The Schenectady County Legislature and town of Rotterdam are set to correct the extremely high sewer tax bills sent to some town residents.
The county Legislature at its Feb. 8 meeting will move to advance a “correction of multiple parcel errors” in order to fix the bills for some of the residents in sewer district 2.
Affected residents have complained of seeing their sewer tax bills increase up to 800% from the previous year.
“There is a procedure in the Real Property Tax Law to correct errors on the tax roll,” said Erin Roberts, the director of communications for the county. “There is a specific provision that allows for the correction of errors for multiple parcels at the same time if they were subject to the same error. The errors in this case are eligible for correction under that provision.”
Taxpayers that have not yet paid will have their sewer tax bills frozen until a new, corrected bill can be issued, without risking interest or penalties, a news release said.
People who have already paid their tax bills will receive a refund for the difference between what they paid and what they should’ve been actually charged, according to the release. Around two-thirds of the residents involved in the error have paid their bills, town Deputy Supervisor Jack Dodson said. Those who were not charged at all for sewer tax this year will have to pay for the charges they should’ve received for 2022 on their 2023 bill.
“That amount is expected to be about $36,” states the release.
Since receiving their tax bills around Jan. 3, over 100 residents have called town hall to ask what exactly caused the jump in costs.
Dodson indicated that years ago there were capital improvement projects to the treatment plant and other areas of Sewer District 2 that some of the extensions are connected to. That debt is now due.
Dodson had said when billing was being done, somehow the debt due this year — around $144,000 — was only applied to the residents in Extension 1 rather than all of the extensions that were part of the project. The district consists of 15 extensions.
Dodson said Wednesday evening at a board meeting he’s happy the error will be corrected.
“I’m certain those property owners will be thrilled, I certainly would be,” he said.
Board member Evan Christou said fault in the error doesn’t fall to the prior administration. He said that residents were billed by frontage and not equivalent dwelling units.
“‘This had something to do with someone in DPW (Department of Public Works) [incorrectly entering] information, which the assessor then picked up and the tax department then picked up,” he said.
Also New Thursday in Schenectady County:
- Cornells in Schenectady’s Little Italy, shut in 2020, to reopen Friday under new ownership
- Indictment: First-degree murder charged in Duanesburg killings; Man accused of murdering wife, 5yo son
- Mohawk Harbor dock moving forward in Schenectady following delay