Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Under the Microscope

Doug Losak, the interim County Council, showed up Monday morning to talk to my boss at work.  It seems that 3 years ago, I applied to the County for a temporary property tax reduction, part of the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.  It required COMPS attached to assist the Assessor in deciding how much to reduce my taxes during the economic recession.  They kept the application for a year, and then phoned me to say that they denied it based on that there were no COMPS to compare it with. 

The problem Doug brought up was that my application was printed on used paper.  The reverse side were student report cards that had been misprinted, which I mined out of the recycle bin.  I save a ton of money on paper by mining recycle bins for clean flat, uncrumpled pages.  Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and find 1/2 ream of misprints all in a nice clean pile! 

Although I had scribbled over every name or other identifiable info, you could still make out the names when held up to the light.  Over 2 years ago, I brought up the issue of confidential info in the recycle bin to my boss.  She has since inserviced everyone on FERPA privacy laws, and confidential info is now consistently shredded. 

But someone in the Assessor's Office is scrutinizing my records to try to get me into trouble.  They probably figure, everyone's got some dirt on them and they are set out to find it.