The recent move by the Snohomish County Treasurer’s office to discontinue the longtime, popular, safe and efficient automatic payment option for collection of property taxes seems unfortunate and poorly timed. During an era when many people question the ability of big government to operate efficiently and fairly, we would like to believe that our own county government proves that it can.
While county government, on the one hand, is preparing to ask taxpayers to pay more for a much needed new courthouse building, its treasurer is, on the other hand, making it more difficult for many taxpayers to make their payments. These changes may not have been intended merely to increase county revenue in the form of costly penalties for late payment of property taxes by those unaware of changes to long time payment options. That, nonetheless, seems to have been the result.
These actions reflect poorly on the county as a whole and become a trust in government issue, akin to deliberate efforts in other states to make it more difficult for certain groups of people to vote. It is time for the county’s leaders to own up to the problems that have been created and see that the long established automatic payment option for payment of property taxes is resumed.
Charles D. Fay