Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mayor Balzotti States Tax Bills' Land Data Wrong, Tax Amount Correct

BROCKTON--Mayor Linda M. Balzotti issued a press release about wrong information on the latest tax bills that numerous people have said the land acreage of their homes was wrong.
Here is the statement:
Mayor Linda Balzotti today (Wednesday, Jan. 3) investigated concerns about the most
recent property tax bills issued by the City of Brockton.
The acreage amount listed on the tax bills was misprinted. Taxes owed and property
value were correct.
“Kelley & Ryan Associates failed to adjust their printing program for a change in the
MUNIS acreage field,” said Mayor Balzotti.
The upgrade, completed by the city in October 2011, increased the number of digits that can be listed after the decimal point in the acreage content field.
Kelley & Ryan was notified of the MUNIS upgrade in November of 2011. Tax bills for the third financial quarter of FY ’12 were not printed until the tax rate was set by the City Council.
James J. Broduer, Jr., Vice President of Operations for Kelley & Ryan Associates said
the company had been notified by the City of Brockton’s Information Technology
Department in November, but failed to make a change to their printing program.
The required change has since been made. Broduer also said this error was in no part due to the file sent by the City of Brockton.
Once the problem was identified, city officials immediately contacted the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
The DOR is the overseer of all property taxes issued in the state.
On Monday (Jan. 3rd), the DOR advised the city that, “the errors in the third quarter
actual tax bill are limited to the acreages included in the property descriptions, increasing them by a factor of 10, and there were no misleading errors in the value, tax, due date, or abatement guidelines…The bills would be considered valid for all important purposes.
In addition, when the city issues any fourth quarter bills, the error should be corrected and an explanation of the change from the third quarter bill should be included.”
Kelley & Ryan has handled the printing of city bills for at least the last five years.
The City of Brockton issues more than 20,000 property tax bills each quarter.
The City of Brockton Tax Collector electronically sends information to Kelley & Ryan for inclusion on tax bills. A random sample of property tax bills – both residential and commercial – are sent to the city for review each financial quarter. T
he samples are checked by both the Tax Collectors’ and Assessors’ offices for calculation errors – value, tax rate, total tax, and date. The city then approves the sample bills before they are mailed.
To avoid a recurrence of this issue, Mayor Balzotti said that moving forward city staff will review each and every data field on the property tax bill samples prior to approval.
A mass-mailing explaining the misprint will be sent out to all Brockton property owners the week of January 10, said Mayor Balzotti.
Kelley & Ryan will cover the cost of the mailing.
For more information about this issue, please contact the Assessors’ Office at 508- 580-7194.

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