Misdirected Anger

This article is going to be a bit more on the editorial side of things rather than just presenting facts. If you disagree with me, feel free to let me have it in the comments below. If you want to get these articles via email when they are published, click here.

I find it fascinating and disheartening the way people are responding to the current property tax issues. In particular it is amazing to see what people are upset about. 90% of the things people are acting upset about are the inconsequential, based on misunderstanding the law or trivial.

For example, I’ve heard many people express anger that anyone was able to be put on a payment plan if they were unable to make full payment on their taxes.

Who in their right mind would be upset about this? If someone can’t pay all of their taxes, isn’t in the best interest of everyone to let them give the county the money they have and try to get them on a plan to pay it off? Imagine you run a business and someone owes you $1,000.

Debtor: I don’t have the $1000, but I have $100 in my pocket. Can I give you that toward what I owe?
You: No you either pay it all or none of it.
Debtor: Are you sure? It may be a long time before I have $1,000 together. Can’t I give you what I have so I’m at least making progress on it and I don’t spend it somewhere else?
You: No. I either want all what you owe or none of it.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. Yet, this is exactly what some people are calling for. I can’t figure out why. If someone is in financial trouble now, they may be in more financial trouble later.  What the treasurer’s office was doing was actually even better. When someone couldn’t pay their taxes, they would give the tax payer a “coupon book” like what mortgage companies used to give you so you’d know how much needed to be paid at the end of each month.  As a citizen who lives in Bourbon county, this is exactly what I want my elected officials doing–making it as easy as possible for someone who owes money to get it paid off.

I’ve seen some people claiming that this cost the county thousands of dollars, when in fact the opposite is probably true. Even if the property did eventually go up for sale, any amount collected was probably more than if the county had refused to take anything less than payment of the full amount.

Now, not listing the names of people on the payment plan in the paper was a mistake. However, that is the type of thing that should be assumed to be an honest mistake until you have some pretty strong evidence to the contrary.

Part of the problem is that many of the people who seem the most angry about things, don’t understand how the law works in the first place. Let’s say you have your income taxes done by an accounting firm. If you feel your taxes are too high, would you be mad at the accounting firm? Would you run around and tell all your friends that you need to get a new accounting firm because you don’t like the tax rate mandated by the federal government?  No. Of course not. Well, that is what some people are doing regarding the property tax procedures.

I’ve seen a lot of people upset with the treasurer because there are people who consistently pay their tax bill just before the property goes to a tax sale.  This is like getting mad at the accounting firm over your tax bracket. It isn’t in their hands. State law determines how late you can pay your taxes, not the treasurer.

Then there are the people who have the law backwards and are mad because they want the treasurer’s office to do the opposite of what the law says.

What I am wondering is that since the County Treasurer was not following the law when she allowed those on the “Friends & Family” payment plan to pay the taxes from the bottom up thus allowing them to avoid the tax sale and not pay in full as the law was written to provide for, will all of those people who owe taxes beginning in 2007 or earlier and not paid by auction day be on the auction? ~ Comment on Topix

The law is pretty specific that you can consistently be behind on your taxes if you choose. (Although various counties are confused about it and even the Treasure’s Association has it wrong on their website.)  New payments are applied to the oldest bill first. (Johnson County is the legal the exception to this.) The funny thing about this comment is that in a few cases Bourbon County has allowed people to pay off more recent tax bill before paying an older bill. The only real benefit would be if someone wanted to keep their name out of the paper for the current year–of course if they didn’t pay the older tax bill, their name would go in the paper when it was time for the tax sale anyway. So the actual mistakes that the treasurer’s office made in this regard were doing what this particular comment suggests they want to see happen all the time.

My point is, that if you are someone who really wants to get angry about something, at least don’t be completely irrational about it. If you don’t like state law, don’t get angry at county elected officials. And once you’ve made sure that your anger is actually headed in the right direction, make sure you aren’t being petty about trivial mistakes. I’m not saying to ignore mistakes. By all means bring them up so they can be corrected, but there is no sense giving yourself an ulcer over it.

Just to make things easy, here are a list of things, that are irrational to be angry about when it comes to local county government:

  • The fact that delinquent taxpayers are allowed make partial payments.
  • The fact that some people are consistently behind on their taxes.
  • The fact that the treasurer is legally allowed to be behind on her taxes just like everyone else.
  • The order that payments are legally supposed to be applied.

If you are angry about any of these things, you need to take them up with the state government because it isn’t something that is controlled locally.

Here are some things that you could be angry about that aren’t completely irrational, but tend a bit toward the silly side of things. If you think you’d be happier with the way a different treasurer handled these things, that is what elections are for.

  • The fact that the computer systems used in the treasurer’s office doesn’t seem to make it easy to really keep track of what exactly has been paid or how it was applied. This is really causing a lot of trouble and expense and needs to be fixed, but isn’t anger worthy.
  • The fact that people who were on the payment plan didn’t have their names printed in the paper. Personally I think this should just be considered a mistake at this point, but it was a local mistake so it isn’t completely unreasonable to get upset about.
  • The fact that there was a mistake in the way the interest was calculated on the treasurer’s taxes in 2005–something she fixed when it was brought to her attention. (Now if you believe this was intentional, it doesn’t fall into the silly category.)
  • The fact that some payments have been applied in the wrong order.

Here are some things that have been alleged, that might be good reasons to get upset if they are proven to be true and intentional:

  • If some people on the payment plan had their name printed in the paper and others  in the same situation didn’t in ways that weren’t just a simple mistake.
  • If some people were offered the payment plan, while others in the same situation were told they had to pay all of it or none of it.
  • If there are many significant errors in the fees and interest, particularly in ways that would provide personal benefit.

So far I haven’t seen anything that offers proof of anything on this last list and this is the list that would really matter. If I’m wrong, please leave a comment below to set me straight. This is what the auditor is checking on.

I’m all for transparency in government and I think it is great that people are looking through the county website and reading up on the legal statutes. This whole process has made me realize that we really have a long ways to go in making things more accessible. It isn’t that people are hiding information, it is just that it isn’t easy to access.  If I had been able to download all of the tax information in a few spreadsheets, it would be very easy to show if there were any significant problems with the amounts people were paying in interest and fees.

I do think that our community is in a sorry state when we immediately assume malice on the part of our officials we elected–particularly when it is based on misunderstanding of the law or anger about things that aren’t even under local control. I’ve found that everyone at the court house has gone out of their way to answer questions, so if you see something that doesn’t seem right, go down and ask about it.

34 thoughts on “Misdirected Anger”

  1. Anyone that works with figures should notice a significant error in the calculation of interest. I don’t understand why this was not noticed in accounts receivable. If these people had contracts, there should have been some kind of records. Even coupon books generally read out principle, fees and interest or the ones that I have seen did. Did not cost thousands? Just take a low average of $200.00 per taxpayer times 150 and you get $30,000 in lost interest if the mistake is carried through and why wouldn’t it be if that amount did not alert anyone? $30,000 times 4 years…………..and rolling into another year and another year………….. Perhaps in carrying these accounts rather than just taking standard partial payments, it took away from the time needed to take care of business and read or make some calls to understand what was allowed by Statute?

    1. If there are many accounts that have significantly underpaid, then I would agree with you, but I haven’t seen that. If it is the case, I’m sure it will show up in the audit.

      I was actually referring to the idea that the payment plan resulted in a lot of lost fund, but from everything I’ve seen it looks like it would have brought in quite a bit of money that would have been lost otherwise. That is of course assuming that interest was being charged correctly, etc.

  2. I’m responding to some comments about this post here, rather than on Topix.

    Mark, are you saying that someone who has worked in the treasurer’s office for 20 years, did not know that you had to print all delinquent taxes? I do not think that this was just a mistake, I believe that these people were told that if they went on the payment plan, then their names would not be printed. How do you list a statue number at the top of the list of delinquent taxes and not know what it says. When I asked Susan if that was a complete list, she said Yes. I ask again if that was a complete list, and she said yes. Then I said that there appeared to be some omitted and she said “Well, they are on the payment plan.” She became very angry at me asking this and that was all I knew at that point. They she let Susan go “At Will” and she opened the rest of this. All I wanted to know was about the omitted names and I still feel that this should have been answered in a kind way and without her anger. If she has done the other things that she is accused of, then yes, I think the public has the right to be angry. Why have we had a program that did not work right, for this long, and it was not corrected? I know we spend thousands of dollars on computer programming each year, and can someone tell me why this was not included in the Infinitec or Cic programs that we have been with since Kohl’s programs?

    ~Cecelia Kramer

    Considering that other counties and the Kansas Treasurer’s Association seem confused about various aspects of the law, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the treasurer could have thought it was legitimately ok to leave people out of the paper if they were making regular payments on a plan that would get it paid off.

    If people were on the payment plan but not making payments and they were still left off the list, then I see a problem with that. If some people on payment plans were published in the paper and others were not, then I see a problem with that as well.

    Obviously my experience is “clouded” by the fact that when I’ve talked to Susan Quick (Treasurer for Bourbon County) she was very helpful. I asked about some numbers that look strange and she told me that it must have been a mistake, looked into the problem and fixed it. The experience you describe in asking for information is the exact opposite and I can offer no explanation for that.

    As far as people being let go, weren’t there budget cuts and people in several departments were let go? I wasn’t really paying much attention at the time so I don’t really know the situation or people involved.

    My point in this article is that much of what people have been complaining about isn’t really a local issue or is fairly trivial. Some of the allegations are not trivial, but if there is considerable proof the people who have it haven’t made it public.

    I know ou gave the commissioners some print outs a few weeks ago, but I don’t think anyone knows what was in those. If you are interested in sharing, I’d be happy to look into anything you found that looked incorrect.

  3. Mark: Yes, I was at your blog and I do really appreciate your input – love debate especially about government! Do you have the Statute on that. I tried to find it but haven’t yet and busy time of day coming. I did not state what I was thinking clearly enough, you’ll be older one day too, I was simply looking at this moment when they have 3 years behind officially and what it will take to get the property off the auction block not just every day payment plan which I don’t think any of us will ever understand what was going on. Where I got my info, if I remember correctly and this can be verified if you go to the KOMB website and listen to the I think the 2nd show about the CT’s Office, for those whose names came up on the 2010 delinquent property listing and were behind 3 years at that time, the only payment that would be accepted would be for the full amount, all years, in order to keep it off the auction not just paying the earliest year like 2007 and rolling it over and over and over or some wording that I thought had that effect. This “system” with the payment plan just never computed and maybe that is were the “bug” was? I have really appreciated “Soapbox” looking at this issue and helping get info for us. Like I said though, I’m not absolutely sure but I will check further on it. Also, I have no problem being corrected but would like applicable Statutes. And, if you make a $200 mistake on interest on 150 accounts, I’m assuming that you would not notice it was “off” as in, not familiar with what you are working with, that is $30,000 per year and that is thousands upon thousands especially when you continually roll it over year after year. Also, I thought today that I read that say, 2005 the interest rate was 9% and each year after you add an additional 2% to that interest rate so, that would add up but still be cheaper than borrowing from the bank or putting it on your credit card although I do wonder if the bank with a home equity loan would not be cheaper, well, the bank would MAKE you pay interest and fees. The question is not whether Susan is a “good” person but whether she is competent, following applicable statutes governing her office and has the integrity we are looking for in a County Treasurer. And, yes, many people are struggling financially but like the County Commissioner said “We can’t be the bank.”

    ~HTE Unleashed

    I think you are referring to the statute that says you must pay the oldest bill first. The statute was detailed here along with a look at why there seems to be so much confusion about it and links to a few counties that have it wrong. The actual statute is here.

    The only think I’m familiar with that would be close to what you described is the way Johnson County handles their property taxes, but the only reason it is like this is because there is a special paragraph in the law that deals with Johnson County. If I understand it right, it basically says that once you get behind on your personal taxes, you have three years to pay the entire amount off or the property goes to auction.

    Also, I thought today that I read that say, 2005 the interest rate was 9% and each year after you add an additional 2% to that interest rate

    I haven’t seen anything like that, but I’d be very interested if you find it again. That is very different from how I read KSA79-2401A. Although I’ll readily admit, reading legal documents isn’t exactly my strongest skill.

    My point is that we elected Susan Quick to her position. If we don’t think she is doing a good job, then then there is an election next year and someone else will get voted in. However, there is a very big difference between saying you disagree with how someone is doing their job and saying that someone is maliciously doing things wrong. So far I haven’t seen anything that proves this happened. If you have data that would show, this I’d encourage you to share it so everyone can look at it and figure out what was going on.

  4. Thank you for your cogent and thoughtful contribution here.

    I am a taxpayer in Bourbon County and it has been frustrating to watch the lynch mob mentality boil up (that I personally think is fueled by the loosey-goosey anonymity and thrasher mentality on the Topix site.)

    Some of the folks believe that the payment program is ‘causing’ the delinquencies. Though I don’t think anyone can pull the data – I would be curious to see a statewide comparison from county to county to see if that is the case – or if the delinquencies have grown, even in those counties not exercising the option of a program, simply because the economy is depressed and rural communities feel it.

    Like you I believe any payment to the county is better than no payment to the county and I think helping people is what we want of our officials.

    1. What is sad is that they have decided to do away with the payment program based on some of the outrage. Of course, if you want to make a partial payment, you can, but the county isn’t going to help you figure out how much you need to pay or put effort into trying to get you to make the payments (having you sign a contract, etc.). I completely agree that the names should have been in the paper, but instead of fixing the problem areas, we’ve thrown away something that was helping individuals and helping the county.

  5. Three things: (1) Many of those not listed in the newspaper were not on a payment plan for 2010 delinquent taxes but for other years, many 2007. Those amounts on the list were for one year only. (2) The way I read the Statute you are using as one not having to pay up in full once 3 years delinquent seems to be for redemption so I am still looking at that. (3) You mentioned that interest was fixed based on the year, say it is 2007 and the interest rate is 9%, well the way I read it, that is not true. KSA 79-2004 (d) All real property taxes of any year past due and unpaid on the effective date of this section and interest accrued thereon pursuant to this section prior to its amendment by this act shall draw interest at the rate prescribed by K.S.A. 79-2968, and amendments thereto, plus two percentage points, per annum from the effective date of this section until paid or until the real property is sold for taxes by foreclosure as provided by law. And a (4) I was surprised because I heard about the budget cuts and when I called Susan’s office one day, someone who said they were “new” had answered the phone. Maybe sitting in from another office to just answer the phone? Mark, no one is going to forget that they billed a week early for $140.00 for a list of people on the payment plan or that it is the job of the County Treasurer to know the laws that govern her office, HER JOB! Keep in mind that making a comparison between government and private business, well, not practical. I’ll keep looking at that deal about paying up before the auction. This is the first time I have been digging through the statutes also and I can’t say that I totally understand them either so I won’t be offended if you point something out that I missed. Neither one of us were elected as Treasurer though!

    1. 1. Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think the newspaper list is cumulative is it? In other words, if you don’t pay for that year, you are listed in the paper, but you aren’t listed again until it goes up for tax sale. The list that is published only shows the amount owed for the most recent non-paid taxes. So the fact that people weren’t listed from 2007, doesn’t surprise me. Now if they were left of the tax sale list, that would be something different.

      2. The statutes are confusing. I went through that particular one with Teri Johnson (county attorney) and we came to the conclusion I stated earlier. I think the most confusing part has to do with the fact that technically the county owns a property as soon as taxes are non paid. However, they can’t sell it for three years if it is a homestead and two years if it isn’t. Those two and three year periods are what I believe is considered the redemption period.

      3. I think you are overlooking the commas. If it were “plus two percentage points per annum” it would imply that an additional 2% was added every year. It says “plus two percentage points, per annum” so the per annum is referring to the fact that the rate is charged every year. At least that is how I read it as a non-lawyer.

      I think if you follow the law back to see what percentage it is referencing, it will take you through about 6 different laws. Each one adds on a percent until you eventually find it is tied to the lending rates used between banks on a particular day of the year.

      4. I thought I saw in the minutes that there were some people operating in floater positions where they would moved between different departments as needed. So that is what I’d assume a new employee meant. But I’m not familiar with the situation so I don’t really know.

  6. Mark: Just addressing (1), what I am saying is that using Susan as an example just because everyone is familiar with her, she was not listed originally in the newspaper for 2010 delinquent taxes but she was not on a payment plan for 2010 delinquent taxes but for 2007 delinquent taxes. Those on the payment plan had a year and an amount only for that year. If they were on the payment plan for the next year, that list should have shown it. Looking at the contracts which Susan has (?), there would be separate contracts made for each year. Now, some listed were on the payment plan for 2010 and were paid up for all other years so when they were not listed for 2010 delinquent taxes that would make more sense, well, not make sense but follow the logic she was trying to sell to the public. Susan should have listed herself and others in the same boat as delinquent on 2010 taxes.

    1. Cathy – So you are asking how someone could have been on the payment plan for 2010, if they hadn’t made any payments and somehow their name wasn’t listed in the paper? Good question. I’ll ask and let you know what I find.

  7. 79-2401a. Redemption of real estate bid off by county; partial redemption; period of redemption; interest; foreclosure on expiration of period. (a) (1) Except as provided by paragraph (2) and subsection (b), real estate bid off by the county for both delinquent taxes and special assessments, as defined by subsection (c), shall be held by the county until the expiration of two years from the date of the sale, subject only to the right of redemption as provided by this section. Any owner or holder of the record title, the owner’s or holder’s heirs, devisees, executors, administrators, assigns or any mortgagee or the owner’s or holder’s assigns may redeem the real estate sold in the sale at any time within two years after the sale by paying to the county treasurer the amount for which the real estate was sold plus the interest accrued, *** all delinquent taxes and special assessments and interest thereon that have accrued after*** the date of such sale which remain unpaid*** as of the date of redemption and costs and expenses of the sale and redemption, including but not limited to, abstracting costs incurred in anticipation of a tax sale. ***Mark, I see it now that “bid off to the County” is the process of the transfer that just took place when the property transferred from the Treasurer’s Office to the Commission, for lack of something better, I put asterisks to highlight what I am referring to. It says to me that you must pay ALL that accrued AFTER the date of such sale which remain UNPAID. So, 2007 delinquent property owners in order to remove their property from the auction list would have to pay ALL. Do you see something I am not getting there? Also, do you know if Susan and others delinquents on 2007 property taxes were “bid off” to the Commission as they should have been?

    1. From that same statute:

      Upon payment and partial redemption, the time when a tax foreclosure sale may be commenced shall be extended by the number of years paid in the partial redemption.

      You have to pay all of the taxes to keep the county from having a claim to it but paying the oldest taxes will push back a tax sale another year.

      I am not sure exactly what the “bid off” process is, but I will inquire today.

  8. As a Bourbon County tax payer of some 50 years the way this treasurer has ‘Gamed the System’ for personal benefit is offensive to me. She should resign.

    1. Did she, who is in charge of collecting taxes from us all, pay hers until this all came to light?
      As an aside, were these contracts filed as a legal document at the time of signing?

      1. Are you saying that there is something special you have to do with contracts to file them as legal documents? I guess I’m not familiar with that.

        Keep in mind the treasurer has legal protection to get up to three years behind on her taxes just like everyone else. Now there was an issue with the way the interest was calculated that she corrected when it was brought to her attention that I suppose you could say benefited her, but I think it would be hard to consider it “gaming the system”.

      2. One would think that they would , as a sort of lien, be filed with the register of deeds. That woulod keep everything above board.

        I am sure that Susan has the same right as anyone regarding partial payment. If one in a position of power sets up a system, then uses that system for personal gain, it seems fishy.

  9. On the redemption period of 3 years, that time expired when the 4th year came into play, the year 2010 because now, those people that have not paid 2007 taxes in full are 4 years behind. 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The redemption period is for 3 years and after that point, ALL taxes and fees must be paid. This is that same statute we have been looking at: d) If at the expiration of the redemption period, the real estate has not been redeemed, the real estate shall be disposed of by foreclosure and sale in the manner provided by K.S.A. 79-2801 et seq., and amendments thereto. I do believe that the partial payments would be accepted after that date but that ALL taxes and fees would be due in order to keep it off the auction block. It does say “redeemed” and if you look at this: http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_79/Article_28/79-2801.html, the County begins incurring expenses with the legal action and toward that last of the very long paragraph, it is stating something about no longer taking payments. There should be a cutoff since if you show up just before the auction to pay one year, the citizens have incurred a lot of cost and then, you show up just before the auction and pay a year the next year after the County goes to the expense of the legal action. Again, the redemption period is three years with the cutoff of September 1 and for 2007 delinquent taxes that was this September 1.

    1. So in essence you are saying that by delaying the tax sale for a year, anyone who would have been on the tax sale now needs to pay their taxes in full to stay off of the coming tax sale? Interesting.

      I know that if you show up to redeem the property, the county will require you pay the expenses incurred to prepare it for sale. There are also some interesting rules on who is not eligible to buy the property once it is auctioned.

  10. Mark, I do not think that anyone is going to believe that Susan did not know that she was supposed to print those names. Why don’t you ask some of the help that no longer works for her about what they think was right and wrong. Why did Susan refuse to show all the people in the commission room the contract, was ask twice to see it and she could not produce it for us. Then all of a sudden we read in the minutes where she came up with a contract to show the commissioners. And if Susan could not even figure her own interest on her taxes, what makes you think she was right on anyone elses? We just want the truth , first she says she didn’t know she had to print all those names and then it was just a oversight. I would like for you to ask what year she started holding out the names and see if that was the year that she started having her own tax problems. I don’t think people are asking for too much to hear the truth and I think we deserve the truth . That is all the majority of people are asking, and how are you getting all these answers when the audit is not even complete? Who is telling you all this information? I am glad that you are doing all this and would appreciate your answers.

    1. When I was in the treasurer’s office today they asked if I wanted a copy of a blank contract. I asked if it was easy to get and they said it would take a bit so I turned it down. If it was difficult to get in the past, that wasn’t my experience. I’m not saying it wasn’t your experience, just that they have been pretty quick to answer my questions in the past.

      I do not know what year names started being held out of the paper. I know you have a list of names and some other documents that I haven’t seen, so it is possible you have the answers in there.

      The website records only go back to 2004. In 2004, Susan Quick paid her taxes before they were delinquent. In 2005, she did not. In August of 2006, her name was not listed in the newspaper.

      Anything I’ve said so far is based on going down to the treasurer’s office and asking questions. I don’t think I’ve said anything that would be stuff contained in the audit. It isn’t like I’m getting answers that someone else couldn’t get for themselves.

      What specific questions do you want to hear the truth about? I have a list of questions I’m getting ready to post and I’d be interested in hearing what you would like to see asked.

  11. I would like to know if 2006 was the first year that she held names out of the paper, and if not, what year did she start this.? If it was started in 2006, there seems to be a reason that this was done. I just do not understand the reasoning behind why she started this , and if she had printed everyone prior to 2006, why did she start then?

    1. The online search only goes back to 2004. The treasurer’s taxes were paid in 2004, but were late in 2005. The 2005 delinquent taxes were published in August of 2006 and the treasurer’s name was not on that list.

      So far I don’t see any data on when the program was started that let people keep their names out of the paper.

  12. Mark: Isn’t the County Treasurer 4 years behind on taxes: 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010? Did’nt she just finish paying off taxes for 2006? Also, if it were a problem with the computer software, wouldn’t nearly everyone’s totals bear the same error, say in the interest? Interest is very easy to compute and the amounts off on her totals should have screamed! Her property qualified for tax sale last year and she went to the County Commission and told them there wasn’t enough property to justify a tax sale. She and everyone else not paid up by September 1, 2011 have passed the 3 year redemption period and now must pay all taxes, fees and interest in order to not have their property auctioned. It should have taken her about 30 seconds to pull out a copy of the contract for the payment plan because you could have been there asking to be put on the payment plan (she claims all you had to do was ask) and have wanted to see a copy of the contract to see how it works not to mention that she should have 147 signed copies. Ah, the elusive “contract”. Did she ever offer to show anyone her signed contract? Yeah, maybe one existed but we are interested in signed contracts. Enforced contracts. She didn’t enforce the terms which I am sure had nothing to do with the fact that she was abusing the system, NOT! It is not misdirected anger. I see the problem clearly and it is not the law but the total disregard of the law and trying year after year to stretch it a little further to fit personal desires until, it broke! I am very anxious for the Attorney General and KBI to do their investigations. Mark, I do appreciate you doing this but I don’t misdirect my anger. Thank you.

    1. Anger about the existence of a payment plan that only allowed people to do the same thing they could do without any type of payment plan is misdirected.

      Anger over whether or not people had their name published in the paper or not is somewhat justified, but isn’t worth getting too worked up about.

      If you are upset that people were not treated the same way and some people were published in the paper and other were not, I’d say that would be would be justified. However, I haven’t seen any proof of that yet. If you have some proof, please feel free to share it.

  13. I would suspect that this was the year that she started not publishing the people that were on her list. That would have been the very year that her name would have came out in the paper. Now how honest is that? You can call this anger or whatever you really think is fair to both sides, but when a statue says, you will print all names, that is what it means and that is why it is a statue. If this is just a mistake, then why did she suddenly start doing this? It was such an unfair act on her part to protect some and not all, but at least we know that from now on, they will be printed. Now we will wait and see what the auditor says,. Joanne Long made it very clear to me that Susan wasn’t doing anything wrong, it was just a mistake. We shall all be glad to get this over and let the public take care of what they think is right and wrong next year. Thank you for your answer to my question.

    1. It was such an unfair act on her part to protect some and not all

      This implies that some people were on the payment plan but their name was published in the paper. Do you have an example of this?

      My understanding is that everyone on the payment plan did not have their name published in the paper. If certain people’s names were published and certain people were not, that is a very different issue.

      1. Yes, there was people on the payment list that also were published in the first publication. I will not name those but if you have the list, then you can see for yourself that this happened.

  14. I want to remind everyone that those people, many of them, including Susan herself, were not on a payment plan for 2010 but for a year before that, 3 or 4 years before that or more and not making regular payments if at all. That is important because they had not yet contracted (if anyone ever did) to make payments for year 2010. I know there were people complaining that they were listed in the original listing but on the payment plan but I have not looked at it since it seems a rather trivial matter in comparison to all the other areas being discussed. Wonder how many people thought they were on the payment plan but really weren’t? Were they, in fact, making partial payments and not considered on the payment plan which holds special privileges such as a guarantee that your name doesn’t go in the paper or your property pass to the County Commissioners to be held for the 3 years before auction? The more one tries to answer a question here, the more questions that arise. We anxiously await the arrival and determination by the AG and KBI.

    1. So everyone on the payment plan was guaranteed not to have their name in the paper? I thought people were saying that some did and some didn’t have their name published.

      Personally I don’t anxiously await the arrival of an auditor, the attorney general and the KBI because that is all money being spent that won’t be going into making better roads, etc. Since this information is all public, I don’t understand why we can’t just get the documents related to whatever we think might be a problem and use that to satisfy our curiosity or to prove that there was a problem.

      1. This money need not be spent at all, if the laws were followed. Now we have to go through with this, because of mistakes or didn’t know. I expect more out of a person who has been Treasurer for this long a period of time. I also expect them to be aboveboard.

        What would possibly induce me to pay my taxes next year, when I now know that you can be behind 3 years without consequence?

        1. Not paying your taxes will incur interest. Which in some cases might be worth it to you for awhile. But if you don’t like that, you need to get the state law changed. It isn’t something the treasurer has any control over.

          Is there anything specific you feel was done that goes beyond just a mistake?

  15. I want to say that the reason I said that whether or not someone was in the paper and not, once or twice was trivial was that Mrs. Kramer had already brought to the attention of the taxpayers the fact that the Statute (law) regarding the publication of ALL names had been broken. Looking at that, we have noted other laws to have been broken, possible fraud also. The documents are there for everyone to see if they have internet access and internet access is available at the public library in town. It is my impression that we have all the documents that we need. It is absolutely crucial that this investigation be completed before tax season gets into full swing. Yes, it is unfortunate that money has to be spent to make things right and pay for an investigation but does anyone know if the County Treasurer were to resign, would she be spared going through the investigation sort of along the lines that it wasn’t disregard for the laws that governed her office but her failure to be able to carry out her job as County Treasurer? It is obvious that she needs to leave office. As far as would I rather see the money go for roads instead of an investigation? Imagine if just the people in prison for writing bad checks were released, think of the savings. They are people who are not dangerous to themselves or others yet, they broke the law and an investigation had to be paid for and it came out of our pockets. Doesn’t seem the County Treasurer was much worried about paying for services in the County. When someone breaks the law though like this, is there a choice? It is my understanding that the AG and KBI have been asked to come in to help with this and we desperately need them to come because we are not experts but have broken the ground so they can easily see where the attention is needed. I don’t think it will be a long investigation because the laws she broke are pretty cut and dried. She broke the laws that govern her office so one way or another, the people want her out of there. You might want to go ahead and ask the County Treasurer if she might rather not go through the AG and KBI investigation and save the money for roads especially since her management of the office has cost the taxpayers so much already. She should go ahead and check into resigning and see if she could still be prosecuted or not in that case as I would surely be asking that, well, not really, I would be in Mexico! We are talking about breaking laws and you just don’t ignore that, not as a responsible citizen anyway. It is all about accountability. If this one gets off the hook…………. Maybe if we can get a County Treasurer who collects the taxes, fees and interest, we can afford to improve the roads! Don’t think that I don’t know it is being hinted that we just overlook this and don’t think that I am surprised by that either.

    1. It is established that names were not published in the paper. This was not legal. However, it probably wasn’t criminal either. If you are saying that the treasurer should resign because she thought she didn’t need to put names in the paper for people who were on the payment plan, I think you are trying to make a bigger deal out of something that is minor.

      If the governor makes a turn without using his blinker, I think it would be silly to call for his resignation over that.

      Now you say that there was possibly fraud going on and mention some documents. What are those documents? What do you see that looks like fraud? I’m not saying you are right or wrong, but I’m not clear what you are talking about.

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