Mohave County’s government is so flush with money that recent months have been occupied with spending an extra $41,000,000 that arrived as a federal stimulus.
So why is it taking so long for the county to correct an approximately $4.5 million mistake that overcharged Lake Havasu City area property owners on their tax bills?
The overcharge is blamed on a clerical mistake that listed a levy for Lake Havasu Unified School District at more than double the correct amount. The mistake was found late last month.
Halfway through this month of October, the county is awaiting an official blessing of the correct rate from the county Board of Supervisors on Monday.
The county advised people to not pay property taxes until the correct billing is sent out. Unfortunately, it hasn’t said what happens if the taxes aren’t paid on time.
By law, tax payments are delinquent after Nov. 1 but can be paid before the end of the year without penalty. Still, who wants their property on a delinquent list? Mistakes happen, right?
Let’s assume the new tax bills are ready to go and will be mailed the day after the supervisors approve the tax rate. The U.S. Postal Service should get the mail delivered by Friday, though under its new standards that’s just a guess.
That means property owners will have maybe five business days to write a check for the correct amount and get it delivered by the Postal Service.
People also have the option of sending in the amount from the original bill and deducting the overage from the second half tax payment in early 2022. Or they can pay the higher amount and seek a refund.
Many homeowners’ property taxes are paid by a mortgage company. Those third parties likely have no clue there’s an error since the county hasn’t gone out of its way to notify specific tax payers of the mistake. So they’ll overpay.
Maybe those overpayments will get sorted but homeowners paying taxes from these impound accounts have reason to pay close attention.
All the anticipated fixing of overpayments and delinquencies seems like a lot of work that won’t happen overnight.
So why did the county dawdle on getting the information corrected and rebilled? It would’ve been a lot less trouble.
— Today’s News-Herald