Pulaski County property tax mix-up

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Property owners of some 400 homes and businesses will be seeing some cash back. This comes after a tax mix-up was discovered in Pulaski County. It is also impacting two school districts.

The Pulaski County Assessor's Office tracked this error all the way back to 2009, but tax payers would not have noticed anything out of the ordinary until 2012. That is when the North Little Rock School District increased its millage. It was not until just three weeks ago that someone called in asking questions.

"Humans make mistakes," said Pulaski County Assessor's Office Chief Administrator Joe Thompson.

Thompson says the important part is to fix the mistake.

"We're working very hard to do that," said Thompson.

Here is what happened. 400 properties were in Pulaski County and were annexed to the City of North Little Rock in 2008. When that happened, those properties also got entered into the North Little Rock School District tax zone. That was the mistake. The owners of those properties should be paying the Pulaski County Special School District taxes.

"Until 2012, the millage rates for the two schools were almost identical," said Thompson.

After North Little Rock School District increased its millage, property owners would have noticed a difference.

"The businesses and homes have overpaid by about $250,000," said Thompson.

That tax money went to the North Little Rock School District. The district is going to have to pay back about $1.5 million and will have to adjust future budgets, shortfalls of $450,000. Pulaski County Special Schools on the other hand were not given enough money.

"The two schools are in negotiations with themselves on how to rectify that," said Thompson.

North Little Rock School District Superintendent Kelly Rodgers says this is hitting them at a bad time. They are also dealing with cuts to desegregation efforts.

Thompson added, "Eventually it should be charged back to the North Little Rock School District because they benefited from it."

As for the tax payers who overpaid...

"If they paid this year they will get a refund, " said Thompson. "If they have not paid this year, they will get a reduced bill."

If you are wondering if you are going to get a refund, the Assessor's Office says they will be sending out letters within the next two weeks to the property owners affected by this.

The North Little Rock School District will have its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday May 15th. Pulaski County Assessor officials will be there to explain and answer questions about all of this.


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