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Costly Penalty for Late Taxes

June 23, 2004

I have just finished paying the second installment of our property taxes, $2,381.40 plus $238.14 basic penalty and $10 cost. It seems to me that a $248 penalty is excessive by any standard. I don't believe I received my statement. In a perfect world I would have realized this and called for a replacement statement. However, like most people, I am swamped with paperwork, junk mail, bill-paying, insurance issues, DMV renewals, etc., and don't have my property tax due dates memorized.

Since my yearly tax indebtedness is close to $5,000, I would think the county could afford to send my tax bill by certified mail or at least provide a check box to allow taxpayers to have this very small charge added to their tax bill to ensure that the bill is received and duly noted.

Susan Cosgrove

San Juan Capistrano

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