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Letter to the Editor: One Percent Interest on Late Property Tax Payment Reasonable

LFP resident contacts County Councilman Ferguson and state Sen. Chase about 27.6 percent interest rate on late payments

To the editor:

I thank the Patch and all those including Senator Chase who responded
to my letter to the editor regarding the unconscionable fee that we
were charged for not paying our property taxes on time.  

Senator Chase offered to attempt to secure financial help for us to make the
payment.  I explained to her that we had sufficient funds to make the
payment.  We had just forgotten but we feel that the $489.75 fine was
rather excessive.  My main concern was for those who last October had
to choose to either feed their families or pay their taxes.  

It appears to me that our government , by assessing these exorbitant late
fee are unfairly further hindering the poor when they are down.
By not paying and leaving the payment amount in our account with Chase
Bank we received a little less than twenty cents interest; 20 cents versus
$489.75.  This seems a bit unfair.

I also had the opportunity to also speak with  Bob Ferguson, our King
County Council representative. He stated that the county is aware and
is studying the problem but all these fees are set by the state
legislators.

We had forgotten all about our last years' real estate taxes until we
received our 2012 statement the first part of April.  All the county
did was include our first one-half tax payment for 2012, the last
one-half payment for 2011 and a $489.75 late payment all due by the
end of April 2012.  We had received no other notice.

Since the Real Estate tax notice is sent in April with a due date the
end of the month no additional notice for the first  payment is
necessary.  Then when the second payment is due the end of October, I
recommend that that the local media, including the Patch, publish
another notice.  I do not believe it would be difficult for the County
to send notices in November to all those who had not made the required
payment.  The fee for late payment is now 27.6 percent.  I recommend that to
be changed to not more than 1 percent per month on the unpaid balance.

If you agree with me please add a comment and forward this to your
state legislators.  

Jim Adams  

Lake Forest Park

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