Tripped up by payment change

Our thanks to Bob Ryan for alerting us to the Snohomish County Treasurer’s discontinuation of the automatic payment program used to collect property taxes. We have been using this program to make bi-annual payments since the program was put in place.

We did receive notice in the February posted Property Tax Statement of the treasurer’s action. And recently, we received a post card sized mailer stating, “Corrected Courtesy Reminder — 2013 property taxes owing as of NOVEMBER 1, 2013,” and the tax amount.

Neither of those mailings led us to believe that we were delinquent. The wording in both had us believing that we were doing what they offered as an option; paying via e-check.

When we read Bob Ryan’s letter to the editor, “Automatic bank deduction missed,” we immediately checked our bank statements and found no property tax payments were processed in April or November. Hello, we were delinquent and owed an additional $494.71 in penalties and interest. Ouch!

I talked to a representative in the treasurer’s office and expressed my dissatisfaction, that they would wait until late November to contact us about the missed payment in April. The penalty fees increase day-by-day, so was there incentive to not go the extra mile and alert customers when the first payment was missed?

The representative stated that they did what they were required to do, mailing notices, and she was apologetic. The fact still remains that the county collected additional revenue totaling $1,119.61 from both Bob Ryan and ourselves. Oh, and the representative admitted that we were not alone.

Jon Renshaw


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