Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Douglas County to mail new valuation notices to most owners after error

Mistake likely to cost around $23,000

March 2, 2010


Douglas County will resend corrected change of value notices to owners of about 28,600 real estate parcels after their 2010 notices contained an error, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said Tuesday.

Appraiser Steve Miles said Monday that the notices had this year’s and last year’s values flip-flopped, but the county did not notice the error until the notices were already mailed Friday.

Weinaug said the values did not change between 2009 and 2010 for about 11,000 of the county’s parcels, so new notices won’t be sent to those owners.

He said the county sent a template with computer fields for the values to its vendor, Kansas City Automated Mail of Lenexa. The vendor eventually provided the county with sample notices that flip-flopped the values, Weinaug said.

“Those sample notices were not correct, and we did not catch it. We authorized it,” Weinaug said.

The original mailing cost $23,000, and he expected the corrections to cost around the same amount because the county wants to add something to explain the error. Weinaug said the county was trying to contact the vendor Tuesday and likely would try to negotiate splitting some of the cost with the vendor for the second mailing.

He said regardless of who was responsible for the error, the county needed to send out corrected notices.

“We don’t budget for $23,000 errors, but sometimes in a $55 million organization, unfortunately, it’s not unusual to have an error or two like that,” Weinaug said. “We do have contingencies. It will in effect be paid out of contingencies. The cost is significant, but it’s also important that people be properly notified as to what their change in value is.”

After the erroneous notices went out Friday, property owners had until March 30 to request an appeal on their values. Weinaug said that based on when the corrected notices are mailed the county will extend the deadline from that date for all property owners — whether they received a new notice or not.


GB23 7 years ago

Why do they waste the money to print these in the first place, let alone send out reprints?

yankeelady 7 years ago

I think most of us are smart enough to figure out that if the numbers are reversed we need to flip them back for the correct amount. As long as it is right on line what difference does it make?

formerfarmer 7 years ago

GB23 is obviously a renter and not paying taxes. Yankeelady, what if you live out of town and don't read the paper. You wouldn't know they had been reversed? Mailing out the correct notices is the right thing to do.

Chris Ogle 7 years ago

one has to wonder if the print-out is in error, how accurate is the valuation. Or do they really care!!

beawolf 7 years ago

"Why do they waste the money to print these in the first place, let alone send out reprints?"..

This is somewhat valid. There should be an option to receive communications from the County via email. It would probably reduce mailing costs by 50% or more. In this case you may have to resend regardless but, the Country might try stepping into the 21st Century as a future consideration.

mk9992 7 years ago

beawolf, I completely agree. I would definitely prefer to get mine via email. I will probably just scan it to my computer and throw the print out away anyway.

Mike Wagner 7 years ago

Who's ever job it was to proof read the sample should be fired! Period!! The whole "these things happen" attitude just doesn't cut it when it comes to this kind of money!!! Why would the company that printed them eat any of the cost? That's why they have customers sign off on a proof. Really wondering if this county/city could be any more of a joke...

d_prowess 7 years ago

I agree that an email options would be great. However, i think there is a need to send out reprints since 1) some people may not get the paper and know of the error and 2) not everyone received an incorrect notice. So right now, I am not sure if my statement is right or wrong!

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

I read about the error the other day. I got my assessment last night. I opened it up and what do you know: My assessment is the same as last year. No fliping the years for me and they don't need to send me a new form.

PennyBrite 7 years ago

I would appreciate receiving a new form -- but I too wish there were an email option.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

If our property values went up according to the county does that mean market value is up even in this recession/depression/ or whatever is going to be with us for many years to come?

There are news stories floating around about how millions upon millions will remain out of work for many years and that some younger workers may never be able to find a job.

So how can property values be on the increase?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 7 years ago

My tax dollars at work, yuck! Thank you, Lynn

Jean1183 7 years ago

Thank you for doing what's right and correcting the error (even though it is a costly mistake).

As an aside: I have to add that I have dealt with Mr. Weinaug in the past and he seems to be a really decent guy. Can't say the same for some other local government "officials".

BMI 7 years ago

My parents did not have a computer for emails and would never have gotten one. They routinely fought the increases and sometimes won as their house was truly valued too high due to their having one less bedroom than surrounding homes, a modification when it was built but the city tended to try to just lump it in with all the other homes around it.

They might have missed a notice on the paper. Sending out corrected notices is the honorable thing to do. For those that are in similar situations now, Thank You Mr. Weinaug and staff.

conservative 7 years ago

The only realistic thing they could do is to resend and extend the deadline. Otherwise they'd have been buried by people's complaints in the fall when their taxes went up instead of down based on the actual valuation. Its a joke to think the printer will foot any portion of the bill. They sent samples for approval and received the approval. At that point it is the problem of the county. Costly and public mistake. Whoever made the mistake of approving them should lose their job. In the private sector they would.

backyardwino 7 years ago

Mine's backwards, but whatever. I know about it and there's no reason to send me another one.

Feel free to keep my portion of the $23,000 for a rainy day.

mrsm108 7 years ago

Should I be depressed or ecstatic that my home value probably DID NOT go up by almost by almost 5%?

yankeevet 7 years ago

No wonder Kansas has financial problems; what a waste of money.................

sillypeople 7 years ago

It's an absolutely ridiculous idea that someone should be fired over a typo. I agree that it was a costly mistake that should have been checked more closely, but firing someone over it is pretty extreme. The values of your homes are not arrived at by some person at a computer randomly typing in numbers. They are looked at based on the value of other homes in the neighborhood and sales prices in that neighborhood. If you feel that your value is inflated or too low, then appeal. It really doesn't do any good to brow beat people on these blogs. I do also agree that the county should come into the 21st century and make things available via email, however that would, I'm sure, cost thousands of dollars to set up the system and people would write nasty blogs about that $ being spent as well.

NY152 7 years ago

Not at all surprised that this happened.

simpleton 7 years ago

Put the money in the schools! WTF is wrong with these morons????

simpleton 7 years ago

One other thing... if we're worried that folks without email won't have access to it, dude, it's 2010. We're all driving rocket ships and talking with our minds. The valuations are available online. Skip the printing and just let folks find it there.

George_Braziller 6 years, 12 months ago

I believe there is a legal requirement for proper notification of changes. Arguments that corrected notifications don't need to be sent are irrelevant. It's an official document issued by the county and thus has to be correct.

Sending it by e-mail wouldn't work either because e-mail isn't reliable. The property owner could claim they never received the valuation change notice and didn't have the opportunity to appeal. I once got an e-mail from a co-worker who had an office 25 feet from mine. The e-mail appeared in my in-box NINE MONTHS after he sent it.

steveguy 6 years, 12 months ago

Our property went up 47% which relates to $68,000. Just because we lisited it for sale. It has been for sale the last two years. Our taxes will go up $900 more a year. When other peoples property has gone down ours has never gone down. Whats up?

steveguy 6 years, 12 months ago

Our property went up 47% which relates to $68,000. Just because we lisited it for sale. It has been for sale the last two years. Our taxes will go up $900 more a year. When other peoples property has gone down ours has never gone down. Whats up?

steveguy 6 years, 12 months ago

Our property went up 47% which relates to $68,000. Just because we lisited it for sale. It has been for sale the last two years. Our taxes will go up $900 more a year. When other peoples property has gone down ours has never gone down. Whats up?

NY152 6 years, 12 months ago

steveguy......appeal your value. tell them you have had no offers. don't just take it.

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