Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Town of Blackstone: Major FAIL.

We have lived in this small town (of 8000) for a little over three years now. We've lived in the same house since we moved up here, a half-duplex. We've had no other names, places, or anything. Just us. Here. At the same address.

For some reason, the Town of Blackstone cannot figure out their billing. Here, we get billed for water every six months--which sucks, by the way. When we first moved in, it took almost a year to get the water bill straightened out. Because we were the first owners of the house, they were billing us for the builder's portions of the water bill. We paid late fees. Many late fees. But I didn't have the time to fight with them. So we paid them.

Last week, we got a demand for payment in the mail for Excise tax on the Husband's truck. Which means there apparently was a bill before that which we did not receive. This bill stated that the tax be paid before March 17 or it would go to the collector. And we got it last week. So unless I own a time machine, we are late.

Now, this isn't the first time we've had an issue with Excise Tax bill. Previously, we've gotten blank bills, where they sent us a sheet of paper with our address on it, and we rarely get a bill on time. We always get the demand bills. So I go to Town hall to pay our late bill and bitch.

For those of you that don't know, here in Taxachusetts, apparently legislation was signed in that states if you do not receive a bill, you are still liable for all taxes, interest, and late fees. No one else shall be held responsible. The public has NO rights. This allows towns to send out bills late and purposely collect late fees without repercussion. So now, even though I believe someone did not send out our mail, I now have to pay $93.93 for a $65 Excise bill. But I actually have a longer period to pay the elevated fee than I did for any other portion of this Godforsaken process. How nice of them.

My problem? These people effing suck. Basically, I was told I am supposed to go looking for my own bill should I not get one. So you mean to tell me that these people who are paid a publicly listed salary--which essentially I am paying for--get more days off than most people and work better hours than bankers are not doing their job. Someone's job there is to send out bills to the households in Blackstone. And they are not sending them out. And please spare me the details of our mail getting lost. The postmaster knows who I am and can recall my address when I walk in the door from three years ago when we had no mailbox and I had to check my mail there every day. Mail doesn't "get lost" in this town. Quit blaming the post office. You people are overpaid to do a lousy job and simply get to collect for it. Hell, I can click print, and I know how to send out bulk mail. I'll gladly work for your salary.

The best part? The Tax Collector told me that apparently I am the only person with a problem with the town's billing. Really? Just me? Should I round up everyone that has had a problem and show up at the Town meeting so we can break up the bitching over the school budget? Because everyone I have spoken to seems to think that the Town of Blackstone can't seem to get their head out of their ass. Think I was irate after that conversation?

See, I knew we should have bought that house in Rhode Island. At least their tax issues have ties to the mafia, not because some nitwits are running this joint.

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