September 2, 2010

City resident gets bizarre bill for property registration

Alex Koblansky was surprised when he opened his mail last weekend and discovered that the city of Baltimore wanted him to pay $25 to register a property he didn't own. With an address that doesn't exist.

The city requires registration of non-owner-occupied homes, but Koblansky occupies the only one he owns, a Federal Hill home he purchased in May. So he could be pretty certain the bill was a mistake -- especially since the address apparently in need of registration was "1800 L Dham St."

He walked to the city's housing agency on Monday to try to get the problem resolved, but 10 or 15 people were ahead of him and he couldn't wait that long. He noticed others with the same registration form and wondered if they had bills for phantom properties, too.

"I am assuming people are going to tend to just pay this bill versus go through the hassle of getting the right answer," he said.

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Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Costs of ownership
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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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