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Property taxes

Automatic bank deduction missed

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We have paid our real estate taxes for the past several years by automatic deduction from our bank account. This seemed the best way to do it since there was no check writing, stamps, delays, automatically recorded with the tax office thus, less paper handling, more privacy, security, more efficient and thus reducing costs at the treasurer's office.
A few weeks ago we received a notice from the Snohomish County Treasurer's Office that we had not paid our taxes due last April and a fine of $642.97, plus the full year's tax was due.
I called the treasurer's office and after several attempts to speak with a live person, asked how could this be since we always paid by bank auto pay. I was told that the auto pay system was discontinued last March and a notice was sent with the tax notices. Neither my wife nor I had any recollection of such a notice. No explanation. Just, this is what you owe. It's hard to imagine why the treasurer's office would wait from March to November to notify us.
Now why would such a simple, safe, efficient system be discontinued? In our case, it resulted in a $624.90 contribution to the county treasury (along with the full one year tax amount, which was proper.) Maybe there's a simple answer.
Are there any others out there who have had a similar problem?
Bob Ryan

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