I received a mysterious and threatening letter in the mail today from the Waterbury Tax Collector's Office. It was a DEMAND NOTICE stating that I owe $10.37 in taxes, plus 31¢ interest, and that I had ten days in which to pay this bill or else the city would seize my vehicle. They sent the letter to my old address, and the time lapse for forwarding my mail seems to be about a week. So that means I have three days to hand over $10.68 if I want to keep my car.
The mystery is that I paid my taxes this summer. So I called up the tax collector to find out why I still owed $10.37 in taxes. I had a very difficult time getting a clear answer from the woman who answered the phone. She sounded like she didn't really understand what was going on either.
The tax bill I paid stated that it needed to be paid by July 1 and that it would be delinquent after August 1. Well, for one reason or another (probably because I moved in June), I didn't remember to pay it until August 16. I paid using a credit card. The city did not process the payment until the middle of September (which screwed up my budget calculations).
At first the woman in the tax collector's office said that the $10.37 was the late fee for August and September. When I suggested that it didn't seem fair to charge me a late fee for September, given that my payment arrived in August, she said that $5.70 was the interest they charge for credit card payments. When I pointed out that the bill stated that credit card fees were automatically taken out of my credit card, she said that the $10.37 was the late fee for July and August. At that point I gave up and did not ask why I was charged a late fee for July when the bill said delinquency didn't start until August 1.
I'm putting a check for the full amount in the mail today; it should arrive in their office tomorrow. I can't wait to see what happens next. If it takes them until some time in November to process the check, will they try to seize my car? or will they just send me another bill, this time with late fees for October and November?