The Lafayette School District has admitted to overcharging property owners approximately $26 per year for a parcel tax since 2015, and is working with a consultant to determine the amount that must be refunded to taxpayers.
The refunds are estimated to total approximately $432,640 for the 2015 and 2016 overpayments.
The tax approved by voters in 2014 was supposed to be $539 per parcel, with an annual cost-of-living inflation increase capped at a maximum of 3 percent.
The school district made two mistakes:
A resident who recently moved into the district noticed a discrepancy on his property tax bill and alerted district administrators of the errors in early October. The county will reissue corrected property tax bills once the district submits accurate information, Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller Bob Campbell said.
A newspaper story about the over-taxation did not explain why county employees – including those in Mr. Campbell's office, which employs approximately 50 people and has an operating budget of approximately $7.9 million per year – did not catch and correct the errors before tax bills were sent to property owners. (Source: East Bay Times, October 31.)
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