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Durham bureaucracy snares even a Councilman

Just because you're an elected official, you needn't think you're immune from bureaucratic hassles. Just ask City Councilman Eugene Brown.

Not long ago, Brown got a letter from the county tax office, by way of certified mail,  informing him that his wages could be garnished because, the tax office claimed, he hadn't paid a $10 license fee for a family cat in 2010.

Brown wrote Tax Administrator Kim Simpson to say he has "always paid our animal fees" and hadn't heard anything about an overdue fee until he got the certified letter.

"I hope what has happened to me is aberration within your department and will not be repeated," his letter concluded. "I look forward to discussing these issues with you."

That was 11 days ago. Tuesday afternoon, Brown said, "I haven't heard a ... thing."


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