Thousands of Leon County residents are suffering sticker shock after receiving their property tax bill. A clerical error caused the payable amount to be thousands of dollars more than the actual tax.
“Upon opening the bill and looking at the amount of money I owed in property taxes, I kind of hit the ceiling," said Sal Secondo.
For Secondo, a regular trip to the mailbox Saturday sent him into financial panic. His property tax bill had jumped from a few hundred dollars to $6,000.
“Right now this is my house and normally the taxes were $692, $609, and the bill that I got was for $6,000.92,” added Secondo.
Secondo’s trouble didn't stop at his own doorstep. He owns about 12 properties in the area and for just three of those he was looking at a tax bill of around $20,000, but he’s not the only one. The Tax Collectors Office says about 4,000 Leon County residents will be opening their tax bills only to discover a huge markup.
So what happened? Blame it on the misplacement of one decimal point.
Joe Biggs, owner of Modern Mailings, said “It was the way we imported. We accounted for, we were off one digit on the import.”
Now, the company is paying close to $1,500 out of its own pocket to send out new bills. The corrected reminder statements should be in the mail Monday. Until then, you can find your correct tax amount at the county's website.
Although the mistake wasn’t made by the tax collector, the office will have extra staff on hand Monday to answer calls from property owners.
As for the company that made the mistake, employees tell us they've worked with the tax collector's office for 15 years and have never before had a problem like this.