UPDATE 10/3/17: Treasurer Roger Zurn posted this update on Facebook today.
[An] example of a positive individual was someone who wished to remain anonymous responded to my post of the woman who was threatening to commit suicide by telling me he/she wished to pay the tax bill for that lady. The one stipulation was no one is to know who did it. We took the payment and then the woman in my office who dealt with her called her and told her a good samaritan had stepped up and paid, not just her past due bill but also her bill that was due on October 5th. A total of $360.00. The lady was overwhelmed and profusely thanked my employee and said she was going through such a difficult time and this was such a godsend. She literally cried tears of joy.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Each Year 44,193 Americans die by suicide. For every suicide, 25 attempt suicide. Suicide costs the US $51 Billion annually. On average, there are 121 suicides per day. Virginia is ranked 39th in the highest rate of suicide. These are statistics according to to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
With so many suicides, you never know the final trigger. One moment suicide was not a viable option, the next, it is a plausible consideration or unstoppable in someone’s mind. Depression, psychosis, impulsiveness, philosophical desire to die – the decision to commit suicide is based on a reasoned and/or long-term decision, just crying out for help are but a few of the many reasons found each day for the ever-increasing suicide rate.
Today, however, at least one life was saved.
The Loudoun County Treasurer Office received a call from a local taxpayer claiming she would kill herself over a delinquent tax bill. While many in the wealthiest county in the nation may consider a tax bill under $300 nominal, that amount to some can be a week or two of pay, the difference in feeding your kids, affording child care, having your car repaired or just icing on the cake to an unbearable amount of stress and pressure. There is little judgment to be passed when suicide is the call to action.
Treasurer Roger Zurn shared the following on Facebook today.
I was informed that a woman was on the phone with one of my employees who was threatening to kill herself, all over a $262 delinquent tax bill. It was apparent that this was not a hoax nor something to be taken lightly.
Through texting, we asked that the employee keep her on the phone while another called 911 to alert them of the situation. This employee did an outstanding job of staying calm and trying to talk to her. She relayed that we work with taxpayers all the time as long as they make us aware of their situation. Thanks to the prompt response from the Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was sent to her address, which we had in our records, for a safety check.
Thanks to the quick response and my employees who worked together on this situation, it ended well with the woman not committing herself any harm. Many praises are due, from my employee recognizing this was indeed serious and kept her on the phone, to her co-worker who took it up the ladder immediately and then contacting dispatch and finally the deputy who found the woman before anything terrible occurred.
People might think of the tax office as uncaring but I am blessed with people who do care and who went above and beyond to save this person so another tragedy didn’t occur after Las Vegas.
Please, if anyone is having a problem with paying your taxes, just contact our office and we will ALWAYS work with you. We can’t make taxes go away but we will work with you. You just have to reach out to us. There is nothing more precious than your life.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you can find help immediately by calling 1-800-273-8255 or going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 911.