The following letter was sent by H. LeRoy Whiteley, Jr., president of Marylanders for Fair Property Taxation, to Harford County Executive David Craig and Chief of Staff Aaron Tomarchio. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
Hello County Exec Craig and C of S Tomarchio
We have written and discussed with you in the past several years of our dismay with the Treasury Department and its mailing of tax bills.
For two of the past years you have assured us that this taxpayer dollar waste was corrected BUT IT IS NOT!!!!!
We spend our summer on the Eastern Shore. ALL of our mail EXCEPT THE HARFORD COUNTY TAX BILL is forward to us daily. Kent County forwards our tax bill. Worcestor County forwards our tax bill. HARFORD County does not; instead electing to use a “policy” of requesting “Address Service”.
This requires the post office to return mail to Harford County, even when people like us have TEMPORARY forwarding service. Several years ago John Scotten informed us that this policy was to inform Harford County when tax bills were not delivered. We say now as we did then, Harford County NEVER knows whether or not a tax bill has been delivered. You only know that it was not returned to you UNLESS the address service request function has been applied and worked. That service request information is designed to inform senders of a move or PERMANENT change of address NOT A TEMPORARY ONE!.
When we called the Treasurer’s office we were informed by “Cindy” that indeed our mail had been returned to them BECAUSE ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION SHE WAS READING FROM “WE WERE TEMPORARILY AWAY”!!!! What should that be telling somebody something!!!! Had our mail been forwarded as it should have been, we would each have saved some time and money and my taxes would have been paid by now.
Instead my tax bill was returned to Harford County where it eventually would end up in the unpaid taxes/tax sales morass, if we had not taken action. But now “Cindy” will seek out the itinerant bill, remove it from its original mailing, type a new envelope, affix postage again and forward the bill to us here on the Eastern Shore where it would have been sent if Harford County did not interfere. This is government inefficiency at its worst!!
WHAT IS THIS STUPIDY COSTING TAXPAYERS EACH YEAR??? We certainly are not the only taxpayers away from home when tax bills are mailed. If memory serves us correctly several years ago we jointly estimated a cost in excess of $20,000 per year was occurring with this “policy”.
Hope you can straighten this out once and for all. It is simple—JUST REMOVE THE ADDRESS SERVICE REQUEST. Tax bills are the soul responsibility of the taxpayer and those of us who are responsible taxpayers know when taxes are due and see that they get paid to protect our interests.
Thanks for your help. Hope you can fix it this time.