MENDOCINO Co., 11/13/23 — Back in October, the county sent out a press release saying an error had been made on some tax bills. I was confused about my own property tax bill after reading the terse press release. I tried to find out whether to pay it, pay online or wait for amended paperwork to come in the mail. I ended up filing a California Public Records Act Request (CPRA) for information that I felt was lacking from the press release. After one return phone call, there was no other response, and several emails seeking information to the tax collector’s office were not answered.
Supervisor Dan Gjerde and county Assessor-Clerk Recorder-Registrar of Voters Katrina Bartolomie helped me find some information, but then the county returned the CPRA ahead of deadline Friday morning. Here are the questions and answers from the CPRA (in bold). The original press release is reprinted at the end.
- When was this error made? The error occurred during the printing of tax bills by the outside vendor the week of 10/16/23.
- What was the error? There was an issue with the outside vendor’s embedded font.
- Was it an error in numbers? Some amounts may have been illegible.
- Could my entire tax bill be off, and I need to wait for the corrected version? The tax bill may have been illegible, so replacement tax bills were sent to those affected on 10/31/23.
- Is the information online correct? Yes, the information online is correct.
- Can I go to the county website and pay the amount specified? Yes.
- If this error was made by a contractor as the press release seems to indicate, please provide the name of the contractor. The Data Center LLC
- How much is this contractor being paid? The contract is for 5 years, total contract amount is $120,000. The County will not be charged for the reprinting of the tax bills.
- What other services does the contractor provide to the county for that amount? Please refer to the public access for our online contracts for details of the contract.
- How many total tax bills were mailed out at the time of the mistake? 56,000.
- How many tax bills were in error? 850 were affected by the printing error.
- The press release references two tax bills. Is this a reference to the two tax bills we all get every fiscal year? No.
- Or tax bills sent to two addresses such as with partner owners? No.
- Or does this mean this mistake only happened to people with two properties or more? Yes, the error only affected SOME property owners who own more than one property.
- Was this error made before or after the removal of Chamise Cubbison? Outside vendor received file prior to the suspension of Ms. Cubbison. Tax bills were mailed out from outside vendor the week of 10/16/23.
- Did that removal play any role in the mistake? The error was from the outside vendor.
- The deadline is fast approaching. Will I still be charged late fees this year if I am unable to figure out how much to pay? Replacement tax bills for those affected were mailed out on 10/31/23. The due dates still remain the same.
Original press release:
It has come to our attention, taxpayers with more than one notice, could see errors on the tax bills, due to a printing error with the contracted vendor.
The corrected tax bills will be prepared and sent to you as soon as possible. To avoid any confusion, we kindly request you use the reprinted bill when sending in your payment.
We understand that errors like these can be inconvenient, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
If you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Tax Collector’s office at (707) 234-6875.
The first installment of taxes is due November 1 and delinquent after December 10. A 10% penalty attaches thereafter. The second installment is due February 1 of the following year and is delinquent after April 10.
The county explains how your property is reassessed each year or when sold.
If you disagree with your assessment, you can appeal the decision;