h1

File under typos

December 20, 2006

One numeral can make a huge difference. For Longmont, a missing “1” is worth $10 million. Every year, the Longmont City Council passes an ordinance formally setting the property tax rate for the coming year. For 2007, the rate is 13.42 mills, the same as this year.

But a typo in the ordinance the council passed Tuesday night means the city would collect only $3.4 million in property taxes next year, rather than $13.4 million. That’s because the “1” was dropped, making the effective tax rate 3.42 mills.

The mistake will be fixed during an emergency council meeting this afternoon.

“I told them, as soon as we have a quorum, we do it, and I’m out of there,” Councilwoman Mary Blue said Thursday. “It’s very unusual.”

The majority of the city’s tax revenue comes from sales taxes, not property taxes. But a $10 million hole in the city’s $183.2 million budget would have presented significant challenges for city officials.

 

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