Tax Bill Oversight Means Double Payment in 2023 for some in Morgan County

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 14, 2022 at 3:50pm

Morgan County is helping an area school district make up a shortfall after an oversight earlier this year.

The Morgan County Commissioners unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement last week with the Franklin Community Unit School District No. 1 to help close a gap from this year’s property tax levy.

In 2017, Franklin area voters approved a bond sale for the district to make certain school building improvements. Morgan County Commissioner Chair Brad Zeller says, with that bond comes a repayment schedule that is added to the tax bill.

Zeller says the Franklin School Board levied for the bond again this year however, somewhere between the figuring of the tax levies and the tax bills being printed, the bond amount was erroneously left off of Franklin Community School District’s tax bill for this year.

Zeller says the county is now making up the difference so the Franklin School District can pay the bill. “So since the school board levied for the amount and it was an error out of the clerk’s office, we had the obligation to make their request full. The was in the stated amount of I believe a little over two hundred and twenty thousand dollars.

So in essence the county board will loan the Franklin Community School District that amount of money for a year. Next year that money will be recaptured through the tax process and the county will keep it.

Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener says the tax levy for the Franklin School District being left off of this year’s bill came down to an oversight in her office. She says everyone in the district has already been notified of the issue.

On their tax bill next year they will see a one-time line that we will have to collect the money that they were supposed to have paid this year and did not. They will still pay for that line as normal on their tax bill as well next year. By statute, we had to send a certified letter to everyone in the Franklin School Unit District around the Franklin area that pays taxes.”

Waggener says she has received feedback from the letters notifying taxpayers of the issue, however they seem to be understanding on the situation. “A few people called me, they were very gracious and very understanding. Their main concern was, did they owe more money this year, were they going to get another tax bill, did they miss it, etc. So apologies for the mishap, it was just an oversight in my office.”

The extra line item will be included in next year’s tax bill, and then be removed from future billings thereafter.