Pay Taxes – Get Told to Delete Photos

Treasurer - Tax Collector Donald R. White

This afternoon I had a wonderful visit to the Alameda Government center to visit the office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector. In order to not be hit with a huge penalty for paying late, I thought I’d visit in person and get a stamped receipt as proof of paying in a timely manner. When you arrive at the Alameda Government center on Oak St., you are greeted by Sheriff Deputies and an airport style security arrangement where I had to remove my belt, keys and iPhone and run them through a metal detector. After passing security, I was free to stand in a long line to pay my taxes. After the line seemed to stop moving, an employee came out and told the taxpayers that the, “system had gone down”. Since I just needed to drop off a check and get a receipt stamp I waited another ten minutes to get my property taxes processed.

Happy that I had gotten this chore out of the way, I was walking down the halls of government when I noticed this amusing sign for the Treasurer & Tax Collector. The logo seems to symbolize some kind of Utopian world of money, houses, computers and people! I snapped a couple shots with my iPhone right in front of some of the Deputies when one asked me what I was doing. I told him I was taking a picture of the sign on the wall. He then told me that he thought it was against the law to do that. He then conferred with another deputy that said it was against the law. He then asked me if I could delete the picture. I told him that it was too late – it was already, “in the cloud”! He asked me what I was taking the picture for. I said it was for my blog and that I cover interesting events in the community. The deputy admonished me that this was no good and that I need to get permission to take pictures. He repeated I better delete the picture when I get home and that it was a misdemeanor. I shrugged then left.

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