Reg Standards Bureau There are supposedly two certainties in life – death and taxes – and while we've never seen death by wheelbarrow, Nick Stafford from Cedar Buff, Virginia, has sorted us out on the latter.
Stafford had got into a dispute with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and, seemingly displeased by how difficult it was to contact the DMV's staff over tax inquiries, decided to pay his $3,000 tax bill in coins.
And not merely in coins, but in wheelbarrows full of coins. Five wheelbarrows, to be precise, between them holding 300,000 coins. We'll let you maths whizzes work out the denomination.
According to the BBC, it took staff at least seven hours to count the coins, working so late they actually only finished early on Thursday morning.
The dispute began when the DMV refused to give Stafford the direct office numbers for people to contact in order to register three vehicles and pay the sales tax on them. He filed a Freedom of Information request to get the number, but when that came through he rang it to be told that the number was not intended to be used for public enquiries.
Stafford's dispute continued and he demanded to know the direct numbers of nine other tax offices, even though the DMV had by this point answered his original query. This was refused, and so Stafford went to court to have his case heard. He did not win the case, although he did manage to get the taxman's numbers.
Stafford told the Beeb: "It shouldn't matter if you pay $300 per year in income taxes or pay $300,000 per year in income taxes like myself, because the backbone of a free democracy/republic begins with government transparency, period."
Of his payment, the BBC wonderfully noted, it:
- Required five wheelbarrows, costing about $400
- Required 11 people who were hired to break open the paper rolls of the coins, taking four hours
- Weighed 1,600lb (726kg), heavier than a mature cow
- Took at least seven hours to be counted
As such, The Register will now be adding the Wheelbarrow Full of Coins as a standard unit of measurement here at The Reg Standards Soviet.
Henceforth, one wheelbarrow shall be known as 1Whb. 5Whbs shall equal $3,000, as well as a single unit of the most precious good there is: a middle finger to the government. ®