclusion to each individual.

Here are the assumptions and calculations I made:
* Based on US Census Bureau data, the median gross income for a family in Denton County is $85,000. 
* Social Security (4.2% of $85,000) and medicare (1.45% of $85,000) taxes total to $4,803.  The medicare base has no limit and the social security tax base is $106,800.
* For income taxes, I assumed a four person family who takes the standard deduction.  The highest tax bracket for a married-filing-jointly couple with $58,600 adjusted gross income is 15%.  Their tax comes to $7,944.
* I assumed the family put 6% into savings and (since I am familiar with the prices of non-table items for a four person family) I guesstimated the cost of non-taxable costs like a mortgage, groceries, home insurance, etc.  This is probably the roughest figure I have but it is also the smallest and comes to $2,312 or 2.7% of gross income.
* I also assumed home ownership for this family.  The Census Bureau provided a median home value of $180,000 for Denton County.  Using an average for the municipal tax rate and ISD tax rate plus Denton County's .277357 rate, property taxes amount to $4,067.

The total federal, state, and local taxes paid by this fictitious family amount to $19,126 or 22.5 percent of their gross income.

Are you surprised by this number?
Is it higher or lower than you expected?
Is it higher or lower than you think it should be?
I did not factor in annual fees like registration or state inspection on vehicles.  Can you think of anything else I neglected in my calculation?

Monday, October 22, 2012

October Employee of the Month

Farren Burchett

Please welcome Farren into the Eckert Hyundai Employee of the Month Club.  Farren has worked at Eckert Hyundai since January of 2006.  He is not only one of our most knowledgeable Hyundai technicians, but has also become a great leader and advice-giver in the service department.  He is appreciated for his dependability, great attitude, and good communication skills.  According to another employee, "He always has a great attitude and knows how to tell you what he can do or not do for you."

Farren, thanks for all your hard work!

Monday, October 15, 2012

National Food Bank Week

5K Pantry Dash Run Against Hunger

Join Eckert Hyundai at Eureka Lakes Park on October 27th for a 5K run or 1 mile walk.  The purpose of this run in to raise awareness of hunger in our community and to do something about it.  All proceeds from the race will go directly to seven food agencies in the Denton area.  Register here.

If you can't make the race but still want to participate, drop off non-perishable foods on our Service Drive and get a coupon for service work to boot!
Also present at the race will be Hyundai's most active and athletic model, the Hyundai Veloster.  With colors like Ironman Silver, Marathon Blue, and Triathalon Gray, this speedy 3-door is sure to beat me to the finish line!  Now available with a turbo engine, the Veloster meet and greet is another great reason to attend this charitable event.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day: Explore your Glove Box

In the spirit of Christopher Columbus, today we embark upon a glove box exploration.  These glove box contents (in order of importance) hold a world of helpful information if you know it is there and know how to use it.
* Owner's Handbook and Warranty Info- Read about warranty length and covered items including Roadside Assistance coverage and phone number.
* Maintenance Log- Keep track of your service history in one easy place, get maintenance recommendations by time and mileage, and access quick reference info like tire pressure specs and fluid types and capacities.
* XM Radio Pamphlet- Use this guide to see what is playing on XM Sirius radio.
* Owners Manual- Indexed and easy to read, this model-specific booklet is your go-to-guide for vehicle features, safety features, what to do in an emergency, and even how to perform simple maintenance items.
* Quick Reference Guide- Get acquainted with commonly used items like your key, instrument panel, and seat adjustments.
* Limited Tire Warranty Information- Since tires are covered under a separate manufacturers warranty, hang on to this pamphlet in the case that something happens to your tires and you need warranty details and contact information.
* Airbag Safety- Know when your airbags are set to deploy with this illustrated guide.
* Warranty Dispute Resolution Pamphlet and Handbook Supplement- Contains state disclosures and contact information if you ever have a problem with your new vehicle.

I learned a lot about my vehicle after this exploration and even cleared some space in there after purging a few unnecessary items and moving others to the trunk!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Employee of the Month

Kesa Barlow

Please give a round of applause to our first ever Employee of the Month for September, Kesa Barlow.  Kesa has worked at Eckert Hyundai since November of 2000.  You have likely seen her lovely face while signing your warranty documents of paying your bill in the service department.  She processes warranties, cashiers repair orders, and is essentially the glue that holds our service department together.

According to another employee, "Kesa is always willing to help with any immediate questions I have about in service dates, warranty work done on a vehicle or solving a service problem. I really appreciate her service-focused attitude and the fact she knows her job inside out."

Thanks for being so wonderful, Kesa!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Drive-through Food Drive

Have you ever had to choose between electricity or dinner? A medical prescription or lunch? 1 in 6 individuals in Denton county are faced with decisions like this on a frequent basis and are subject to the effects of hunger insecurity.

Help us in supporting local food banks by dropping off non-perishable foods in our Service Drive during the month of October.   Every item provided equals 1 more meal, 1 less hungry child, and 1% off your service bill!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Week to Register to Vote

Just a reminder that October 9th is the last day to register to vote for the upcoming Presidential election in November.  Go to to find out if you are registered and where to vote.

And on a related note, Eckert Hyundai will be hosting our own election for our Customer-nominated Employee of the Month.  Is there an employee that goes above and beyond, offers exceptional service, or just makes your day when you visit our dealership?  Campaigning will start later this month: stay tuned for voting mediums.
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