Usually it’s the taxpayer who owes city hall tax money, but now it’s the other way around.
An accounting error caused the city to collect $244,000 more in taxes from residents than was required, city manager Ken Watson said.
The amount equates to $21 per resident based on the average home price of $200,000.
According to Watson, the error occurred as a result of the tax rates set in the city’s 2011 Tax Rates bylaw.
The error occurred when the five-year financial plan and tax rates bylaws were adopted earlier this year.
The financial plan bylaw forecasted $18.78 million in taxes being collected. But $19.02 million was collected under the tax rates bylaw instead.
“They don’t often concur to the penny but this was significant,” Watson said.
The error was discovered after a taxpayer noticed a discrepancy and asked the city to review it.
A cash rebate to city taxpayers isn’t in the cards though. The community charter prohibits the city from returning the overcharged taxes.
Instead, the overpayment will be deposited in a separate account until next year when it will be applied against 2012 property taxes.
“Residents will get a smaller tax bill than they otherwise would have,” Watson said.