Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Monday, June 1, 2009

PAY your taxes

Much has been said about Detroit Councilwoman JoAnn Watson's
performance, as WDIV's Roger Weber put it in his blog, regarding her
failure to pay her proper amount of property taxes.
Bills normally in the thousands suddenly went down to $68 a year
after a mistake led city records to indicate she lived on a vacant
lot. Her explanation during her press conference, I mean performance,
included the idea that some unseen (or quickly repaired) storm damage
led her to believe the city had simply recognized the true value of
her home.
Then she asked if anyone would offer up to pay more if someone made a
Many might not, but I would, especially for a little mistake where
someone, like a cashier, would take the hit.
But I know I would have called about those taxes, because I had a
roommate at Albion College who figured out quickly that calls to his
girlfriend in Kalamazoo were not being charged on his phone bill.
So for a semester and a half, she would call and then he'd hang up
and call right back. It was the free call; no long distance charge.
Of course, that was until the phone company and university realized
the mistake and sent him a corrected bill, counting all the calls for
something like four or five months.
It was a bill for hundreds of dollars, a lot for freshmen who
appreciated a $20 for the weekend.
He fought it but lost, able to make payments instead having to cover
it all at once.
I learned then, don't assume a free ride is really free, and it's why
someone with common sense won't let something like that ride
unquestioned. It could come back to bite you, and for an elected
official to believe it was not her responsibility to check out, then
she's a fool.


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