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County assessor apologizes for huge tax error

 Posted: 4:20 PM December 11, 2012

A snafu at the Assessor's Office resulted in 19,173 incorrect property tax statements being sent out this year and millions of dollars wrongly credited to schools or shortchanged to urban renewal agencies.

"I'm very apologetic, and I will do everything in my power not to let this happen again," Assessor Joshua Gibson said.

Gibson will mail letters to property owners who didn't pay their full share of property taxes and will be required to pay on average $28.32 in next year's statement. The total amount not billed because of assessor errors was $543,000.Another 379 taxpayers should have had a slightly lower tax amount, averaging $17.63 each. The total decreases amount to $6,680, and refunds will be mailed in January.

The same error resulted in tax dollars that were misdirected to 18 taxing agencies. Urban renewal districts received credit for $2 million less than what they were owed, while school districts, the city of Medford and other agencies received $1.7 million more than they were owed.

— Damian Mann

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