The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Property taxes

Quit blaming county for change

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After reading another letter to the editor in Sunday's Herald, "Rethink penalties to ACH customers," I felt compelled to write with a completely different side of this on-going saga.
In February I received the "ACH Discontinued" notice together with my real estate tax statement for taxes due in April and October. It was on a separate sheet of paper in bold print with "ACH Discontinued" on a separate line at the top of the page in very big red letters and it would have been very difficult not to see it. Among other information, it listed five options for ways to pay other than by the automatic payment program. Since I had always liked the convenience of this program, I placed a call to the treasurer's office and left a voice mail message for a call back. To my surprise within a few hours I did receive a call back, not from a clerk or other office personnel. It was from Kirke Sievers himself. He was very courteous and took the time to explain the reasons this was being implemented. His main concern seemed to be for the security of the taxpayers' personal information. He said he didn't want the county to be responsible for the accounts of Snohomish County taxpayers to be hacked into. It made me feel good (1) that he would take the time to call me and (2) that he sincerely cared about the security of our accounts.
I think the county is getting a bad rap by all the complaints from people that didn't bother to read the notice enclosed with their tax statements. My question to them would be: Don't they ever check their bank statement balances? I would certainly notice if I had a few thousand dollars more than I thought I should have, especially a couple of times a year.
Rose Marie Lang

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