Typo Leads to Tax Confusion

By: Justin Ware Email
By: Justin Ware Email

Property owners in the town of Oregon are going to have to dig extra deep into their pockets this holiday season.

"We're talking about a $47 million mistake that was made," said Brett Davis, town of Oregon resident.

Thanks to a department of revenue mistake, residents like Davis will have to pay hundreds of extra dollars in property taxes for 2006.

A mistake, that revenue department officials say was simple human error, that cannot be reversed.

"It was a keying error, made by a human, here at the Department of Revenue," said Jessica Iverson, department of revenue spokesperson.

Iverson says the mistake will cost each town of Oregon property owner about 500 dollars in 2006, but says they will get all that money back in the form of a discount in 2007.

Iverson says that decision is based on a state law that dictates how property owners are supposed to be compensated when a mistake is made.

"State statutes dictate specific remedies for errors such as this," said Iverson, "and the correction will be made the following tax year."

Which is where Brett Davis comes back into play.

Davis isn't just an Oregon resident, he's also a Republican state representative.

And as a result, is in the best position to change things for himself and his district.

"Oh absolutely," said Davis, "tomorrow morning at 8:30 I have a meeting with the legislative fiscal bureau to look at those very options to deal with this."

Davis says he'd like to see a change in the law, even if the current mistake can't be reversed.

But he says that won't do much to help people who are struggling with their property taxes right now.

"For seniors on a fixed income," said Davis, "working families right now that are buying their Christmas presents for their kids, it's a really big deal."

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