Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Penny (not so) wise in Attleboro, MA

A 74-year-old blind woman has been told a lien will be put on her South Attleboro home if she doesn't come up with a penny she owes on an outstanding utility bill.

You read that right. One cent.

Eileen Wilbur, of Glenn Street, said she discovered the notice of the potential lien after her daughter, Rose Brederson, came over to read her mail.

I heard that after this story broke today, folks driving by Attleboro's City Hall tossed pennies at it.

The city sent Wilbur a letter dated Nov. 10 stating that if the 1 cent balance is not paid by Dec. 10, the city will assess a lien of up to $48 on Wilbur's next property tax bill.

"They wasted taxpayer money on the letter," Wilbur said, noting the 42-cent charge for a stamp.

City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the bill was sent out along with more than 2,000 others as the city tries to recoup outstanding balances before resorting to putting liens on property.

Mrs. Wilbur, by the way, has lived in her home for over 50 years.

And on "fiscal responsibility:"

"It would be fiscally irresponsible for me to have staff weed through the bills and pull out any below a certain amount," Marcoccio said. "

Only in Massachusetts. Sheesh!

Source: The Sun Chronicle