For some taxpayers, last-minute is tradition

April 18, 2000|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF

The annual parade of procrastinators stretched a half-mile along Fayette Street in the rain late last night as Maryland taxpayers used every available moment to get their returns in before the midnight deadline.

In the crowd once again were three retirees from the Baltimore school system who have made a tradition of showing up at the city's main post office for a last-minute drop-off.

"We're not late," said Monteece Jones. "We're right on time."

By 12: 01 this morning, however, it was too late. At that moment, all postal employees collecting tax returns along the Fayette Street curb were called in and the woman giving away dozens of doughnuts called it a day.

"I thought it would make people happy," said Courtney Alvanchi, a marketing officer for the local Krispy Kreme franchise.

"When you have sugar, you're happy," said Jones, who showed up for at least the 15th year in a row with friends Marian Barclift and Marion Richardson. "And when you owe money, you wait till the last minute."

The trio stood under umbrellas chatting with postal employees as cars slowed to drop off tax returns.

"When my children were little, they thought this was something you were supposed to do," said Barclift. "They looked forward to it every year like Christmas."

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