Goof on tax bills costs city $50,000
The only mistake was the tax year listed as "2006-2007," instead of "2007-2008"
The city will remail property tax bills because of a mistake in the tax year printed -- at a cost of $50,000 in a financially strapped budget.
City Treasurer Edlyn Taniguchi said the tax amounts and payment deadline of Aug. 20 are still correct. The only mistake in the bills mailed last week was the tax year listed as "2006-2007," which should have said, "2007-2008."
"It's human error," said Taniguchi, who received several calls Monday from residents pointing out the error. "We were shocked that we had made such a mistake. All these years we try to be very careful, but for some reason this year, we weren't careful enough."
Taniguchi said staff members were focusing their attention on getting the tax amounts correct that they neglected to catch the typo in the tax year when the printing company submitted a proof.
The city will pay for the $44,000 in postage and $6,000 of the production cost needed to mail about 136,000 bills again. Though the city is unsure where exactly the money will come from, Taniguchi said, it'll have to cut back on expenses, such as office supplies.
Some City Council members said they were unhappy taxpayers will be paying for the city's mistake.
"It's disappointing given the tight budget we're in," said Councilman Charles Djou. "Heaven knows we don't have more money to spend on things like this."
"During budget hearings, it seemed that not one penny could be cut," said Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi. "It'll be interesting to see where they'll get the money."