382 GRIPES and Griping Strong!



I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The County Tax Fee Fiasco

The Luzerne County Council or as I like to call them The Insane County Clown Posse is at it again.  This panel of nitwits have created a new fee for tax collection and it is causing all kinds of havoc.  This fee was slipped into an agreement between the county and the Luzerne County Tax Collectors Association back in March.  WHAT!  WHAT!  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!  There is actually a Luzerne County Tax Collectors Association?  What is it made up of 2 members?  I thought only Berkheimer and Wilkinson collected taxes?  Actually, there are 69 elected tax collectors in the county with 27 not belonging to the Association.  You learn something new and appalling every day.  Back to the rest of the story.  This "fee" was tucked in an agreement to stop the LCTCA's litigation against the county due to their switch to an in house tax collection system which was estimated to save the taxpayers $240,000.  Back in January the Clown Posse voted to reverse the move to in house and keep the elected collectors at a somewhat reduced rate.  Politics in Luzerne County at its best.

This fee will be paid by attorneys, title search companies, financial institutions and other third parties involved in mortgage and property closings.  These entities will pay $2.00 each time they need a copy of a county bill or tax document verifying that taxes were paid.  Not bad you say?  Here is the kicker.  If the county went to their in house collection system, they would have saved $240,000.  Instead they reverse their own decision because a group of 42 tax collectors challenged them with litigation.  Now they institute a $2.00 fee to take the place of the savings that they would have had by bringing the tax collection in house.  This Council of Clowns reversed a fiscally responsible decision to whack "We The People" yet again.  You can rest assure that the title companies and the banks will pass this fee right onto their customers.  To try to soften this blow, the County Jug Heads claim that this fee will only be in effect for 2014 and 2015 even though they agreed to keep the elected tax collectors through 2017.  This wreaks of the Johnstown Flood Tax.  The Johnstown Flood Tax was levied on booze to help rebuild Johnstown after the flood of 1889.  That tax still remains today.  I guarantee this fee will be in place well past 2015.

Yes, it gets even better.  This decision by the County Posse has caused total confusion with the tax collectors.  The areas covered by the fee are unclear.  Are the 27 tax collectors not in the Association forced to pay these fees?  They were not party to the litigation and feel that they should not be included.  Also, third parties already pay elected collectors varying fees for copies and payment verification, so why should they pay another fee for no additional work?  Why not, the county workers love collecting more money for no additional work.  In addition, one part of this settlement states that the tax jockeys must turn their $2 fees over once a month while another says twice a month.  Did anyone proof read this thing?  Finally, the tax collectors say that the Clown Posse has not given them any directive on how the third party payments are to be tracked and submitted.  Hell, they may never know how much should be paid and how much was actually paid.  Nothing new there.

The bottom line here is, is anyone surprised by this?  Another stinking fee mixed in with total fiscal irresponsibility, blanketed in bedlam.  In plain English this entire thing is a cluster buck.  In order to get these elected tax monkeys off their backs, the Insane County Clown Posse rammed a quick agreement down the tax payers throats.  This agreement is unclear and convoluted in a shroud of chaos.  Nobody knows what to do and when to do it.  The one thing that is clear, you and I will somehow get the 2 buck shafter in the after when we buy a house or want to refinance.  In my mind it's not about the 2 bucks, its about the total fiscal irresponsibility that hangs over the County.  They don't get it.  Let the tax collectors take you to court.  The county has the right to save the taxpayers money and we all expect them to do it.  Next time you go to visit your tax collector, throw him or her the bird and say, "Thanks for the 2 buck bone".       

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