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'Horrific' Error Values Property at Nearly $1B

And taxpayers might have to pay for it
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2019 1:30 PM CST
Welcome to rural Utah.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Utah officials say a possible dropped phone resulted in a typo that overvalued a home for almost $1 billion, the AP reports. And taxpayers may have to pay for the mistake. The Deseret News reports a house built in 1978 in an unincorporated area of the county was recorded in 2019 tax rolls with a value of more than $987 million. That's an overestimate of about $543 million in taxable value. Wasatch County Assessor Maureen "Buff" Griffiths—who called the mistake "bizarre" and "horrific"—told officials last month a staff member may have dropped a phone on a keyboard.

Griffiths said the accident has resulted in a countywide overvaluation of more than $6 million. Griffiths added that the blunder also produced revenue shortfalls in five taxing entities. Wasatch County officials say residents will likely see an increased tax rate over the next three years to make up for the lower amount collected in 2019. "An abnormality of almost $1 billion is a big deal, and it should have been caught," says County Manager Mike Davis. "There are checks in place that it should have been looked at. We will modify those in the future and do a better job."

(Read more strange stuff stories.)

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