Barnwell starts refunds to city residents

Residents in Barnwell should be seeing refunds in the mail - not from the federal government, but the city.

The refunds, some smaller than one dollar, were created because the city erroneously charged the wrong millage for the 2007 tax year, City Adminstrator John Zawacki said.

Property was reassessed and the millage was supposed to be rolled back, he said.

The roll back did not occur, Zawacki said.

The error was discovered when the city prepared its annual budget. Plans were made to correct the error, he said.

The total of the error amounted to $90,375.16. Of that total, $4,082.03 was in refunds under $5, he said.

If a resident's refund is under $5, a letter is mailed verifying the refund amount and the resident can pick up the cash directly from the city hall, Zawacki said.

The cost of printing and processing the refund checks is between $1 and $1.25 so this was an effort to cut those costs by not mailing refunds less than $5, he said.

State statute requires the city to place with the county treasurer the necessary funds to make the refunds.

As for keeping this type of error from happening in the future, Zawacki said his office will check and double check millage rates before issuing new tax bills.