Cynthia Lockett hoped to pay her property tax bill with 283kg of coins in a petty protest but she has been barred from carrying out the stunt.
Cynthia Lockett hoped to pay her property tax bill with 283kg of coins in a petty protest but she has been barred from carrying out the stunt.

Woman’s petty tax revenge foiled

A US woman wanted to protest the increase in her property taxes and hatched a plan to pay her bill in coins.

However, the plan went up in smoke this week when local officials said they wouldn't accept the 1419 rolls of five-cent coins - known as nickels in the US - that weighed a combined 283kg.

Cynthia Lockett, from Missouri, told WDAF last month that the stoush began after her 2019 assessment increased her land value by 135 per cent and her overall market value by 45 per cent.

Multiple phone calls to appeal the assessment went unanswered, so she came up with her plan.

"It is going to be a little inconvenient to count those nickels," she said at the time.

"I mean, they will be rolled. I'm not trying to be a complete jerk, but it is just - they want to ignore us, ignore us, ignore us and I thought, 'You are not going to be able to ignore this blue buggy when I wheel it in'."

The woman planned to pay her bill entirely in coins. Picture: iStock
The woman planned to pay her bill entirely in coins. Picture: iStock

However, Ms Lockett was unable to roll in after she received a letter from Jackson County saying that it would not accept her coins as payment.

The county has a longstanding statute that prevents it from accepting large payments in coins, director of collections Whitney S Miller said in a letter.

"Payments of this type would require a significant amount of staff time to process, which would result in substantial increases in wait times for other taxpayers," the letter, obtained by WDAF, stated.

The letter itself did not address her property tax concerns.

"I think it's interesting that they can find the time to respond to this, but they can't respond to the egregious bill and ridiculous assessments that they are sending us," Ms Lockett said.

WDAF reported that in Jackson County, the collections and assessment departments are separate.

Ms Lockett, who has to pay her bill by December 31, remained defiant and said it would be paid, but she wouldn't be making it easy for the collectors.

"It won't be nickels, but it's not gonna be a cheque either," she said.

But if you're tempted to pull off a similar stunt in Australia, think again.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, a payment of coins is a legal tender throughout the country if it is made in Australian coins - but there are restrictions surrounding how much can be paid in coin.

For example, if someone wants to pay a bill with five cent coins, they can only use up to $5 worth - any more than that will not be considered legal tender.

 

This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission


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