Geneva Special Assessment Clerical Error Notice
Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas released information regarding a discovered clerical error for Geneva City properties dating back to 2016. The Auditor’s Office certifies special assessments from cities such as water, sewer, and street lighting assessments to residents’ tax bills each year allowing property owners to pay these charges on their first and second half tax bills. A clerical error originating from 2016 in the Auditor’s Office caused small differences in the charges assigned to each property.
Notices were mailed to impacted Geneva Residents with an explanation for the charge or credit. Those with a charge for Street Lighting Assessment Project #31040 can pay the charge any time before Second Half Tax Bills are due in July. Residents were mailed their Second Half Tax Bill now as part of the notice, but are not required to pay their billed amount until July. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 440-576-3783.
“Our staff discovered the error and immediately got to work to determine the issue and fix the discrepancies in charges,” reported Auditor David Thomas. The clerical error involved street light assessments charged by the City of Geneva and given to the Auditor’s Office to certify to property owners’ tax bills. The mistake occurred in entering of the charges, with the 2016 amounts used for billing until Tax Year 2019.
“Property owners were billed as if the charges were for the 2016 assessment. This caused some properties to be over billed, but a majority of properties were under charged during the time period at issue,” stated Thomas.
According to the Auditor’s Office release, 744 parcels were affected by the clerical error, with 28 parcels being over charged by a total of $816.62 and 772 parcels being under charged by an overall amount of $14,284.10. To fix the differences, credits or charges will be placed on 2nd half tax bills. The Auditor’s Office will be mailing notices to affected property owners will a difference in assessed amount of greater than $10.
“Most property owners will not notice a difference in their second half bill, especially if they escrow their taxes into their mortgage,” explained Thomas. “Those who have already paid in full for Tax Year 2019 or directly pay their taxes can contact the Ashtabula County Treasurer’s Office or stop into the Courthouse to pay their bill.”
Thomas and Auditor’s Office staff contacted the City of Geneva to make officials aware when the error was discovered. Current funding levels for street lighting were not impacted. “I would like to thank our staff who worked quickly and diligently to correct this mistake,” stated Thomas.