Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Albemarle County Wastes Paper

When I think commonly used words during the last decade, GREEN certainly comes to mind.  When we receive my semiannual glob of property tax bills from the County of Albemarle, I have to ask, how out of touch with GREEN is our local government?  Are they unaware that they send every household in the county that owns property a separate mailing for each piece of property they own?

16 pieces of "property tax" paper = a dozen too many!

We only have three cars and a house.  At the maximum, I would expect two bills, one for all cars and one for the house both mailed in one envelop (no return envelop, let the taxpayer use their own if they mail the payment).  Ideally, there would be an online system in place where I can forgo ANY paper.  The second most used term in the past decade is PAPERLESS. 

When I made my last semiannual payment in person, I asked the clerk if I could receive one piece of paper for all my vehicles, mailed to my one address.  I received a brusk NO, as if this line of questioning  was a common one, pressing a nerve of the person that had to endure the question. 

I imagine that multitudes of taxpayer dollars were spent on the automated system that spits out the bills every six months and find it hard to believe that making such minor improvements is not possible.  I mean this is computer programming 101, one of the simplest changes

IF address = same THEN

print on one page


Albemarle County Strikes out...
STRIKE ONE - I don't see that any the paper from the county is recycled paper.
STRIKE TWO - Each piece of property is billed on a separate piece of paper.
STRIKE THREE - Each bill is mailed in a separate envelop with separate postage.
STRIKE FOUR - Each bill has a return envelop and I never mail in my payment.
STRIKE FIVE - There is no way to see a bill online and circumvent paper all together.

UGH - someone make it STOP!

Sometimes it's the simple things that hurt the environment the most and make me the most disgusted.  "General" property taxes are collected on real estate, public service, personal property, mobile homes, and machinery and tools resulting in a $151 million dollars billed to county citizens and revenue collections amounting to 64% of the budget!

Where not talking small potato paper waste in a county of 100,000 citizens.


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