I just wrote a check for $2,988.48 to Donald R White, Tax Collector, Alameda County. I do this same thing twice a year, and have for the last seven years. I've always found the whole thing slightly puzzling, though.
Why do I make the check out to an individual, rather than just Tax Collector, Alameda County? Who is Donald R White, anyway? Does he even exist, or is he a construct of the county designed to make the whole process feel a little bit less impersonal? Why doesn't he just run off with a bunch of the checks and spend the rest of his life on an island somewhere? Does old Donald ever really see my check, or do his minions handle it?
Well, I answered one question. It seems that he's a real person.
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