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Local

Error results in township tax shortage of $949,000

PRINCETON — Due to an administrative error made by the Bureau County Clerk on this year’s tax bill, 21 townships are facing an altogether $949,000 shortage in their road budgets this year.

During Tuesday’s county board meeting, Bureau County Clerk Matt Eggers issued a press release stating that a special road tax levy was not extended and therefore omitted from the tax bill. This resulted in tax bills being “a slightly smaller amount” for the 2018 year.

“I apologize for this error and take full responsibility for the oversight and the inconvenience it will cause Bureau County residents and townships,” he stated in the release.

During the meeting, the county board voted to allow Bureau County State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini to research this error further in hopes of finding a solution that will permit the county to collect that chunk of change this year for the townships. The townships were banking on this money for road work.

So far, Caffarini only knows of one solution that will get back that money, but not until next year. He said a notice would have to be sent to taxpayers explaining the error and an additional line item on next year’s tax bill would be added to collect what was owed.

If no solution to getting that money this year is discovered, the loss will be absorbed by the townships.

There are four townships that will not be impacted by this error. Eggers explained how Wyanet, Berlin, Westfield and Arispie townships levy individually for their taxes, which averted them from being impacted by this error.

Board member Mary Jane Marini asked Eggers to explain to the board how the levy process works, and commented that it was not just Eggers at fault for this error.

Eggers explained how township supervisors reviewed and sign-off on two forms, where the error was printed.

In Eggers’ press release, he states that residents will be updated on how this matter will be corrected.

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