The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Warning, scam alert

Posted By on January 20, 2009

On Saturday, I got a letter from a law office in Rhode Island saying that I owed the town of South Kingstown $60 excise tax on my car. On the face of it, this makes sense – I did live there, and I did own the vehicle at the time. But, it's sketchy. I mean, I paid 2006 taxes on the car, and it was $500. So where does $60 come from? I mean, I lived in SK with that car for a year, and I think that they only assess the tax if you own it at the beginning of the year, but I moved in July – that's still half a year, so I would owe them $250. What gives? What's with $60? I mean, maybe it's a late quarterly payment or something, but either way, something is fishy. So, I sent a letter to the tax collector asking if they could tell me any taxes which I owed the town. My guess is that this is actually the first of four $60 payments I owe, which means that, by verifying what's up, I can pay the collection agency the $60, and the town the rest.

Note that I sent a letter, so I have a written response from the tax collector. The advice of the collection agency to call the town is silly – unless they're recorded, phone conversations mean dick.

Oh, and in RI, failure to receive a tax statement doesn't excuse you from paying it. You're supposed to remember all the taxes you need to pay and inquire if you don't get the notifications you're supposed to get.

Oh, and they don't call you or send any type of notice – they just put it in collection after some amount of time.

I swear, if business did business like government, the government would be all over them with consumer protection laws prohibiting this crap.


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