Pima County supervisors fix costly tax error affecting Catalina Foothills school district

Decimal point error cost school district $1.8 million, but county supervisors found way to cover cost

Catalina Foothills tax mistake

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Board of Supervisors is working to fix a major tax error that cost one school district nearly $2 million in tax revenue.

“Whenever you have human beings involved there’s always an opportunity for error,” said Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller.

The school tax for district 16 was supposed to be 31 cents and one small decimal-point error made it ten times lower than it should have been.

That means folks in a $500,000 foothills home were billed a $14 school tax when they should have been billed paid $144. Next year, they’ll have to make up the difference.

“It’s unfortunate this happened but as a result the county is going to be billing next year for the property tax that was missed this year,” Miller said.

The supervisors made up the difference so the kids at Catalina Foothills school district don’t lose nearly $2 million dollars because of the tax flub. The county will make the district whole this year and get paid back next year.

In essence everyone’s happy and no one loses any money — the flub is fixed.

“Nobody gets hurt in this thing.. nobody does.. but it’s a real inconvenience,” Miller said.

From now on, there will be an auditing process to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“There’s going to be three departments I believe involved the assessors office, the treasurers office and the finance department. They’re all going to be doing a review to make sure this doesn’t happen again," Miller said.

The county handles the books for 92 different taxing jurisdictions including schools and fire districts. It will now take a lot of eyeballs to make sure the decimal point is in the right spot.

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