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Erie County to begin issuing tax refund checks next week

Erie County to begin issuing tax refund checks next week

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2020 erie county budget

(Sandra Tan/Buffalo News)

Erie County next week will begin issuing refund checks to residents who were overcharged by $4.4 million on their January property tax bills. Some 5,408 property owners in the City of Tonawanda will receive the first batch of refunds, totaling more than $174,000.

The next round of refunds will be sent to property owners in Grand Island, said spokesman Daniel Meyer.

Once those checks are issued, more will be mailed to property taxpayers in other municipalities on a rolling basis. County officials said any tax refund valued at $5 or less will be credited on residents' 2021 county tax bills instead of by refund check.

The tax error occurred because the county used an incorrect figure for community college-related taxes in the county budget. The inflated tax bills were sent to property owners in the county's three cities and its larger towns, including Buffalo, Lackawanna, the City of Tonawanda, Amherst, Cheektowaga, the Town of Tonawanda and Lancaster.

As of February, the mistake had cost Erie County more than $83,000 to fix.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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Erie County is telling taxpayers to go ahead and pay their original, incorrect tax bills, after getting all the property tax bills wrong and then sending town clerks into an uproar when the county Department of Real Property Tax Services decided to issue corrected bills and refunds without consulting with affected municipalities. The county issued incorrect bills to property

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