Rant about bureacracy

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Mac in Wisco, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    This past summer I purchased a property in Wisconsin. It is leased back to the previous owners until this summer. Shortly before the property tax bill was sent I reviewed the State Dept of Revenue website to make sure I wasn't missing any tax credits that I might be eligible for. It took me two minutes to determine that the state provides a Lottery & Gaming Credit that would reduce my tax bill by a couple of percent. It is available to those who use the property as their primary residence on the 1st of January assessment date or to those that have purchased a property that year and will file a form certifying that the property was used as a primary residence by the previous owner on January 1st.

    The instructions said that the certification form had to be mailed to my local treasurer by January 31 and the amount would be immediately credited or refunded. After January 31st I would have to apply to the State Dept of Revenue.

    So I contact the county treasurer and ask where the form should be sent, to the county or to the township. She immediately tells me that I don't qualify because I didn't live there on January 1. I explain the state statutes to her and e-mail a copy of the certification form to her. She reads the form and then agrees that I qualify and tells me to send it the township treasurer, as the township mails the tax bill.

    A few days later I get the tax bill. I follow the instructions and enclose a SASE so they can send me a receipt for income tax purposes. I also enclose the certification form with a short note saying that I am claiming the Lottery Credit for 2008, but will not be eligible in 2009 since the property will be leased on Jan 1, 2009.

    A few days later I get my SASE back in the mail. There is no receipt enclosed, but the form is enclosed with a quick note saying that I am not eligible for the credit.

    So, I call the township treasurer and ask her about the credit. She tells me I am not eligible because I didn't live there on Jan 1 of last year. I again explain the statute and asked her if she even read the form. She told me she had discussed it with the town clerk and she said that they were both confused by it. I asked her if she had an e-mail address so that I could send a statute cite to her. She replies "Oh, we have the statutes here". I tell her I'm sure that she does, but just wanted to provide a cite so she didn't have to search for it. She tells me that she will have to speak with the town clerk and the county treasurer to get it sorted out, but the town clerk is out of town for two weeks and that she will get back to me.

    Today, she leaves a message on my answering machine saying that she talked to the county and the state and reiterates several times that the State DOR has told her that I qualify for 2008, but will not for 2009. (Everything I knew within two minutes of finding the DOR website FAQs). She says the state will send me a certification form (same one that I sent her) that I will have to return to the state since it is a late application. (By state statutes it is not late until after January 31st and she is supposed to accept it and immediately give me a refund).

    Am I out of my mind to expect these officials to actually know what their job is and to know the statutes that apply? Am I really the only one in the county or township that has actually checked into the tax credits available on a newly purchased property?

    You've got to be freaking kidding me! [​IMG]

    I almost sat down to write a scathing letter to the township treasurer and clerk, but decided to hold my tongue and just rant here, because judging by the address to where I sent my property taxes, I gather that the treasurer will be a future neighbor of mine. I'll let the incompetence go this time, but you better believe I'll be raising heck if this kind of manure is commonplace once we have moved there.
     
  2. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Local tax collectors get their jobs in some pretty odd ways. Knowing ANYTHING about taxes is usually not one of them [​IMG]


    Generally they're just expected to accept them and male a decent accounting of them to the county or parish or whatever.

    In my old town it was the mayor's mother!
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I haven't figured out whether she is an elected or appointed official, for Wisconsin townships it could be either. The statutes I was quoting were just two paragraphs. I don't understand the checking with clerk, county treasurer and state to figure out the details. The statute is written in plain language and isn't much to decipher.

    I am dumbfounded that this is their first instance of a person claiming this credit on a newly purchased property. For a $4500 tax bill you'd better believe that I know every detail of our property assessment, what the mill rate is, and what credits I am eligible for.
     

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