Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking For Heads or Tails On A Slug -OR-The Other Shoe

With apologies again...

The Draft folder is stuffed with bits and pieces, odds and ends, rants and even a couple of raves, but nothing cohesive or worthy of your time.

Instead I've been fighting county hall. The long-delayed second installment, Crook County Property Tax Bill finally arrived. How bad could it be? It these trying times, what asshat with half a brain would RAISE taxes? The answer was simple. Those who knew they could rely on the back-asswards tax "system" of Crook County to confuse angry peasants by pointing fingers as some part of this Rube Goldberian process.

Brother can you spare a GRAND?

Between record appeals, assessments that do not reflect the 30% drop in values, needlessly complicated exemption applications, customary bureaucratic oopsies and the dastardly post-election announcement that the state factored multiplier would once again set a record high, it may seem like a quasi-criminal conspiracy. Underlying all that is the reality that every single taxing body increased their levy requests. ALL of them NEEDED more money in these hard times.

From modest to WTF?, important people needed to continue their important work. And still we are told to expect LESS in return. Budgets are being cut to the bone, which in itself is odd since they've been gnawing that bone for decades, crying poor-mouth that they are forced to do less with MORE each and every year.

On top of that, they've gotten greedy creative with additional revenue streams... Increased sales tax, cigarette tax, red light cameras, crash taxes, TIF tapping, increased fees for EVERYTHING, increased fines for everything, administrative courts to retain fine monies locally, utility taxes, special use fees...

But they just can't make ends meet. Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.

So homeowners, many of whom are underwater in their mortgages and dealing with A.R.M. resets, will now need to FIND an EXTRA $100-$200 per month to replenish their escrow and meet next year's street tax. More will go under, more will shrug, say Phuqqit and walk away, more will snap completely and look for ways to convey their grievance so it will be noticed.

I certainly can't convey the disgust and anger simmering in the queues at the tax store. The begging, crying and pleading when told it's not a mistake, the bill is correct? Winners and losers. That's life. Man UP.

I've spent three days in three different county offices full of besieged and indifferent clerks with their eye on the clock and the calendar. Doing my own profiling to distance myself from the fellow citizens most likely to have a meltdown.
Grumbling anger, barely contained rage, bewildered disbelief, grim determination... all on display.

Once more into the breach.

1 comment:

amber ladeira said...

Sorry, I knew this was coming,
although some weeks back I was
told the property tax bill would
be sent out TODAY, Nov. 22nd.

Houlihan knew he was on the way out, so he didn't really fight these increases, which exist because the 7% cap law expired in Springfield, THEIR fault....
They must be extremely stupid--
COOK Co. state legislators will pay
more TOO.