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.