November 06, 2012

Private Sector vs. Public Sector

So I got a letter a few weeks back from TaxServ Capital Services. The gist of it was that I owed some back property taxes on my cars, stemming from the time I lived in Hartford. It basically amounted to one half tax year ($240), plus minor amounts $25 for other years - although by the time interest and fees were tacked on it was $400.

I paid up, not happily, but without rancor. I owed the taxes, the bills probably got lost in the mail forwarding / moving process when I relocated to New Britain. No idea why I underpaid two years of bills $12 (perhaps late fees or interest or something). I'm happy enough to be free and clear - that sort of thing tends to catch up with you at registration time, which usually involves a trip down to City Hall (where they have odd rules like cash only and even odder business hours) to make things right. So here's my credit card number, I'm all set, right?

But it struck me that this was clearly a place where the local tax collector (looking at you, City of Hartford) had not the interest, time, aptitude, or motivation to go out and get this money. And some wizard in the private sector figured out how to make it work, collect debts that Hartford probably had tossed into the uncollectable bin, and make a few bucks on it. I not a scofflaw, the tax bills just got lost in the shuffle.

Stuff like this reminds me that not EVERYTHING the Republicans stand for is bogus. I'd love to see a political movement that is socially liberal and fiscally moderate / conservative. Northeast Republicans used to hold that ground - perhaps these days the Democratic Leadership Council (which both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both play nice with) are seeking the same ground.

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