How I handled a city tax that wasn’t meant for me
I’ve recently been reading the letters to the editor regarding the Covington utility tax that non-city residents are having to pay through their Verizon bills. I no longer pay the Covington city sales tax or the effect of city tax to the city of Covington. I wrote in to let all of you that have Verizon as your wireless provider know how I did this.
I first called Verizon when the Covington sales tax was added to my bill. I heard the same story about us being in the 98042 Zip code. It was such a small amount, I just let it go. Then a couple months ago, my bill from Verizon went up about $4 a month. I called them again and got the same story about the Zip code.
I then asked to talk to a manager who was very condescending and said nobody likes to pay their taxes. I repeatedly told him I wasn’t in the Covington city limits, but he wouldn’t do anything. So I asked him if the money they collected was going to the city of Covington, and he said yes.
I then called City Hall and talked to a very nice woman who told me they had this problem before and they would send me a letter from the city, stating that I wasn’t in their city limits, to send to Verizon.
I also e-mailed our three legislative representatives for the 47th District and told them the problem. The only one who responded was Rep. Pat Sullivan, and it was within less than 24 hours. I had a message on my telephone and also an e-mail from his office. They told me that they were contacting two state agencies and also trying to contact Verizon to get this issue settled. Apparently, what his office did worked, because in less than a week I had a phone call from Angie at Verizon’s executive office and she said that the effect of city tax that I had paid for the first month would be credited to me and that the city sales tax would now be going to King County, as it should have been in the first place.
Even though I got a good response from the city of Covington, I feel they should be doing something with Verizon to have this issue resolved for everyone who isn’t in their city limits. Unfortunately, it seems that they are raking in a lot of revenue from non-residents, which is called taxation without representation. They either need to resolve this with Verizon, or our Legislature needs to pass some kind of initiative so this won’t keep happening.
If everyone who is being taxed that lives outside of the city limits calls Angie at the executive office of Verizon, maybe this will get resolved for everyone. The phone number is 866-673-9561. Also, our state legislators’ e-mails are Kauffman.Claudia@leg.wa.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Hopefully, this will be helpful to resolve this issue.
Toll lane encourages more of single-occupant driving
I am appalled by the new system of paying a fee to drive solo in the HOV lanes on State Route 167.
Allowing people to buy their way into a faster trip belittles those of us who are going out of our way to carpool and use public transportation- – something that requires inventive thinking, organization and, yes, some sacrifices.
We do it because we want to conserve resources and protect the environment, and often because we can’t afford to drive alone. Selling the HOV lane privilege teaches people that as long as they have money, they can stick to their self-centered, single-occupancy travel and recklessly misuse the earth. Let’s hope this experiment doesn’t last.
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