August 25, 2009

Decimal error results in high tax bills

Officials in a Florida town say about 20,000 property owners received tax bills 10 times higher than they should have been due to a decimal point error.

Palm Beach Gardens Finance Administrator Allan Owens said the city's debt tax rate is .149, but the rate was mistakenly calculated at 1.49, meaning the correct amount owed by property owners is one-tenth of the number shown on the bill, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Tuesday.

I've received many calls, Owens said. The good news is I can tell people they will pay less than what's on the bill.

Owens said his own bill displays a $345.08 balance, meaning he actually owes $34.50. He said officials have been calling and e-mailing residents to inform them of the mistake.

City spokeswoman Donna Guiliana said the error will be corrected by the county property appraiser office before the final tax bills go out in November.