Signs of the times

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This is a message for Maricopa County Treasurer Charles Hoskins. Mr. Hoskins? I’m calling in regards to your billboards along the I-10 … Do you know which ones I’m talking about? They read and I quote: “If you own property, you owe taxes.”  I know you are not the complaints desk, but I simply need to get it off my chest. So here I go:

You see, every morning on my way to work,  I see your billboards. They tell me nothing I don’t already know. I MUST pay my property taxes on time – thanks for the reminder.

HOWEVER, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, I also want to remind you that you sent me a letter stating that my house was assessed at EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS and needed to pay property taxes based on that assessment. Hmm … Where should I start?

Perdone si me encabrono, but Mr. Treasurer, if you and the county assessor are so sure my house is worth 800 grand, I have a suggestion: Make me an offer, buy my house.

You see, I’ve tried selling my house for less than what I paid for it, even for less than what I owe to the bank, to no avail. Let me be clear: I don’t blame you for the real estate bubble. I just find your assessment ludicrous and your in-my-face reminder that I need to pay property taxes on your “guesstimate” a bit too much. Can I send you a check for my property taxes based on my house’s REAL market value?

Mr. Treasurer, help me out. I used to be the payasa in the neighborhood who proudly displayed lawn signs supporting ballot initiatives to increase property taxes to fund our schools – underperforming in my neighborhood, by the way … Now my neighbors, in addition to giving me the “evil look,” can’t help themselves; some even have come knocking at my door to
ask if I have reconsidered my partisan and fiscal views! How humiliating.

¡Híjole! What’s next? Will I have to pay income taxes on my earning potential? I hope not; because, you know, I’m already underemployed,
underpaid AND overworked.

I know not all is your fault.  I blame my viejo, Alberto, too. As soon as I got your letter and tax statement, I told my viejo, “It can’t be, ¡ay dios! How are we going to pay all that? It has to be a mistake. I’ll appeal the guesstimate.” Since I’m constantly in a bad mood due to lack of sleep, he KINDLY volunteered to take care of the appeal. And guess what?

HE FORGOT! I can’t freaking believe it. So I’m mad at you AND at him, por tonto. And he just told me – after the deadline has passed.

So I went to your website thinking there MUST be something I could do. Your website says, “The property of widows, widowers and disabled persons who are residents of this state is exempt from taxation to the extent allowed by … [the] Constitution of Arizona.”

Currently, I’m neither disabled nor a widow, but I’m afraid I may just fall into either category PR-ET-TY soon. I’m losing it.

Don’t call the cops on me just yet. I’m just venting, OK? I’m not a violent person. I repeat, I’m not a violent person.

Maybe you should spend the money from your billboards on a crisis hotline.

Oh, just one last thing. Please consider changing the message on your billboards to read something along the lines of, “It hurts, it’s tough, but prompt payment of property taxes allows our children to receive the best education our county can offer.”

Please? Pretty please?

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