The hoop-jumping requirements to accomplish a simple good deed have grown outlandish. Hire a trainer, adjust your diet, invest in protein powder, and buy some of those Seinfeld Jimmy-shoes [44 seconds] to improve your vertical leap!
Hick went to the courthouse on Thursday with a mission. Word through the grapevine was that someone had neglected to pay property taxes for the past three years, and their house would be sold on the courthouse steps next month. Hick has bought tax sale property before. Just vacant lots, and strips of mostly unusable land. He would have jumped at a chance to buy a whole house. Little did he know that his impending good deed would require more serious jumping.
Hick has no desire to own this property. He's doing it for the owners. Nobody wants to see someone lose a house for mid-three-figures. Of course Hick discussed the plight with me, and we agreed to the deed. The good deed. Not stealing-someone's-house deed.
Off Hick went in his spare time on Thursday, to the annex across the street from the old courthouse. The annex has been in the news lately, because they have been closing at 2:00. Citizens are livid, because people who work can't get there in time. The early closing is due to heat. Yeah. Even though the annex was built much more recently than the courthouse, it cannot be cooled as efficiently. Here's their notice:
Our Air Conditioner system is not working properly and the office heat reaches excessive temperatures during the days of high outside heat.
When the 10 am. forecast issued by weather.com shows a forecast high of 92 degrees or more during the day, we will close this building at 2 pm. This will continue until further notice.
The air conditioning system of this building is now 16 years old and has developed problems with some of the control components. These parts have a minimum of 40 weeks delay in delivery._____________________________________________________________________
Oh my gosh! You should see the discussion on Facebook! People who actually work OUTSIDE for a living, absolutely ROASTING the namby-pamby government employees for their whiny weakness, and the namby-pamby government workers snootily declaring that they sought a career where they didn't have to toil outside in the heat, but could work a sit-down job in air conditioning. I think maybe the root of the problem lies with the entities who signed off on the installation of a cooling system that can't last more than 16 years...
Anyhoo... Hick got there around 9:00 a.m., and the employees were already talking about leaving early. He presented the information he needed, and pulled out the check I had given him for payment. From the same checking account we've used for the past 30+ years, at a local bank. The same checking account from which we've paid our own property taxes for the past 30+ years, mailing in the check with the tax bill. Oh, no no! Not allowed!
"She told me I couldn't pay by check! That it's not allowed on delinquent taxes. I sure wasn't going to use a credit card! I had the cash on me, but I didn't want to spend my cash. So I asked if I could use a debit card. That's instant payment! Right out of the checking account! At first she wasn't going to allow it, but then she said she would. There was all kinds of fees they charged! I have the total written down on the envelope with the tax receipts."
I asked if he was sure, because Hick is notorious for telling me the wrong amount. I write it down, old-school, in my checkbook register, and then find out when I reconcile it with the bank's automated line that Hick was off by a dollar and change. So I waited until the next day, and called that line, and discovered the amount Hick told me was NOT right. Of course we dealt with it during This Is The Time Of Day We Discuss The Most Recent Thing You've Done Wrong.
"That's it, Val. That's the amount of the three years of taxes, and then a $15 charge for fees or using the debit card or something. I don't remember exactly. But if you add them together, you get the total I told you."
"I thought that might be it. I DID add them. Three times, with a calculator. And still, it comes up 25 cents more than what you told me, and what's written on that envelope."
"That's what she told me!"
"I'd like to think that she's not skimming 25 cents from every person who comes in to pay their taxes late. Something is fishy here. I don't think the bank is the one that's wrong. I guess we'll just have to eat that 25 cents and never know what it was for."
Seriously. They make it so hard to do a good deed these days. Do they expect people who haven't paid their taxes in three years to be carrying around that kind of cash? I know people might try to pass a bad check. But surely they can pick up a phone and call a local bank to verify funds. Or have a deadline for checks that is a week before the deadline to pay, and not issue a tax receipt until the check clears. You'd think they'd want to recoup that money any way they could.
Anyhoo... it's done, and I'm bitter about the unexplained 25 cents. Val people problems.
That was very kind of you and Hick to help someone out by paying their property taxes. I honestly do not understand why they wouldn't take a check. Like you said, they can check to confirm there are funds to cover it and you're a local so it's not like you're going to pay someones taxes and then skip town, for gosh sakes! I will never understand the thinking of most of our government offices and no sympathy from me that they have to work in the "hot temps" as they get a lot of extra days off that the rest of us working stiffs never got or get. I've worked on many a hot, humid day, in a manufacturing plant and no one felt any sympathy for me. The fun thing was it was a scorcher during the summer months and you froze your fingers off in the winter months. Definitely not climate controlled. Poor little me. (My scorn for government personnel does not include the Pony - he gets kudos from me for every day he gets out there delivering that mail. What a trooper.) Ranee (MN)ReplyDelete
When we see a good cause, we do what we can. It seems like the county makes it difficult for people who WANT to pay!Delete
I think those county workers are salaried, and still get paid even when leaving two hours before the end of the work day. Maybe they should adjust the hours, and come in two hours EARLY, before the heat is so bad, which would also allow working people to get there for their business.
At the very least, they shouldn't be on Facebook flaunting their "superiority" to people who work harder than they do!
Where I live in Florida, a cashier's check is required. Made paying my tax last year interesting as a first timer.ReplyDelete
I guess Hick could have gone across the court house square to our savings and loan, and brought back a cashier's check for this gal. Probably would have cost him about the same as the fee for using a debit card!Delete
You paid someone else's property taxes? Doing that here would set you in the Poorhouse, our taxes are so high. Or so I've heard. I've never owned property. I hope the people are properly appreciative and begin saving towards next years taxes.ReplyDelete
Not enough to put us in the poorhouse. It's about 1/5 of the amount of our own property taxes. There are two factions involved. One of which is highly appreciative, the other who doesn't give a fat rat's rumpus! Still, I can't stand the thought of somebody losing an entire house for this amount.Delete
I had a similar fiasco paying my car insurance last week. I could not have paid in cash, which I would gladly have done. At our courthouse when the ac failed or something, everyone was allowed to wear shorts and skimpy clothing so that everyone looked like they were going to a picnic. The employees seemed happy for a reprieve.ReplyDelete
I don't know why they make it so hard to pay! Maybe your place didn't want to deal in cash because they had employee embezzlement problems, heh, heh! We were shocked to find out that our long-time dentist had a receptionist who had been taking cash and checks for a couple years. Including OUR checks, which she had cashed for herself!Delete
You'd think our courthouse employees could dress lightly, use a fan, and sip cold beverages to endure those last two hours of the work day.
Your good deed is appreciated whether by the house owner or not. It was a decent thing to do. I forwarded the money for one of my tenants to purchase a Fifth Wheel someone was selling for $5000. The tenant was a decent guy who took in his girlfriends grandchildren to keep them out of foster care. The guy didn't have much, but was willing to take care of these children and he paid me back every cent. No interest, but I did get my money back. He kept calling me White Oprah!ReplyDelete
Hope you made sure to say: "YOU get a Fifth Wheel, and YOU get a Fifth Wheel..."Delete
What goes around comes around. I'd like to think that somebody would help me out if I really needed it. Not necessarily financially, but with tasks I'm not able to do for myself.