Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Tax Day filers form lively line on deadline


Last-minute mailers line up for drop-offs

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Tax Day: You giveth, the post office taketh away.

Hopefully, before midnight.

[IMAGE] Mail handler Andrea Maliszewski takes some of several thousand tax returns mailed Tuesday at a special street-side post on West Liberty Street near the Dalton Street Post Office.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
| ZOOM |
Tax day was a hectic one for procrastinators who waited until the last hours - and some who literally waited until the last seconds - to file their federal and state income taxes Tuesday before the clock reached midnight.

Pat Kane, senior plant manager for Cincinnati post offices, said his employees did their part to calm April madness by working overtime and coming in on their days off so offices could stay open until midnight and curbside drop-offs could be set up. Mail sorters worked double time so the tax rush doesn't slow down a car payment or a letter to mom.

"It hasn't been too bad today," Kane said Tuesday afternoon. "We had bumper-to-bumper traffic at our Dalton Street office this morning, but the line stayed in the parking lot and didn't go into the street. But after about 6:30 (p.m.) it's madness. We have people coming in at midnight and worrying about the postmark. They'll wait right up until the last second."

Rod Morris didn't wait that long. In fact, as the Hamilton resident pulled into the Dalton Street parking lot to drop off his forms Tuesday at about 5 p.m., he was running several hours ahead of schedule.

"I own my own business, so I hold onto my money as long as I can," Morris said. "I don't usually show up here until 9 or 10 o'clock" at night.

There was a carnival-like atmosphere outside the Dalton Street office, as free sausage patties were handed out and a rock band set up under an umbrella. There were drop-off sites on both sides.

Bert Ranson, of Woodlawn, didn't let the last-minute filing bother her. She just moved back to Cincinnati from Birmingham and said she had trouble getting her paperwork in order.

"I know I have to pay, and it's not something I can get away from," she said. "So it's not something that I let upset me."

E-mail dklepal@enquirer.com




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