Twin Lakes Village Board members are considering what to do with extra tax that was levied to village taxpayers on their 2013 bill.
The error had the portion of the village levy for the Community Library included twice — once as part of the village portion of the bill and again as a separate line item.
Property tax bills for Twin Lakes residents have shown the Community Library tax as a separate item since 2009. However, the library tax should not be included in the full village levy and also as a separate item when reported to the county, as was done this year. The village intended to levy $3,302.033 — which included the library tax — but erroneously added the library tax again for a total levy of $3,534,113.
The result was an average over payment of $60 per property, village administrator Jennifer Pollitt said.
Pollitt offered two possible remedies to the overcharge:
– Issue refund checks to all property taxpayers.
– Increase village reserve funds by the overcharged $232,000.
Sending refunds checks out was rejected by the Village Board at a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday as expensive. Postage alone would cost about $2,000, Pollitt estimated, and that does not account for staff time needed to complete calculating the refund and preparing the mailing.
Instead trustees favored putting the overcharge into the contingency fund and then deciding if a credit on next year’s tax bill might be warranted.
“I would rather just hold it until the next budget, then rebate on the next tax bill,” Trustee Tom Connolly said. “We might even need it, with this winter” he added in an apparent reference to hours needed for snow plowing and road salting this winter.
Even with the unintended overcharge, the village was within its state sanctioned levy limit, Pollitt said.
The board may take more formal action on the matter at a later meeting.