DiR: Dead Living

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Though the Washington Post has a great investigative article on the ShotSpotter, what really caught my attention was today's "Why the dead get government checks" also titled "pix of aunt and uncleSometimes it pays to be dead."

The reason being the DC Office of Tax and Revenue's Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction, which one of the photographed here is paying. Both people in the photograph are dead, dead, dead, deady-dead-dead. When they were alive they lived in SE DC. I've written about dead people paying the reduced price property taxes before, but then auntie was still alive, in a nursing home in Maryland somewhere, but alive. And last year she died. In 3 months she will have been dead 2 years. However, she has not shown up in the Social Security Death Index (via Ancestry.com) and so I haven't felt any major need to contact the Tax Office since the only proof I have of her death is a voice mail from another relative telling me so and possibly her funeral program (I've misplaced it). I don't know her birth date as she was very secretive about her age when she was alive and so the story is that she was well over 100 when she died. As far as proving this tax payer is dead, I don't have much. Though she did have a will and there is someone* managing the estate as a living relative inherited a mink and someone is paying the property taxes for the SE home.

Uncle R was a postal worker, then he retired, and then he died. Aunt G was a homemaker, then a widow, then she died. I don't know if their estate is receiving any USPS pension, Social Security, or anything from the federal government. The Washington Post article stated that some states' vital statistics offices don't alow their records to become public. Aunt G died in Maryland so it isn't clear that DC would have a record of her death. However, I have found other DC property owning Maryland dead before. I don't understand why Aunt G isn't showing up. I do not suspect fraud, bureaucractic screw up, yes, fraud, no.

The problem with dead people paying property tax is that I find them paying the Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction on vacant and blighted houses. Such a house in neighborhoods like Shaw could hold down a block. It attracts squatters, trash, vermin and crime. Then there are dead discounted seniors with houses their relatives are occupying and if that is a problem, it really depends on the relatives.

*Aunt G is my aunt by marriage so a whole 'nother branch of family is handling the estate.

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