A Taxing Question Is Answered

On Thursday I got my “sewer use charge and benefit assessment” bill.

Last year I paid $257.

This year, the charge was $5,487.00

First, I chewed some aspirin to stave off the heart attack I figured was coming.

Then I wondered: If this is my sewer bill, what will my property tax look like?

But after I did a quick calculation, I realized the increase was 20 times last year’s charge — and there are 20 units in my condo. Obviously, the tax collector charged me for all 20 owners.



Town Hall was already closed for the July 4th holiday. No biggie. I figured I’d call on Monday.

But a simple tax bill mistake is not what makes this story “06880”-worthy. Here’s the great part:

On Saturday I got an email from my upstairs neighbor, cc-ed to every unit owner.

At 12:13 a.m. Friday, she told us, she’d emailed the “Water Pollution Control Authority Coordinator” at the Department of Public Works — the contact for appeals listed on the sewer bill — with the same question I had: Had she been assessed for every owner in our building?

Yes, replied coordinator Bryan Thompson. It was a system error. New bills were being printed, and would be mailed out Monday.

What’s incredible is that Bryan responded less than 8 hours later — at 7:54 a.m.

On July 4th.

“I’m pretty sure no one in the history of the universe has ever gotten back to me that quickly,” my neighbor replied to Bryan.

And, I’d add, I’m pretty sure no one in the history of government, at any level, has ever replied that quickly to any tax complaint on a national holiday.



6 responses to “A Taxing Question Is Answered

  1. Bryan Thompson is one of the good guys. Appreciate his caring

  2. Jamie Walsh

    Westport is lucky to have people like Bryan Thompson. He is one standup guy…always looking to help out or find the answer…and best yet…follow up with an answer.

  3. Bryan is one of the GOOD GUYS at Town Hall. Worked with him on a few real estate deals requiring approvals.

    Just saw Marty Bell’s comments…”great minds” 😉

    Marty is also one of the “good guys.”

  4. If all govt employees were the likes of Bryan (I’ve had the pleasure to have experienced his work first hand on several occasions) the world would be a better place!

  5. Andy Kaplan

    After receiving sewer, property and auto tax bills by mail separately, I emailed Dewey Loselle late afternoon on July 3rd, to ask him to consider alternatives…combining mailings or sending the bills electronically. I heard back from Dewey 10 minutes later. In most orgs, folks work half-a-day before a long holiday weekend. Guess that is not the case with the new gang in Town Hall. All good.

  6. bobbi essagof

    Hats off to you Dan for turning a story that could have been a typical whine and complain about out government, local or otherwise, into a feel good holiday event! It’s great to remember to put that positive spin on as many stories as we can. We will all live a lot longer and happier.
    See you all at the 7th of July Fireworks!!!