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A trip to the Recorder's Office

Well, we finally got around to traveling to St Elena to register our house with the tax man, and get our name firmly placed on the ownership rolls.  We were a little tardy in taking care of this, but the recorder's office, (Assessor, Planner, etc)  is extremely busy at Christmas and in January, 'cause of taxes being due, and new year, and so on.

So...we figure it is a nice middle of the week in February, so let's get on down and pay the tax man...

This is not a fun job, as I have done something like it before when we bought the house, and it entails a bunch of waiting and some embarrassment, 'cause I don't speak the lingo...well this time began in a like manner...

We arrived, and went to the office.  It is set up on the ground floor and has windows going from one to nine outside to the patio, while, inside, behind each window, sits a clerk at a desk with a computer.  I scoped out the recorder's program, and it was pretty much modern and almost state of the art.  So...I'm thinking that some of the 12% tax we pay on almost everything probably paid for a Microsoft Techie to come down to all the Cantons and install it...

But...old habits die hard, and no Microsoft Techie can possibly fix the "way things are done around here"

Each clerk has a particular part of the equation, so we begin...first we go to Window 3, wait awhile, and finally the clerk takes our paperwork--gets our passport, and begins to enter our name in the computer, while endlessly turning the pages of our 20 page purchase contract.  Knowing the vagaries of this kind of operation...in any locale...we anxiously watched the expression on our clerk's face for signs that things were going badly...and her expressions ran the gamut...we finally are told that we can now take our paperwork to window 7...in seven the clerk decides how much we must pay because the first clerk has put our names in the computer...It is six bucks...but we can't pay it there...we must go outside the building to the cashier window...fortunately there are only a couple of folks standing in line, so we paid up and were on our way back to window 9...this is where someone looks at our contract and does a computation to decide what our tax will be.  This note is then passed on to a man at the back, who looks it over, writes something down, and takes into the man in the corner office wearing a real suit.  He looks it over, looks at the docs, looks at our sweating faces...(we can see him behind our clerk at window 9)...he jots something down, and the man takes the file back to our clerk, and she informs us that we must now go outside again to the pay window to pay our tax.  We have about $240 bucks with us, and realize that we had forgotten to get more dough.  But, we had gone that far, so figured we better go stand at the cashier's window and see what the bad news was...there was nothing written on our file to indicate a tax.  


The Cashier took our file, entered all the correct digits into the computer, and began to tell us what the tax was, and we requested that he write it down,

All at once, the birds started singing, and our tired legs had new spring in them...for the number that he wrote down as the property tax for the total year was $34.71...

With that bit of good news we had a great time shopping at ACE hardware in Salinas, and a great picnic, watching the waves on the way home...All of our trips should have such a happy ending...

Posted on Thu, February 21, 2008 at 07:43PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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