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YellowDogSVC
07-21-2008, 09:20 PM
Okay, here's an ethical question of sorts.

You know you are being undercut by cash only guys and fly-by-nighters for tree services (removals and grinding stumps in particular).

In Texas, where I work, tree services other than land clearing are taxable. That includes stump grinding and tree removals (trimming too), unless it is part of first time clean up for new construction.
If you know your competitors are not set up to collect sales tax but you are and you have to do the paperwork, collection, and remittance, do you report the other company when you see them doing taxable services?
I haven't reported anyone yet but I don't like the idea of an uneven playing field. Sales tax is a Pain in the Rear! Some things are and some things aren't taxable and it's up to the contractor to figure it out and charge accordingly. I have had customers complain and argue after a job when I add tax. "so and so" didn't charge tax...
"but it's the law, ma'am"...

Anyway, what would you do? I also see a lot of guys running farm tags on equipment trailers with business signs on their doors. That means they probably bought the machine tax-free and their trailer tags are only $5 a year compared to my $130+ for mine.

Seems to me that everyone should follow the rules or else some of us are carrying an unfair burden. If you don't like taxes, tough. I don't either but the law is the law.

Junior M
07-21-2008, 09:36 PM
just remember they will get what coming to them.

74inchShovel
07-21-2008, 09:40 PM
I know exactly what you are saying. But the playing field never has been, and never will be level. The customers that surf around and look for the best cash deal are not the customers I really want to do business with. If you are being undercut by people breaking the law, chances are real good that they have no License, bond or insurance. I grind stumps too, and when I give a bid, I stress how dangerous it can be to grind stumps and let them know that I am insured to the hilt. I point out to them that if a rock gets loose and takes out someones eye, and the contractor has no insurance they are on the line for getting sued. Carry proof of your insurance to show them. Maybe this will help.

gene gls
07-21-2008, 09:57 PM
I sub out my fert work and know that they report anyone they find with out the proper papers.

YellowDogSVC
07-21-2008, 09:58 PM
I know exactly what you are saying. But the playing field never has been, and never will be level. The customers that surf around and look for the best cash deal are not the customers I really want to do business with. If you are being undercut by people breaking the law, chances are real good that they have no License, bond or insurance. I grind stumps too, and when I give a bid, I stress how dangerous it can be to grind stumps and let them know that I am insured to the hilt. I point out to them that if a rock gets loose and takes out someones eye, and the contractor has no insurance they are on the line for getting sued. Carry proof of your insurance to show them. Maybe this will help.

Down in Texas stump grinding can mean anything from axes and exchange students with shovels to pulling them out with a Chevy. It's all taxable under landscaping/tree services. It shouldn't be, but is for some reason. Land clearing, however, isn't as long as it is for a new home, ranch or farm clearing. If anyone understands the TX sales tax better than I, chime in. That's my understanding after 11 years of talking to the folks.

I know for a fact that a number of competitors don't carry insurance. Heck, I know some who haul a backhoe without a CDL. Accident just waiting to happen. Gets frustrating when times get tight but like you said, those cheapskate customers aren't what I am looking for anyway. I try and stress that on my website and again when I make contact on the phone or email. Some people flat out lie about wanting only quality work, etc., and then you find out they went with a lowballer at half the cost and the job looks terrible.
You know those guys aren't taxing or carrying insurance. You can't afford to and undercut. Rental equipment is too expensive and owning equipment is too expensive. They have to cut somewhere and it's probably on the insurance. I knew a guy hauling a JD 450 dozer with an OLD C (whatever) flatbed medium duty truck and trailer. He did not have a CDL or insurance other than general liability for his pickup. Nothing on the "rig" or dozer trailer. He hauled that thing all over the place but did it at night or on Sundays. I witnessed the highway patrol drive right on by him. Keep in mind the dozer was "strapped" down with 2 1/2" yellow straps! Heck, if I did that they'd call swat but this guy was under the radar. He eventually went out of business because his machine was broke for 6 months. He was a heck of a nice guy but took a lot of chances and was just plain irresponsible for carrying insurance.

Ok, now that I'm totally off subject.. :)

mastercraft
07-21-2008, 10:23 PM
I know exactly what you are saying about the hassles of the sales tax. I owned a body shop for 10 years, and it ended up being my biggest hassle. It took me 2 years after closing to pay it all off. In Ohio at least, it is a joke. After the return was delinquent for a year, they would send you a certified letter demanding the return. One day when signing for it, and feeling humiliated, the mail lady commented that she hated this day of the month and showed me a bag full of those certified letters. I finally came to the conclusion that the state just did'nt have the manpower, or it was just not cost effective to go after the small guy. I guess what I'm saying is that even if you turned someone in, the probability of them even ever getting contacted by the state is very slim, let alone ever paying it. As some others have said, those customers probably are'nt the ones you really want anyway.

Kepple Services
07-21-2008, 11:39 PM
Turn them in, I have done it on a few. They will always get theirs and the issue is who will they take down with them when it happens? Case in point locally here we just had a tree service lay a crane across an old couples house. Been in buisness 30 years. They hauled arse when it happened. Why, you guessed it, no insurance. Now not only are they completely out of buisness, but the old couple is out of luck because their insurance has to pick up the tab on fixing the house.

Summit L & D
07-22-2008, 01:03 AM
Turn 'Em in. We are working right here in the area with you, and it is very frustrating getting low balled by these outfits. My hope is that the downturn in the economy will take these guys out of the market, and give the legit guys the respect in the marketplace we deserve.

Scag48
07-22-2008, 01:40 AM
My old man is fighting somewhat the same issue landscaping. A lot of guys are unlicensed, uninsured, sure as hell aren't charging sales tax and doing things by the book. One of the biggest offenders in town finally got slapped when he installed a pool illegally without a permit, was forced take it out at the homeowner's expense because duh, the guy they hired to do the landscaping doesn't have insurance to cover the fault. He also tried to wire some of the electrical to the pool himself and got slapped for that too, I"m sure that was a hefty fine. Hoping that he gets caught another couple times and it'll put him out of business. Before long, someone will catch up with them. My old man has been in business for 5 years and never has had an L&I inspector show up on site. He was working way out of town on a job and an L&I guy rolled up, clearly saw everything was legit, and was on his way. Told my dad that he was running around trying to catch anyone not in compliance. About damn time they start cleaning up around here, it's starting to get ridiculous. My dad has turned a blind eye to a lot of these guys in the past, I think he's going to start turning them in. When the market is the way it is, the last thing we need is guys working for peanuts. It's already tough enough, especially with the rising fuel costs, to make a go at this business. It's just frustrating when you go out to bid a job and you are told the last guy was less than half the price on a $20K job.

Junior M
07-22-2008, 08:08 AM
my dad and i bid a five and a half foot tall retaining wall and it was with equipment a 12400 dollar job and we had beat every other guy by a few hundred dollars. and this guy overheard the homeowners talkn about the wall and he told them he could do it for 4000 dollars. we had 5400 dollars in just block.

well the homeowner was having a pool put in by our contractor and he had this guy come out and show him where it was needed and where the top of the wall needed to come out to get so much concrete. and the contractor asked him what he was goin to do for a footer and the guy said what a footer? you dont need a footer i will just level a place in the dirt. well then the contractor said ok well what about some drainage? the guy said ahh you dont need drainage either there wont be that much water hitting the back side of this wall it will be ok. now there is like ten feet of fall in about 50 or 60 feet. and there wouldnt be that much water.

and that is the crap you get here in sc because you dont have to have a license or a permit when the homeowner does it his or herself so that is what most people do is have the homeowner buy everything and get it delivered and have all the paperwork and crap in the homeowners name so technically no one knows that this person did it. but you should still do everything legit if you are goin to do it and do it right. now me and my dad are not totally legit but we are technically a division of the pool company we work for so we use his licence and permits becuz most the work we do are on his jobs.

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 08:53 AM
As long as we are on the subject...
I grind brush quite a bit. In Texas, it is illegal for a business or homeowner (rancher) to charge people to have brush brought out to their location and dump so it can be burned later..It's illegal yet they do it all the time and the fire department locally has responded to at least one fire that got out of control at the gravel yard. It's under everyone's nose yet the fire marshal doesn't enforce it. Everyone is griping about air quality and yet outdoor burning is the most popular way of getting rid of brush.

When I started this thread I wasn't sure how many people would be frustrated by the same things I was. I am starting to see a trend.
I personally would like to see licensing for tree companies and landscapers in Texas. I'd like to see trucks and trailers required to carry their license number just like the A/C and electrical have to. Might help weed out the crooks and fly-by-nighters. You could instantly check that number for validity.

srt
07-22-2008, 09:29 AM
Know just what u mean and their isn't a thing we can do. If we could get rid of one , two more will take their place. We just have to keep doing the work our customers have come to expect from us.

AWJ Services
07-22-2008, 11:17 AM
No matter what the business there will always be business owners with the "Walmart" mentality.
I mean you do shop at Walmart right?
It is the same thing.Something cheaper but not necessarily better.
It will always happen and nothing will ever change it.
There will also be a select group of customers who want a legitimate business working for them.

RockSet N' Grade
07-22-2008, 11:56 AM
I am experiencing that here...."oh, we just got a guy who works on the side and will come do this a whole lot cheaper". OK, fine, that is where the game is at right now with disposable income disappearing and alot of guys fighting for the same job or work of any kind. It is a conundrum. I choose not to waste my time turning someone in, creates bad vibes for me, will be misconstrued, word will get out of anyone doing so and damage a reputation. I choose to just bid more work, get fewer jobs, yet I am still staying afloat and busy..........that too may change and I will evaluate from there.

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 02:03 PM
It's a sting that goes to my competitive mentality from my youth when I go to look at a job and a competitor that doesn't collect sales tax has bid the same job. Even if I am apples to apples on the bid, the tax puts me over their quote. That stings.

I just looked at job today to grind stumps. My competitor had been there. He did all the takedowns...i'm sure he didn't charge tax. He's not set up for it from what I can tell from the state tax assessor (you can check online). For me to come in and do the work, plus tax since it's taxable, makes me look 6.75% higher than the next guy. That stings..
I'm going to keep the faith, keep doing the right thing (abiding by the stupid rules put forth by the legislators that should be strung up) and not worry to much more about it. I think the Good Lord will continue to provide. He always has! --Still bothers me though. I just don't cheat and don't like others that do. It's a personal thing. Goes back to the days of playing monopoly with my brother. He cheated! LOL :drinkup:

..that too may change and I will evaluate from there.

This leads me to ask: What do you do now vs what would you do if work is scarce?
I have about 13 attachments, a big skid, a toolcat, and a big chipper and dump trailer. I have wanted to do 60% tree work/land clearing and about 40% driveways. I've found, that as things have slowed, that there are other opportunities for cash in my pocket utilizing the equipment I have. I hate dirt work! HATE IT unless I am playing on my own ranch but have all the tools, experience, etc., to do fairly good excavation at least with what you can do with a skid. I have stopped turning that type of work away and even decided to haul some metal to the recycling center with the dump trailer. 11 years in business and I haven't tried that one. Got $360 bucks for 120 mile round trip and about 3.5 hours of work loading and hauling. Not great money but not too shabby considering my new machine still isn't ready. Just trying to stay busy doing whatever and I think I will go back to a full service company for a while and might even run a tree crew to generate enough material to feed my chipper. When homes aren't selling, land clearing slows but tree trimming seems to be real busy as well as landscaping. People are either improving what they have so it sells quicker or they are improving what they have instead of moving up when the economy slows a bit. Seems to me that any of us with equipment and experience could take advantage of that instead of staying too tightly focused on one or two services as I did last year with great success. Any thoughts?

RockSet N' Grade
07-22-2008, 03:35 PM
I have been setting rock walls for some time........that has all but dried up or guys are doing them for $9 a sq. ft......which is insane. So, we do driveway, patio prep, concrete walk out basements, yard grading, landscape rock setting, hanging doors, remodeling, fix water problems........I say yes to about everything that comes my way if it is in my skill set. I have hooked up with other subs and keep them pretty busy. It is not what I "want to do", but the rate is good, I am productive and creative, I am out there and by being out there working.....more opportunities come. Just have to wear more hats and make sure my overhead/costs/profit objectives are being met. I am expanding my circle, turning landscapers onto jobs and they in return are turning me onto jobs........its working......

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 04:07 PM
I am out there and by being out there working.....more opportunities come. ....

For me, the more opportunities that arise, the more I lose due to timing. People want my type of services but many seem to want it done by the end of next week. As a one man show who works with some quality subs, it's tough to only stay booked for a week so I keep work lined up for a few weeks. That's where I get into trouble. I get a lot of new work inquiries but about 1/2 of the folks are impatient. Gotta have it done right now even though they aren't building for a year. I tell them I am 2-3 weeks out, and they tell me they can't wait. I'll drive by the jobsites later...hacked to hell and a yard sign by a competitor is out there. Maybe I'll get a cleanup job but then again, why would I want to work for the impatient ones? I think I take it too personal. I need to get a ratio where only 1 in 4 is impatient. I can handle 3 new jobs for every one I can't do. I talked to a guy this morning that is backlogged a couple of months and he's afraid to call the folks and tell them he's backed up. I guess it's better to be overbooked and lose a few than to be underbooked and lose a few but I don't like telling someone I can get to them if I know I can't. Just not enough time in the day..you know what I mean?

RockSet N' Grade
07-22-2008, 06:00 PM
YellowDog.......I know what you mean, and here is what I have experienced last year. A larger dirt contractor took everything and overbooked. He sub'd alot of it to me, he got the credit, I got the immediate work, and he also kept his reputation up as a "can do" guy. We wore his colors even though our equipment said otherwise and customer paid him and he paid us. I do not know what his mark up was, if at all,.......but he is one of the few I know and respect and he is booked into September with a 14 man crew. He must be doing something right. So, if you have someone you can buddy up with to accomplish this, it may well be worth a try. Even if you have to hire an operator to run your equipment on Sat and Sun. it may be worth it....(and yes, I don't like to do that either because no one treats my equipment like I do)....but I want to be known as the go to guy and get er done guy......

RockSet N' Grade
07-22-2008, 06:03 PM
Y-Dog......this whole year is causing me to stretch into uncomfortable areas because I like to control my quality and I like to do the work, but as you say.."If you are not taking care of your customers, your competition will". I want to be the one they call, and if this is what I have to do to do it.......I am going there as uncomfortable as it feels.

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 06:09 PM
YellowDog.......So, if you have someone you can buddy up with to accomplish this, it may well be worth a try. Even if you have to hire an operator to run your equipment on Sat and Sun. it may be worth it....(and yes, I don't like to do that either because no one treats my equipment like I do)....but I want to be known as the go to guy and get er done guy......

I lie awake at night worrying about my dad borrowing the Bobcat! :) I know every sound, creak, and groan the machines make. Simply put, I know when they are broke! Ha!! I have thought long and hard about finding an operator. I would get a rental or a smaller, cheaper machine to start out. A lot of what I do can be accomplished with a good saw crew. Problem I have is they want so much money for chainsaw labor. Last time I was really in need of help, it cost $400 for 2 inexperienced brush draggers and one foreman/saw guy for about 8 hours. That seemed high to me but we got the job done, the customer was happy and I didn't have a heart attack doing it myself. :weightlifter:

I have had so much time to sit and think since my CAT fiasco that I am thinking of coming out of this with a new direction, different focus, a can-do attitude, and a no job too big mentality. Yeah, I would like to partner up with someone who isn't about to retire, has experience or wants to learn, but has a compulsive, quality oriented mentality towards work. I've tried a couple of guys and they worked hard but just weren't pros and didn't need the money bad enough. I want to find someone who is hungry and doesn't mind doing some crap work for experience. There is no substitute for seat time. Add some God given brains to seat time and you can have a valuable individual to work with.

RockSet N' Grade
07-22-2008, 07:52 PM
I partner with a group of guys.......the 6 of us share back and forth.......find someone, even if they are about to retire.......I am one of those, but I love to work and would rather work than sit home any day of the week. First step, just start asking around and putting out feelers and see what happens. Guaranteed you will get burned a time or two, but that is just the "sorting" process.

Construct'O
07-22-2008, 08:51 PM
I can get into this conversation real easy like i'm,sure others can.I found two young men that are brothers that is helping me.They don't have a pot to sh33 in so they need a job.

Wages are low ,but they are getting experience seat time and are happy,but far from perfect,but welling to learn be it grout work or machine.

If things could be done perfect that would be the way i would like to have it done,but no ones perfect not even me:)

I'm picky about my machines and my work.The young guys hates it at times because i'm always changing my mind( i just tell them they should be use to it there wifes does it all the time).

Drives them crazy,but they see the light when the job is done and why i changed in the middle of the stream.

If they ram by equipment around and see them or find some thing messed up on my machine they will hear about it.I realize things happens(sh33 happens as they say) but only once here.

I point out what it cost to run things and repair stuff that was from raming the machine around.Show them the repair and parts bill so they know it isn't all profit(fuel bill no days makes their eyes pop open):dizzy:

As far as doing things that is out of you comfort zone ,you need to get over that .I just wanted to run my dozer 33 years ago,but this what i do today.

Dozing,scraper work,clear trees ,waterway,pond ,field tiling,tile repair,septics and repair,farm, cattle,and the list goes on,but you get the point.

As afar as time no way will there every be enough time.

As far as trying to schedule everything you need to go with the flow.Learn who will wait and who doesn't.What job make you the most money the fastest.Mix up the flow might have to move to father then you like to get things done,but try to work out and area then move even if it's someones turn that you said it would be tomorrow.

No i don't like doing it this way,but what happens you never know who or when someone decides to cancel at the last minute ,just after you turned down that great job to be there for the person that canceled.How many times has that happened.

Well you get the point and there is other thing to many to point out.

For me as long as i have been doing it......... if they want me they work around my schedule usual, not theirs 90 percent of all my customer work is repeat customers,very few new customers a year,so i must do something right.

Plus losing a job once in a while isn't always bad.When their new contractor screw things up,then guess who they call next time .You :dancing:!!!!!!!!

I have one real estate guy that has me only do all his work on farms that he sells and manages.Just hang in there it get easier as time goes on.Even in hard time,altho it isn't always easy.I know i have been there.

This won't be the first time or the last.Well maybe last for me!!!!!:):usflag:

Fieldman12
07-22-2008, 09:43 PM
I dont have a problem with people not having insurance and collecting sales tax when just starting out. Really in the beginning I just dont see the need to go and get a business name and all that if you dont even know your going to get any business. My idea has always been to start in slowly and do only jobs that you can do and you know that you will not damage anything. When you see your getting business and know more about what your business model is then go get the name, collect tax, and so on. What I do have a problem with is people that undercut people in price that are trying to make a living especially if it is by a good bit. Seems like there is people every where doing stuff under the table such as working on cars on the side, computers and so on. Like I said if business is steady and so on than by all means get legal. If its just ever once and a great while then I dont see the use. Sounds like the people in your area have plenty of business so should get legal.

AWJ Services
07-22-2008, 09:56 PM
What I do have a problem with is people that undercut people in price that are trying to make a living especially if it is by a good bit.

So by you not paying the things that real buisnesses pay then you are overcharging the customer since you will have a higher profit margin due too less expenses.

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 10:14 PM
So by you not paying the things that real buisnesses pay then you are overcharging the customer since you will have a higher profit margin due too less expenses.

I would have to agree. If you know you are supposed to collect tax and carry insurance, and choose not to, you are doing your customers, the state, and your competitors a disservice by cheating. It takes time, money, and effort to run a business right. I know. I started off not knowing what the he11 I wanted to do and I was a cluster YOU KNOW WHAT but I wanted to be outside and I wanted to do something positive with the earth and afford the equipment I needed to make my own place a park. It didn't take me long. My uncle actually told me about sales tax. I didn't know TX had service taxes as it was fairly new in TX. Sometimes, well most of the time, I wish I had never gone there but I did and it's too late. It's a real Pain IN THE Backside. So much to know and not know and things to separate out and collect for and remit to. UGGH. Makes me mad thinking about it. I'd rather just send the govt. a check for $1,000 each year instead of filling out the paperwork and sending in my remittance every quarter. Luckily most of my jobs are tax free, ie,. homesites, land clearing on ranches and farms, and dirt work but the lucrative jobs like tree removals and grinding big stumps are taxable. Having to collect also means that I'm on a list to be audited some day. My competitors better hope that doesn't happen or I'm going to be a stool pigeon!

I guess I'm off track again? :dizzy:

YellowDogSVC
07-22-2008, 10:17 PM
Okay, this off the subject some but read this B.S.!:

Occasional Use Tax

All Texans are responsible for paying occasional use tax when they buy taxable goods and services for use in Texas and the seller does not charge Texas sales tax, or does not charge the correct amount of Texas sales tax. Use tax is reported and paid directly to the Texas Comptroller's office.

Making purchases by telephone, e-mail, or fax from mail order catalogues and Web sites are typical situations of when Texas use is due. For example, if you buy a shirt through an online auction from a seller in Ohio who does not charge you sales tax, or a New York electronics store sells you a camera through its Web site and does not charge you sales tax, you owe Texas use tax.

Items bought in another country are also subject to Texas use tax. For example, if you buy something in Mexico that you bring back to Texas, you owe use tax on the purchase price.

Furthermore, assume you live in Houston and buy an item for $200 from a seller in a part of Texas with no local taxes. The seller only charges state sales tax of $12.50, or 6.25 percent. Since the correct tax rate in Houston is 8.25 percent, you owe additional use tax of $4.00.

dozerman21
07-22-2008, 10:28 PM
Okay, this off the subject some but read this B.S.!:

Occasional Use Tax

All Texans are responsible for paying occasional use tax when they buy taxable goods and services for use in Texas and the seller does not charge Texas sales tax, or does not charge the correct amount of Texas sales tax. Use tax is reported and paid directly to the Texas Comptroller's office.

Making purchases by telephone, e-mail, or fax from mail order catalogues and Web sites are typical situations of when Texas use is due. For example, if you buy a shirt through an online auction from a seller in Ohio who does not charge you sales tax, or a New York electronics store sells you a camera through its Web site and does not charge you sales tax, you owe Texas use tax.


Items bought in another country are also subject to Texas use tax. For example, if you buy something in Mexico that you bring back to Texas, you owe use tax on the purchase price.

Furthermore, assume you live in Houston and buy an item for $200 from a seller in a part of Texas with no local taxes. The seller only charges state sales tax of $12.50, or 6.25 percent. Since the correct tax rate in Houston is 8.25 percent, you owe additional use tax of $4.00.

Is there a Cliff's Notes version or "Texas Taxes For Dummies" for all the rules?:dizzy: I could see how you might not know something is taxable.

Yellow- Don't you know that somebody has to pay for the Cowboys' new stadium?:laugh: After all, ol' Jerry needs the money. 1 billion dollars is a lot of change, even in Texas.:usflag:

Construct'O
07-22-2008, 10:44 PM
Maybe you should have went with the(Army) arm force system " don't ask,don't tell":confused::rolleyes::usflag:

YellowDogSVC
07-23-2008, 08:53 AM
Is there a Cliff's Notes version or "Texas Taxes For Dummies" for all the rules?:dizzy: I could see how you might not know something is taxable.

Yellow- Don't you know that somebody has to pay for the Cowboys' new stadium?:laugh: After all, ol' Jerry needs the money. 1 billion dollars is a lot of change, even in Texas.:usflag:

I only posted a paragraph. You see the list of taxes...will make your head explode. You can then decipher the rulings and letters on what is taxable and not for your type of situation. They contradict themselves at the comptroller. It's very, very difficult. AGain, I'd rather just pay my $1000 fee to be a business and call it a deal. Heck, make it $2k and I will still be happy. The state probably spends more on lawyers, accountants, and enforcement. Make it a law that to be a business you need a license number to display, pay a fee, and let the local cops write tickets like they do in the city for unregistered tree companies. How much money would the state save and gain revenue from tickets?

Stillwater
07-23-2008, 09:36 AM
Okay, here's an ethical question of sorts.

You know you are being undercut by cash only guys and fly-by-nighters for tree services (removals and grinding stumps in particular).

In Texas, where I work, tree services other than land clearing are taxable. That includes stump grinding and tree removals (trimming too), unless it is part of first time clean up for new construction.
If you know your competitors are not set up to collect sales tax but you are and you have to do the paperwork, collection, and remittance, do you report the other company when you see them doing taxable services?
I haven't reported anyone yet but I don't like the idea of an uneven playing field. Sales tax is a Pain in the Rear! Some things are and some things aren't taxable and it's up to the contractor to figure it out and charge accordingly. I have had customers complain and argue after a job when I add tax. "so and so" didn't charge tax...
"but it's the law, ma'am"...

Anyway, what would you do? I also see a lot of guys running farm tags on equipment trailers with business signs on their doors. That means they probably bought the machine tax-free and their trailer tags are only $5 a year compared to my $130+ for mine.

Seems to me that everyone should follow the rules or else some of us are carrying an unfair burden. If you don't like taxes, tough. I don't either but the law is the law.


You do everything it takes to stay in business and take care of your famiely. If that takes dropping a dime well then do it. other than that then that is all you can do. But the bottom line is the focos should always be on your own business. you need to develop a business plan around this issue. their are customers who only would consider a legit business, find them.

Construct'O
07-23-2008, 09:40 AM
I agree taxes is a hard pill to swallow !!!!!

But for ever dollar you spend in tax,how much do you save in being a legal busniess?

You can deduct everything you get or use as a expense to the busniess,so doesn't that count for anything compared to just paying taxes?

Plus getting to also use those attachments, skid,toolcat on your ranch ,but also getting a tax break for use as equipment for the bus.

No i don't like paying taxes,but i'm glad i do since i got$600 dollars back this year and for the equipment that i and you buy(new skid in your case) you will get to deduct it this year and save +,but again i agree their will be sales taxes -to pay also.

As least try to figure the difference in the taxes you pay and save then things don't look quite as bad at least.Hopefully the benifits outway the
hassle and bad of paying taxes?

And for some of the other guys that isn't running their busniess legit and not paying taxes they may also not be thinking !!!!!!! because of the benifits that they are missing out on by not getting all the deprecation and so fore on there equipment and expense.

I'm just trying to look at the benifits here also.Good luck :waving::usflag:

ksss
07-23-2008, 09:45 AM
Okay, this off the subject some but read this B.S.!:

Occasional Use Tax

All Texans are responsible for paying occasional use tax when they buy taxable goods and services for use in Texas and the seller does not charge Texas sales tax, or does not charge the correct amount of Texas sales tax. Use tax is reported and paid directly to the Texas Comptroller's office.

Making purchases by telephone, e-mail, or fax from mail order catalogues and Web sites are typical situations of when Texas use is due. For example, if you buy a shirt through an online auction from a seller in Ohio who does not charge you sales tax, or a New York electronics store sells you a camera through its Web site and does not charge you sales tax, you owe Texas use tax.

Items bought in another country are also subject to Texas use tax. For example, if you buy something in Mexico that you bring back to Texas, you owe use tax on the purchase price.

Furthermore, assume you live in Houston and buy an item for $200 from a seller in a part of Texas with no local taxes. The seller only charges state sales tax of $12.50, or 6.25 percent. Since the correct tax rate in Houston is 8.25 percent, you owe additional use tax of $4.00.


This is the case in Idaho. I was even audited by the State of Idaho for use tax. They start digging into your books. Say you buy topsoil from someone who did not charge you sales tax. They charge you for not paying sales/use tax, then they go charge the guy that sold you the topsoil for not charging it. They just go from contractor to contrator. I got hit pretty hard. The short story is if you did not pay sales tax on it, then your probably should have paid use tax on it. They want their 6% regardless.

RockSet N' Grade
07-23-2008, 01:43 PM
Books? What books? Who needs stinking books....May want to consider being like the old over the road truckers who "occasionally" had two sets of hours logs.

YellowDogSVC
07-23-2008, 01:53 PM
This is the case in Idaho. I was even audited by the State of Idaho for use tax. They start digging into your books. Say you buy topsoil from someone who did not charge you sales tax. They charge you for not paying sales/use tax, then they go charge the guy that sold you the topsoil for not charging it. They just go from contractor to contrator. I got hit pretty hard. The short story is if you did not pay sales tax on it, then your probably should have paid use tax on it. They want their 6% regardless.

That's what I am afraid of. The truckers that don't itemize out taxes on a big road job. I started just having the customer pay the truckers directly because of their refusal to collect tax. There is tax on aggregates here and the truckers don't do it. I didn't want to get caught holding that bag. It's a real mess. Taxes. And no, I haven't seen the benefits of deductions just because I'm legit. You still have to pay Cesar. Nothing is free with the government unless it's cheese and you are an illegal alien who didn't pay taxes that bought the cheese!

All you guys that buy attachments on Ebay or through direct marketers will owe use tax if your state pushes for it. The companies that are not incorporated or are just DBA's probalby will never get hassled. If you do the right thing and register, get incorporated, have a website, etc., you are a target when the state needs funds. I imagine a good tax hit could sink a small business? Not sure how bad KSSS got hit but I bet it stung.

YellowDogSVC
07-23-2008, 02:29 PM
This is the case in Idaho. I was even audited by the State of Idaho for use tax. They start digging into your books. Say you buy topsoil from someone who did not charge you sales tax. They charge you for not paying sales/use tax, then they go charge the guy that sold you the topsoil for not charging it. They just go from contractor to contrator. I got hit pretty hard. The short story is if you did not pay sales tax on it, then your probably should have paid use tax on it. They want their 6% regardless.

I reread what I posted from the state. According to the USE TAX, if you go to Walmart in a small town where the local tax rate is lower than the tax rate of a big city you may live in, then you owe use tax on everything you bought that was taxable. :dizzy:
My God, where does it end? I wonder if the state comptroller adheres to the rules? How many people go on vacation, buy something like a back scratcher or vanity license plate holder and don't report the use tax. Those people need to be hunted down and brought to justice. Ugggh.. and they wonder why the PEOPLE are sick of politicians.

The problem is, they pick on us one at a time and we are powerless to fight back, one at a time. If everyone would stand up at the same time and say "ENOUGH", things might change.

I don't have a problem with taxes per se because I like good roads and fire protection, however, excessive or stupid taxes are what I am against and I started the thread because I was po'd that I comply and it makes business more expensive for me while others don't comply and thus are under the radar and have less overhead.

Didn't mean to start a political rant but if you are going to tax me, then spend my money wisely and don't make the whole system so confusing that nobody can figure it out.

74inchShovel
07-23-2008, 03:22 PM
Let me see if I got this straight-if I buy $1000.00 of topsoil and charge the homeowner 8.6% sales tax, do I also have to pay a "use tax" in addition to the $86.00 the state got for sales tx?

74inchShovel
07-23-2008, 03:42 PM
I forgot to add that here in Washington the laws regarding corporations are going to be changed in 2009. If you are a officer in a corporation you will have to pay into unemployment, and L&I. Which is bad enough, but you are not allowed to collect on either. You cant lay yourself off, and you cant file a L&I claim. Outright thievery. I spoke with a lady at the State and to hear her sanctimonious rationalizations made me want to puke. :dizzy: Not to paint with a broad brush but alot of government workers have not the foggiest idea what it takes to make it in the real world.

Treemow
07-23-2008, 11:55 PM
In Alabama you get to pay Business Privelege Tax on top of Sales and Use.It's akin to the $1000 for the year because it is based on earnings.Your thoughts on doing any and everything is the way to go.The problem of cut throats is astronomical and they never "get whats coming to them!".The seem to never go out of business and they just breed more.The only way to win is through generating capital and sustained growth.With this comes some insulation.

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 09:25 AM
The problem of cut throats is astronomical and they never "get whats coming to them!".The seem to never go out of business and they just breed more.
It always seems too work this way doesn't it.

In Georgia we have a State Sales tax on product only.
There is no Sales Tax on labor and the only out of state purchases that are taxed are usually registrable Items like Cars ,4 wheelers, etc.
So if you resale a product for a profit then you are responsible for tax on the profit.

YellowDogSVC
07-24-2008, 11:05 AM
It always seems too work this way doesn't it.

In Georgia we have a State Sales tax on product only.
There is no Sales Tax on labor and the only out of state purchases that are taxed are usually registrable Items like Cars ,4 wheelers, etc.
So if you resale a product for a profit then you are responsible for tax on the profit.

yeah but you have a state income tax don't you? If TX had the state income tax, which I oppose on principle, then it could do away with the multi-headed hydra sales tax on services and that would stimulate business for sure if for nothing else than freeing up compliance resources and paperwork.

I am a flat tax guy. I believe in reasonable taxes but I don't like getting taxed only to have my money spent on crap. How many people got a letter telling them there were going to get a refund or not get a refund for the FED tax rebate? The gubment spent millions of dollars mailing out 2 letters. Why not enclose the letter with the rebate? GEEZ! How many people could that roughly $30 million plus for the letters have helped if the government truly wanted to help? How many miles of roads or bridges could have been rehabilitated. The waste is endless and shameful. We all know our money is wasted. If it was a private company, it would be out of business or at least the person responsible would have had their desk cleaned out and they would have been tossed out into the street!
We live in a strange world. There are no identifiable bad guys anymore. They look just like you and me and yet they claim to work for the people. What they do is try and build a legacy and keep themselves in power. At it's basic core, it amounts to theft. They steal from us but it gets convoluted because we get back a little here and there. That's hush money...keep our mouths shut. Where does the rest of it go? Earmarks and pork, feel-good programs, and advertising..yeah advertising. Why does the post office advertise? Is there anyone out there who doesn't have or never has used a mailbox? How hard is that concept to understand. Geez.. I don't want to get started again. It's pouring rain down here from Dolly so I have nothing better to do! :usflag:

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Yes we have a state sales tax(about 10 to 13%) and sales tax(7%) .

stuvecorp
07-24-2008, 12:18 PM
I hate having to be a tax collector for the state. How do we have a modern version of the Boston tea party?

YellowDogSVC
07-24-2008, 12:53 PM
Yes we have a state sales tax(about 10 to 13%) and sales tax(7%) .

that sucks. What about property taxes?

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 01:26 PM
Yes.
On a 150,000 dollar house you pay around 1500.00 dollars in my county.
They charge us ad valorem tax on vehicles as well.
My friends 2006 F250 is 650.00 dollars a year.
We pay school tax even though your kids do not attend public schools.
They tax you on everything you own in your buisness.
My skid runs about 600 a year.

Treemow
07-24-2008, 02:13 PM
You pay income tax in Alabama.The good thing is their is no sales tax on services.You also pay property tax on all assets.

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 02:35 PM
Alabama is very similar too Ga other than we have better College Football teams.:)

Treemow
07-24-2008, 04:27 PM
Thats probally true here recently.Are you staying busy.

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 05:03 PM
So So.
The drought and the building industry has left a sour taste in everyones mouth.
The works here just harder too find.

YellowDogSVC
07-24-2008, 05:25 PM
So So.
The drought and the building industry has left a sour taste in everyones mouth.
The works here just harder too find.

Same here! We got a slight reprieve from the drought with Dolly's rain but by Saturday it will be dusty again.

Treemow
07-24-2008, 07:40 PM
Same here market fell apart,oil has everybody scared, and all these people working for free has it pretty tight here.I bid a pretty good job last week and shaved all the numbers to sure I got it.Call the guy today and he said a guy outbid me by $2200 on a $9000 job.I told him I was glad it worked out for him.Thier is no way they could do the job I bid for that number.Go figure.

AWJ Services
07-24-2008, 08:09 PM
Had a grading job that I figured 3 days machine work and 2 helpers.
I would need all 3 of my machines and it was 35 miles from the shop one way.
I bid 2400.00 and did not get the job.
210 miles at 40 cents a mile = 84.00
Labor 800.00
Profit not much(LOL) 1500.00

The guy out there has been there 3 days,broke the sidewalk,knocked the stone off the house and he is not even half way done.

YellowDogSVC
07-24-2008, 09:51 PM
I can't even haul metal unless I haul it for free! I usually don't do that but back in the day we would get paid to load and haul off debris and metal etc. Now guys will come and spend all day loading up a 16ft trailer with metal for a run to the city recycling plant and split aobut $200 for a big load. I tried it 2x last week because I had a lot of junk on my place and did a clean up job that had some metal to recycle. I loaded everything with a bobcat into a dump trailer which was real efficient, loaded it to the top, smashed it down, hauled it in and only got $185. Barely worth my time because it took $100 to put 20 gallons of fuel in my truck. I don't see how guys work for free but I know a lot of guys don't pay their bills, are slow pays, bounce their checks, etc. When it's tight, it seems that a lot of fly by nights are out there. I can only hope they disappear through attrition since some of those scraps are what I can feed on in between bigger jobs or on rainy days. But, hey, it's a free country and as long as it isn't direct competition for a land clearing job, let 'em work. I have a month or month of a half of work lined up if I ever get my bobcat back in service. If it isn't going to be ready next week, guess I'll hire a sub to clear so I can chip or go rent something that can go into the cedar woods. This time off has really helped me focus (not really) but i keep tellling myself I have a plan figured out! :) Main thing is for everyone to keep the faith in America (and Canada) and we can all bounce back and make lemonade out of all the lemons on the horizon. Even if O'Bama gets elected, the economy won't crash overnight. It'll take a few months to run it into the ground. Just kiddin'. I'm keeping the faith that there are enough worker bees like me that don't want to see a tax hike..

Again, I apologize. Just call me mr. off the subject..

ksss
07-24-2008, 10:26 PM
I can't even haul metal unless I haul it for free! I usually don't do that but back in the day we would get paid to load and haul off debris and metal etc. Now guys will come and spend all day loading up a 16ft trailer with metal for a run to the city recycling plant and split aobut $200 for a big load. I tried it 2x last week because I had a lot of junk on my place and did a clean up job that had some metal to recycle. I loaded everything with a bobcat into a dump trailer which was real efficient, loaded it to the top, smashed it down, hauled it in and only got $185. Barely worth my time because it took $100 to put 20 gallons of fuel in my truck. I don't see how guys work for free but I know a lot of guys don't pay their bills, are slow pays, bounce their checks, etc. When it's tight, it seems that a lot of fly by nights are out there. I can only hope they disappear through attrition since some of those scraps are what I can feed on in between bigger jobs or on rainy days. But, hey, it's a free country and as long as it isn't direct competition for a land clearing job, let 'em work. I have a month or month of a half of work lined up if I ever get my bobcat back in service. If it isn't going to be ready next week, guess I'll hire a sub to clear so I can chip or go rent something that can go into the cedar woods. This time off has really helped me focus (not really) but i keep tellling myself I have a plan figured out! :) Main thing is for everyone to keep the faith in America (and Canada) and we can all bounce back and make lemonade out of all the lemons on the horizon. Even if O'Bama gets elected, the economy won't crash overnight. It'll take a few months to run it into the ground. Just kiddin'. I'm keeping the faith that there are enough worker bees like me that don't want to see a tax hike..

Again, I apologize. Just call me mr. off the subject..

I will make one political statement then be quiet.

Don't under estimate Obama's ability to run this train wreck right off the bridge in record time.

YellowDogSVC
07-24-2008, 10:30 PM
Look, nothing against O'BAMA personally (yeah, he's irish), but his ideas on taxes and spending scare the hell out of me.

Bleed Green
07-24-2008, 10:33 PM
Obama in general scares the heck out of me. I am hoping he doesnt get elected for the sake of the country!

Chilehead
07-24-2008, 10:42 PM
If there is someone you suspect of breaking the law, I would report them to the proper authorities. It's like this: I spent my money and time to get my pesticide applicator's license. Every day, I see fly-by-night guys spraying herbicide in some person's lawn. I can say to them, "Nice job, are you licensed?" Most of them say they never even heard of being licensed. What do I do? I report them on my cell phone on the spot. If I have to play by the rules, THEY have to, also. If I have to pay my dues to make it legally, THEY do, also. Yeah, most of the LCOs know me, and hate me--with a vengeance. BUT, this is business, and I am very pro-active in doing my best to put as many competitors out of business as I can. I start with the law breakers.

Treemow
07-24-2008, 10:43 PM
Neither of them are prepared to run this country with the shape it is in.

Treemow
07-24-2008, 10:55 PM
In the past we erected buildings when we were slow , but with steel and aluminum prices up and the economy dwindling their is not many sales going on.Here are some pics.

ksss
07-24-2008, 11:03 PM
If there is someone you suspect of breaking the law, I would report them to the proper authorities. It's like this: I spent my money and time to get my pesticide applicator's license. Every day, I see fly-by-night guys spraying herbicide in some person's lawn. I can say to them, "Nice job, are you licensed?" Most of them say they never even heard of being licensed. What do I do? I report them on my cell phone on the spot. If I have to play by the rules, THEY have to, also. If I have to pay my dues to make it legally, THEY do, also. Yeah, most of the LCOs know me, and hate me--with a vengeance. BUT, this is business, and I am very pro-active in doing my best to put as many competitors out of business as I can. I start with the law breakers.


Nothing wrong with that. Especially when your talking about mixing herbicides and pesticides, my hell, they better know what their doing and have paper to show for it.

YellowDogSVC
07-25-2008, 10:00 AM
If there is someone you suspect of breaking the law, I would report them to the proper authorities. It's like this: I spent my money and time to get my pesticide applicator's license. Every day, I see fly-by-night guys spraying herbicide in some person's lawn. I can say to them, "Nice job, are you licensed?" Most of them say they never even heard of being licensed. What do I do? I report them on my cell phone on the spot. If I have to play by the rules, THEY have to, also. If I have to pay my dues to make it legally, THEY do, also. Yeah, most of the LCOs know me, and hate me--with a vengeance. BUT, this is business, and I am very pro-active in doing my best to put as many competitors out of business as I can. I start with the law breakers.

But do the authorities even care or do anything? Unlicensed electricians have been running ads in the paper here for years. Law says they have to put up their license number on trucks and ads. Same thing for plumbers and AC guys yet every handyman offers plumbing, electrical, and AC work around my town. I have yet to read or hear in 12 years of anyone being busted out here.

Chilehead
07-25-2008, 08:17 PM
But do the authorities even care or do anything? Unlicensed electricians have been running ads in the paper here for years. Law says they have to put up their license number on trucks and ads. Same thing for plumbers and AC guys yet every handyman offers plumbing, electrical, and AC work around my town. I have yet to read or hear in 12 years of anyone being busted out here.

Yes, they do--but only if I light a fire underneath them: :blob2: Generally the police come out and issue a warning, sometimes a ticket. I make sure to contact the GA Dept. of Agriculture too, and make a big stink about it. If you sound like an over-the-top nature preservation fanatic to the point of tears with them, they will move rather swiftly. My proof of being effective is made known when I don't see the offending LCO in the community anymore.

stuvecorp
07-27-2008, 12:28 PM
Yes, they do--but only if I light a fire underneath them: :blob2: Generally the police come out and issue a warning, sometimes a ticket. I make sure to contact the GA Dept. of Agriculture too, and make a big stink about it. If you sound like an over-the-top nature preservation fanatic to the point of tears with them, they will move rather swiftly. My proof of being effective is made known when I don't see the offending LCO in the community anymore.

I don't know, that seems like a waste of time but more likely people hate you? It is wrong for the people to do stuff without the right licenses but lets be totally honest, the scappers/lowballers/fly-by-nighters are in business because people are cheap and they likely don't approach business with an attitude of treating it like a craft or profession. No matter what the economy is there is going to be certain percentage of perspective clients that will only take the lowest bidder even if that contractor screws up the job. The hard part is to focus your effort on succeeding and not get drug down in the mud with them.

With all the different rule and regulations, how can anyone say they are 100% legal? We don't need more government rules/oversight/regulations.

YellowDogSVC
07-27-2008, 12:35 PM
I don't know, that seems like a waste of time but more likely people hate you? It is wrong for the people to do stuff without the right licenses but lets be totally honest, the scappers/lowballers/fly-by-nighters are in business because people are cheap and they likely don't approach business with an attitude of treating it like a craft or profession. No matter what the economy is there is going to be certain percentage of perspective clients that will only take the lowest bidder even if that contractor screws up the job. The hard part is to focus your effort on succeeding and not get drug down in the mud with them.

With all the different rule and regulations, how can anyone say they are 100% legal? We don't need more government rules/oversight/regulations.

But what about unsuspecting homeowners that assume and get screwed by shoddy workmanship? The whole industry gets a BAD name and makes it even tougher for someone to trust a contractor.

AWJ Services
07-27-2008, 12:35 PM
I work in the same general location as Chilihead and I fully understand and support what he is doing.
I tried Lawn care and could not deal with it.

What I have found is the more equipment you own the less competition you have .LOL

stuvecorp
07-27-2008, 01:19 PM
But what about unsuspecting homeowners that assume and get screwed by shoddy workmanship? The whole industry gets a BAD name and makes it even tougher for someone to trust a contractor.

It is an industry wide problem because when the one scrapper goes out their is one more(or more) that does the same thing for acouple years till he goes down in flames or you just don't see him around anymore. Don't really have a good answer for you Yellowdog, if you do things the legit way you will likely lose work unfortunately. Alot of homeowners are only concerned about saving that last $20. Maybe after they get burned enough they will call a legit contractor. It does give you room to shine and show what a real contractor that takes pride in his work is all about. Keep the good fight.

YellowDogSVC
07-27-2008, 06:03 PM
It is an industry wide problem because when the one scrapper goes out their is one more(or more) that does the same thing for acouple years till he goes down in flames or you just don't see him around anymore. Don't really have a good answer for you Yellowdog, if you do things the legit way you will likely lose work unfortunately. Alot of homeowners are only concerned about saving that last $20. Maybe after they get burned enough they will call a legit contractor. It does give you room to shine and show what a real contractor that takes pride in his work is all about. Keep the good fight.

I truly appreciate all the opinions on this thread. I'm not looking to whine or complain as much as wonder what everyone else thinks on issues.
A little aside about me: When I went into business, I did it on my own. Not really anyone to talk to other than my Bobcat dealer. Didn't have many friends, was new to the area, and didn't get much advice about anything. Had to learn the very, very hard way and expensive way but luckily I had a chance to practice and fix up my own place quite nice compared to what it was when we found it.
Here's what I was told:" Don't get off your tractor and make sure you collect sales tax on the things you should. It's the right thing to do."-- That came from two uncles, self-employed that I respected.
My dealer told me that most guys do everything they can to claim exemptions to avoid sales tax on everything. Just the other day I told them to charge me tax on a rental when legitimately I could have had it out here for a week tax-free and used it under the radar for a day on another farm. I decided to use it commercially for a day and it cost me roughly $50 in tax. I may be stupid and may be going broke this month, but I still have my integrity when I look in the mirror. Nobody can take that away not even crappy economies or broken Caterpillars.

Anyway, keep the "talk" coming. It's very refreshing to hear opinions as long as people support them. I've got a couple of other threads I want to start. Looking for ideas on a change of course with my business..

RockSet N' Grade
07-27-2008, 06:46 PM
YellowDog, this tax thing is a far and wide item to be talked about. I pay my fair share mind you, but I am not one to go out of my way to "donate". Don't be so stubborn on this that it sinks you or makes you non-competetive with no work........integrity is a good thing, but you can't eat integrity when you are hungry and there is no food on the table. Attach other things to integrity other than you paying your taxes. From listening and watching you for some time now, I would have to say you have "it" and it has nothing to do with taxes....

YellowDogSVC
07-27-2008, 07:21 PM
YellowDog, this tax thing is a far and wide item to be talked about. I pay my fair share mind you, but I am not one to go out of my way to "donate". Don't be so stubborn on this that it sinks you or makes you non-competetive with no work........integrity is a good thing, but you can't eat integrity when you are hungry and there is no food on the table. Attach other things to integrity other than you paying your taxes. From listening and watching you for some time now, I would have to say you have "it" and it has nothing to do with taxes....

And thank you!

That's good point. My closest friend, a respected and successful businessman, echoed your sentiment exactly.
Mind you, I will be voting for any and all candidates that at least promise to fix taxes.
On the scheme of things, taxes are very minor. Just an annoyance like having a piece of cactus in your favorite shirt or a pair of socks or boots. Just enough pricking to get on your nerves!

I still subscribe to the idea that you can be as successful as you want to be in the US despite what the news says about the economy. If, God forbid, all the work dried up around here, there are other things I can do. Planting the seeds of education when I was younger and having other interests would probably help me. Pride keeps me doing what I do right now. That and I love to wear shorts and t-shirts to work. Since they aren't hiring many crocodile hunters that dress like that these days, I'm probably going to stick it out in the land clearing business for a few more years. I'm still hoping my wife will take that 2nd job so I don't have to work! :drinkup: Okay, if she reads that I'm a dead man but I haven't fished in a couple of years. :laugh:

RockSet N' Grade
07-27-2008, 07:41 PM
Here is the real deal from my perspective. It is tough out there. Get the work. Eat some tax if you have to, but when you do the simple math, adding a "0" to anything makes the gross/net suffer dramatically. Keep the income flowing, minimize outflow, maximize the "expense/deduction" column, talk with those who pay little tax but have alot (how do they do it legally, because there are ways) and be open to opportunity. Right now I bid 10 plus jobs and maybe get 1. So, I am bidding alot more.....probably 4 times what I would normally do, in fact, I will bid anything that comes my way. I still have 6 jobs ahead of me and just picked up another today......While most folks are taking Sunday off, I was out bidding and working because I am just built hungry/competative and I want it. My wife and I have created a plan for savings (we have been consuming all sorts of reading material) and all it really takes is a plan put into action on a steady basis letting compound interest work for you, and in a few short years....what was once small is a sizable nest egg.....Focus on that (moving forward) instead of the small irritations that side track you......

RockSet N' Grade
07-27-2008, 07:54 PM
YellowDog........If your better half is a team player, here is a book for her to start on: Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach. He also wrote the Automatic Millionaire. There are some easy to understand plans of action presented.......its not rocket science, its just the stuff they never taught in skool about money.....

YellowDogSVC
07-27-2008, 08:59 PM
YellowDog........If your better half is a team player, here is a book for her to start on: Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach. He also wrote the Automatic Millionaire. There are some easy to understand plans of action presented.......its not rocket science, its just the stuff they never taught in skool about money.....

My wife won't read much. :(
I did get her on the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. We apply it to our personal life and it has been wonderful. 15 months and we are debt free but the house (1 month left) then just a small house payment.
Business has proven to be more difficult to follow the TTMM. There just aren't any "old" bobcats to grind with. I won't grind with an old, used CAT because I hate the B series so I am resigned to have a Bobcat payment until I find that niche that doesn't require high flow. Might be the going back to shear/chip. Though I didn't make as much money because brush mowing is the "IN" thing, shear chip looks much better but costs slightly more.

We have an ok IRA that will be worth A LOT in 20 yrs or sooner and will have some assets like property. I believe that faith in God, smart money management, and perserverance, are keys to getting ahead. I just wish my wife and kids read more like I do instead of me having to lead them.

Having a budget that works is a big help and the absolute most important thing I have learned, live on less than you make! That in and of itself will allow you to pile up cash faster than anything and it will seem as if you got a raise. It really, really works. In our personal life we won't use credit cards or loans. Again, it has proven much harder to apply that to the business. I am not the only owner, so there is someone else to shoulder that burden but the the philosophy I'm working towards is a debt free business. We were basically debt free but the truck for a few months...before CAT. It was a sweet feeling and I actually got a raise! :)

stuvecorp
07-27-2008, 11:41 PM
I truly appreciate all the opinions on this thread. I'm not looking to whine or complain as much as wonder what everyone else thinks on issues.
A little aside about me: When I went into business, I did it on my own. Not really anyone to talk to other than my Bobcat dealer. Didn't have many friends, was new to the area, and didn't get much advice about anything. Had to learn the very, very hard way and expensive way but luckily I had a chance to practice and fix up my own place quite nice compared to what it was when we found it.
Here's what I was told:" Don't get off your tractor and make sure you collect sales tax on the things you should. It's the right thing to do."-- That came from two uncles, self-employed that I respected.
My dealer told me that most guys do everything they can to claim exemptions to avoid sales tax on everything. Just the other day I told them to charge me tax on a rental when legitimately I could have had it out here for a week tax-free and used it under the radar for a day on another farm. I decided to use it commercially for a day and it cost me roughly $50 in tax. I may be stupid and may be going broke this month, but I still have my integrity when I look in the mirror. Nobody can take that away not even crappy economies or broken Caterpillars.

Anyway, keep the "talk" coming. It's very refreshing to hear opinions as long as people support them. I've got a couple of other threads I want to start. Looking for ideas on a change of course with my business..

You had a rough spring with the skid problem and if work has been frustrating sometimes it can really eat at you but like Rock says keep rolling forward, that has helped me to use that as a 'mantra' for this year. One thing I have done this year is be positive with clients, they seem to agree that things aren't so bad and then cut Ryan a stinky check.:dancing:

RockSet N' Grade
07-28-2008, 12:19 AM
I too have had a rough spring. It has been hard for me to keep the main thing the main thing........I took two weeks off it got to me so deep. I worked on a sand hillside job, cave-ins and hand dig outs, was physically assaulted by the homeowner who moved in before the certificate of occupancy was issued......finished that job. Went to the next and the homeowner wanted to "negotiate" after the job was all said and done and endured nasty phone calls from him and his wife, have another job where the client wants material that is not available in this state but is not willing to pay - so I have a stop on that one......concrete guy poured the worst pool deck I have seen in 30 plus years wanted to charge $4 a sq. ft for labor and when it was all said and done it cost us $3,500 to grind it all down and coat the entire deck plus buff out the pool with a car buffer for 2 days........so I know what a rough spring is. The trick is not to get side tracked, keep track of your expenses/overhead and keep moving forward toward your goals that you have written down.......Oh yea, plus on top of that, we are remodeling our home and it is a complete wreck inside with dust, dirt, debris and no sembalance of order.....had a rock (boulder) smash my skid, bought a few new buckets and compactors that are just sitting for jobs that they said I had, but evaporated........focus and work harder and smarter. If it is tough out there, I am gonna be tougher. I wake up earlier and go to bed later.......bottom line through all this, my net is just a little less so far this year compared to last while some guys are already under.

YellowDogSVC
07-28-2008, 05:09 PM
So far, I am on tap to do what I did last year missing a month in between. In reality, I didn't miss the whole month. Found about $4400 of work for the toolcat but that's about 1/4 what I need to grow and pay everything off. I had/have the work. Just need the machine. Ordered a new machine around July 3rd. Still waiting...been limping along but, on the bright side, spent afternoons with my 4 year old daughter, got to stop and smell the roses, watch a few movies, organize my tools, and think long and hard about the future.
It's real easy to be a glass half-empty guy. I try to be postive. It's hard but I learned about this time last year that you have a finite time on this earth. You can CHOOSE to worry and stress and do the what if's all day. That takes up time, brain power, and energy you need to keep moving forward. I choose (it's not easy and an everyday struggle) to focus on what's good. I have started reading and listening to less news because it's like a drive by shooting. Shocks the heck out of you when you are least expecting it. Instead, I listen to positive talk radio and some politics so I can have ammo to beat on people about electing or removing from office those who would put their hands in my pockets.
Yeah, Spring was tough. CAT really let me down. I haven't made a huge issue but it is probably time I tell the whole story. It was like getting punched in the stomach when you make a lot of plans around something and it don't work the way it is promised. Lots of hype got me sucked in. Sold off what I knew worked and though I was frustrated with what I had, I made things ultimately worse and the worst part of it is, another company that relies on me has had to put things off while I was without a big machine.

But, it's water under the bridge and though it isn't popular in a lot of places to believe, I believe God works behind the scenes arranging things that He knows is best for us. It may not work exactly as we would like but things seem to fall into place..at least for me they do and I don't attribute anything to luck or rabbit's feet. Funny thing is I have met a few individuals lately who feel and believe strongly exactly what I just wrote. Can't all be wrong!

YellowDogSVC
07-28-2008, 09:48 PM
\en in 30 plus years wanted to charge $4 a sq. ft for labor and when it was all said and done it cost us $3,500 to grind it all down and coat the entire deck plus buff out the pool with a car buffer for 2 days........so I know what a rough spring is. The trick is not to get side tracked, keep track of your expenses/overh\r.

That sucks. That's a lot of money. I look at that kind of cash laying around as an attachment for my machines, an upgrade, or a vacation!