Possible error leads to MSD loss of $2 million - KMOV.com

Possible error leads to MSD loss of $2 million

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- A mistake gave taxpayers in St. Louis County a small break, but also short-changed the Metropolitan Sewer District.

MSD is nearly $2 million short. They had counted on the money, and it reportedly was never collected by the county tax collector.

“I think it’s human error,” said St. Louis County COO Garry Earls. “Then there’s the issue that the human change.”

County officials say if it was a mistake on their part, then it was likely the result of a changeover in upper management and how the complicated one thousand page tax code in the county was interpreted.

A spokesman for MSD says the $2 million shortfall is not a critical problem currently but could become one.

“Sounds like it was an honest mistake,” said  Lance LeComb. “We’ll be able to manage through it so from what we understand today we’re not concerned about it.’

The shortfall comes out to about five dollars on a property assessed at $150,000. The money will have to be paid back.

For St Louis County, the timing isn’t great Recently the newly appointed collector was forced to resign after it was discovered she had an outstanding tax bill.

“Certainly the flux of the tax collector position is an indication of just how critcal it is to have a tax collector that is well qualified,” said Earls.

St. Louis County officials say they continue to talk with MSD about whether a mistake was really made, but as county officials point out even if they are proven right, the law does allow MSD to find a way to recoup that $2 million from taxpayers in 2013.

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