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Sunday, May 16, 2021

New Castle County sends out thousands of tax bills by mistake; vendor glitch blamed

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A vendor error sent thousands of property tax bills to residents.
A vendor error sent thousands of property tax bills to residents.

Facebook was buzzing this weekend about thousands of erroneous New Castle County tax bills that went to homeowners whose taxes are paid by their mortgage lenders through escrow.

“Approximately 51,000 bills were mailed to these taxables in error,” the county finance office said in a Facebook posting made by county councilwoman Dee Durham. Homeowners “should be receiving a subsequent letter to confirm this (error) from the county,” she wrote.

The letter will explain the error and say “there is no need for them to remit payment,” according to a statement from Michael Smith, the county’s chief financial officer.

“Has anybody received a New Castle county tax bill that’s already coming out of the mortgage payment?” Hellen Muzz wrote on a Facebook group for Newark, Bear and Glasgow residents. “I did, 1st time in 13 years.”

 

The county traced the problem to its vendor, RevSpring, printing its mortgage file. 

The county sent multiple files to RevSpring. The mortgage file was intended to be turned into images that would be uploaded onto the county website, but not printed.

“The mortgage file contains 102,417 parcels, so it is estimated that approximately 51,000 bills were mailed to these taxables in error,” Durham quoted the county.

The county said it plans to update its website and its automated call line with this information, but it was unclear Saturday afternoon if this had been done. A call to the main finance number – 302-395-5340 – was silent about the issue. The county home page was silent, as were the home pages for taxes and the Office of Finance.

 

“I was assured the County taxpayers are NOT paying for this mistake,” Durham wrote on Facebook.

A few local politicians spread the news on Facebook, including Rep. Kim Williams and Newark councilman James Horning.

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