Somebody named "D. Smith" owns a 5,706-square-foot lot in South Los Angeles, and workers in the county tax collector's office want to know if he or she wants to sell it.So the county decided to do a mass mailings to "D. Smith's" at a cost of $5.71 per certified letter, explaining that the original tax bill of $275 had grown, with interest and penalties, to $33,534. According to the taxing authority, they sent out 1,180 letters, but as one reporter noticed, there are nearly 10,970 "D. Smith's" on the tax roll.
Officials have spent 22 years hunting for the owner in order to collect property taxes on the vacant property that have gone unpaid since 1980.
So, either the county spent $62,639 to send the letters to collect $33,534 or they only attempted to notify 10% of potential owners, which begs the question why make the effort in the first place?
Of course, I would be curious to know how much manpower has been spent in the last 22 years. You would think that in that time, it would be easier to take the property by adverse possession or pass legislation that sets a time limit to sell it.