Which government agency do people hate more, the tax collector or the Department of Motor Vehicles? Depending on the day you ask, they probably swap the most-detested title.
For around 50,000 Connecticut drivers, the anger right now is being equally shared.
Computer tax error: The Nutmeg's State's DMV says that's how many incorrect car tax bills will be mailed to Connecticut drivers as a result of the department's continuing computer problems.
The DMV has admitted it sent faulty information on those 50,000 autos to municipal assessors about what vehicles are in their towns, according to Jon Lender's article in today's Hartford Courant.
"We are advising residents early so that they look immediately at their tax bills and make any necessary changes before paying them," DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra said at a June 8 press conference at DMV headquarters in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
People who receive a tax bill from a municipality in which they did not live or keep a vehicle as of Oct. 1, 2015, must contact the local assessor to request a transfer to the correct town or city of residency.
Overall, according to Lender's article, there are 3.1 million vehicles in Connecticut on which local property tax is collected. And every year, tax bills on around 30,000 of those vehicles are wrong, in large part due to people moving and not reporting their address changes to the DVM in a timely manner.
The current Connecticut DMV computer snafu, which ironically cropped up after an ostensible system upgrade earlier this year, originally produced 250,000 erroneous tax bills. So the 50K is an improvement, unless your tax bill is of the wrong ones.
Cost of erroneous auto taxes: Not only is getting a tax bill from the wrong municipality annoying, it could be costly.
A tax bill from the wrong town could result in a Connecticut auto owner paying too much or too little in taxes, depending on their actual hometown's tax rate.
Vehicle owners who don't get any bill shouldn't celebrate. Connecticut tax officials say auto owners who don't get a bill, any bill, by mid-July need to contact their local tax office.
Not getting the appropriate notification doesn't absolve the vehicle owner from the tax due. And nonpayment will make things worse.
Do you pay property tax on your vehicle? A 2015 survey found that around half of the states impose or allow other governmental jurisdictions, usually counties, to levy personal property taxes on vehicles.
Even without specific property taxes, almost every state or city or county collects vehicle registration fees. No wonder these kids today aren't into cars!
As the Connecticut situation shows, property tax rates -- be they for real estate and/or personal property -- as well as valuation and assessment methodologies vary widely by jurisdiction.
Check with your state and local tax officials for the taxes that do, or don't, apply to your various types of property, as well as exemptions you might be able to use to keep all your property tax bills as low as possible.
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