Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tax error turns tax credit

Sun Valley Co. has been overpaying


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Co. will be getting a tax credit this year to make up for the four years it paid taxes on an airplane hangar that no longer existed.

The company has paid $5,393.08 in property taxes on the hangar since 2006, though the hangar was demolished in 2005.

County Treasurer Vicki Dick said the hangar had been removed from the tax rolls, but when the county changed the computer program it uses for assessment, the hangar reappeared.

"Somehow, in that conversion process, this value came over from the old system to the new," Dick said.

The error was only caught when county Appraiser Jim Williamson did a physical appraisal of the property in early August and realized the hangar was still on the roles, though it clearly did not exist. The appraisal was a routine evaluation done every five years.

"I don't know why [the error] wasn't caught sooner," Dick said.

County Assessor Valdi Pace said there were other similar errors when the county first changed programs. Still, she said, she's surprised one is coming up now.

"Sun Valley really should have caught this as well," Pace said.

Dick said the amount of money in question would not have been a significant percentage of the company's tax bill.

The tax cancellation will not result in a check to Sun Valley Co., she said, as the funds have already been distributed. Instead, Sun Valley will receive a tax credit on one of its other parcels of land.

"It was a shock, but we're fixing it now," Pace said. "We're just trying to do the fair thing."

Katherine Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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