Property Tax Bill Prompts Common-'Cents' Response

When Ron Spears of Cle Elum, Wash., received a personal property tax bill for $34 back in April, he ignored it. A struggling small business owner, Spears said he simply didn't have the money to spare. But by the time he received a third delinquent notice on Aug. 6, which threatened a kind of foreclosure known as "distraint," Spears was angry. His $34 bill had inflated to $330, due to accrued late fees. So on Aug. 24, he showed up at the local treasurer's office with $330 in cash -- all in pennies. Spears conveyed the 33,000 pennies in buckets propped on a hand truck. The Kittitas County treasurer refused the payment, saying she didn't have the staff to count all the pennies. Spears has promised to resubmit his payment in a different form by the deadline.

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