…Than having to pay for someone else’s mistake.
Yesterday, I got a notice in the mail informing me of a lack of payment on my personal property tax. This confused me because I put a check in the mail the week before it was due. The check hadn’t cleared yet, but I figured that’s just the way the folks in the local treasurer’s office worked: slow and ineffectual.
Upon further inspection, I noticed that they’ve taken into account that I paid this year’s tax. But, according to their records, I didn’t pay last year’s. First of all, thanks for waiting a full year to let me know I didn’t pay it. Also, thanks for making sure I have to pay it the week after Christmas, because that’s the time of year when I’ll have an extra $150 lying in my bank account just waiting to be spent.More importantly, I’m not the kind of person who just lets things go without being paid. Especially if it’s tax/government related. The irrational fear of being thrown into prison for tax evasion is really enough to make me drop that check in the mail. I’ve looked back in my own records and, I’m sorry to say, they’re right. There’s no evidence that I ever paid my personal property tax last year.
But that leaves me with only one logical possibility: I never received a bill for that tax last year. If I had gotten a little piece of paper letting me know I owed the powers that be $118 and some change for a car that I’ve already paid for, I sure would have paid it.Seriously, though, I couldn’t have gotten some kind of notice in March letting me know that I neglected to pay my taxes? They had to wait until I’d already cut them a check for this year’s taxes? And now I have to pay last year’s on top of it? So it’s like I’m paying my personal property tax twice. With a late fee from last year. But I can’t prove they didn’t send me anything because, chances are, they did and it just got lost in the mail. Because that tends to happen with important documents. And, even if we weren’t a year removed from the problem, it would still be impossible to track down whether or not they sent a notice about a payment.
Ugh… Look, I don’t like paying taxes. But I’ll do it. I’m a responsible adult and I know it’s a part of life. But I can’t pay what I don’t know I owe. And I’d like to know I owe it long before you decide I never paid it and deserve to have a late fee tacked on. Again, I say ugh…