Midnight mailing at Eastport Plaza a relief for last-minute tax return posting patrons

While the TV cameras rolled at PDX and the downtown post offices, see why hundreds of people were thrilled they could drop off their tax return in outer East Portland …

All smiles ‚Äì People dropping off their income tax returns, just before midnight, were smiling because they were relieved to have their taxes done. And postal workers who stayed up late ‚Äì like Laurie Harms seen here in this photo ‚Äì seemed happy to provide late-night service on April 17. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

Near midnight, things normally are pretty quiet around Eastport Plaza. Typically, the only vehicles seen driving into the venerated shopping center, on 82nd Avenue of Roses, are hitting the late-night drive-through windows of Burger King, Taco Bell, or Jack in the Box.

But, on April 17, there was a steady flow of vehicles parading past a tent set up in the middle of the street outside the shopping center’s US Post Office. This was one of the few places in the city where tardy tax-payers could drop off their income tax returns right up to midnight ‚Äì and still get it postmarked on time.

Each of the patrons with whom we spoke was tickled. “This is great! I don’t even have to get out of my car,” said Elaine Hinkley. Then she begged, “Don’t take a picture of me. I’m in my pajamas and housecoat!”

By the time we arrived, their large hamper was filling up with envelopes addressed to the IRS, State of Oregon, Multnomah County, and City of Portland.

“This is fun,” postal worker Laurie Harms told us. “The best part is being able to help people who waited until the last minute to get their taxes done. We’re out here to provide customer service.”

She, and her postal partners, said people are so glad they happy to find “drive through” service at Eastport Plaza, “they give us cookies and other treats. And, it is our pleasure to be of service!”

© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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