Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hawaii County moved to Seattle

We were preparing to pay our Hawaii County property tax bill today and were shocked to find that, without us knowing, our County had been relocated to the mainland. The envelope enclosed for us to send in our tax money was addressed to the County of Hawaii located at a post office box in Seattle, Washington. Surely, there is some terrible mistake.

Highly perturbed, we called the County to find out if the return envelope was an accident or scam of some kind.  But the person that answered the phone assured us that it was not a typo on the envelope.  A firm on the mainland was hired to process the County taxes.

Apparently, the County hired a firm in Seattle to open the envelopes and deposit tax payments which means hundreds of millions of our County dollars are being sent to a company thousands of miles away. We missed the news last July that Automatic Funds Transfer Services was the low bidder, somehow able to open envelopes more cheaply than our own County employees or local banks, even with a 4% evaluation penalty for being out of State.

But even if an out of State firm did win, it is shocking to see the County of Hawaii moved to Seattle.  Shouldn’t the County require any contractor use a local address and local bank and keep our taxes on the island?


Gregory said...

Hey, at least it’s a neighboring state, the low bidder could have been in Akron, OH. Whenever I hear of this kind of thing I picture people slaving away at some race to the bottom sweatshop.
A coworker of mine got stung by a red light camera here in Seattle, the fine had to be mailed out and paid to some company back East. The localities here farm out the photo ticket biz and collect a piece of the action.

LomaxArts said...

Bank of Hawaii (I think it is Bank of Hawaii) is in New York.

Bob Dimm said...

I was just going to send in my check for my County of Hawaii property tax and also noticed the Seattle address. Thank you for posting the information on your blog. I was about to go online to pay the tax just to be sure but to pay online you need to pay an additional fee and use a credit card. Thanks to your blog I'll just send in a check as usual.

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