Hood taxes are the most costly for residents near UA

“Everyone looks forward to payday. There are bills and rent to pay and good times to be had, and an adequate supply of funds is highly desired by all. Cracking open the check’s envelope and expecting to be rollin’ with G’s, a sudden and utter disappointment sets in: Social security, FICA, and local, state and federal income taxes have eaten away a sizable portion of what was once a decent paycheck.”

Everyone looks forward to payday.

There are bills and rent to pay and good times to be had, and an adequate supply of funds is highly desired by all.

Cracking open the check’s envelope and expecting to be rollin’ with G’s, a sudden and utter disappointment sets in: Social security, FICA, and local, state and federal income taxes have eaten away a sizable portion of what was once a decent paycheck.

So much for buying that pretty new dress.

With April 15 not far around the corner and many college students fairly clueless as to how to prepare their taxes, we may look to outside sources for consultation on how to get the most back from Uncle Sam.

And why not? After all, we won’t be seeing that Social Security for some time, so let’s manipulate the system, dependents, head of household statuses, and itemized deductions and take back what’s ours.

Taxes are unavoidable for everyone.

However, with the start of another semester and Akron’s constant rise on the list of the 100 most dangerous cities to live in, there’s yet another tax for students to worry about. It’s no new cigarette tax or an increase in the local income tax – it’s a brand new kind of ‘sin’ tax, one that TurboTax can’t help us with: the infamous Akron hood tax, a term coined by two assailants outside a local video store, demanding it from an unsuspecting patron.

The wave of crime we had close to and on campus last semester was alarming.

Burglaries, assaults, robberies, and car thefts were among the most prevalent crimes that students were increasingly becoming the victims of.

If you’ll recall, one of the earliest editions of the Buchtelite last fall included a map of the University of Akron campus, directly south of which was outlined neighborhoods as being gang territories.

That’s not merely supposition.

While gang ties may be difficult to prove, statistically, those areas surrounded by Grant, Brown, Exchange, and South streets have seen more crime than most of the other areas in Akron.

During winter break, however, this crime saw a drastic decline, which may be caused by several factors.

First, with some 5,000 students living in off-campus housing within walking distance of the university, many of whom go home for break, the pool of potential victims simply dwindles.

No more drunk girls convinced to do just one more shot before stumbling home in high heels and short skirts, oversized purse in one hand and bottle of ‘Gatorade’ in the other, to become easy targets.

With campus a ghost town, robbers just end up robbing each other, stealing the same stuff over and over again, which grows boring.

Next, some of these robbers and assailants go home for break, too.

Of course, that happens after an entire semester of prime looting time.

No wonder their families question their ability to pay for such gifts: a Coach purse, half-used bottle of pepper spray, and a cell phone that can’t be activated because it comes up as lost/stolen in the provider’s database.

And that kid who received the used Dell laptop with a missing F2 key and mysterious initials engraved in the bottom? I still need to talk to him.

Finally, it’s a proven fact that robbers are like bears. Bears with guns. They like to stay holed up, nice and warm during the winter.

Their thieving appetites satiated, they’re content to wait out the cold, to awake at a time when it’s warmer and there’s a fresh supply of food to go around. That time is quickly coming.

Methods to avoid becoming a victim have already been well-communicated by the University of Akron.

It’s about common sense.

Walk in groups, don’t walk at night, leave your purse at home, don’t talk to strangers, lock your doors/windows, etc.

Alternative measures include screaming like a maniac and causing a scene when approached by a stranger on a poorly lit sidewalk, offering your robber some free reading material (tiny bible) just before punching him in the face, walking around with an intimidating look on your face and reaching into the inside pocket of your coat every once in a while in a suspicious way, and flat-out demanding your robber’s wallet instead. Reverse psychology, you see.

In all seriousness, though, be careful out there. It’s that time of year again, and everyone is a potential victim.