Thursday, February 07, 2008

Inside the Puzzle Palace, Again.

The Seal of the City of New Orleans

A couple of week ago we got a new property tax bill from the City of New Orleans. Like all of the previous ones it was wrong. It was a little better, it had the correct 2008 tax. Our homestead exemption had been applied to 2008 but not to 2007. The 2007 taxes were still wrong. No one could explain why one correction had been made and not the other. The only response was that it's only been three months since the last attempt to correct the records, wait two our three more months. Apparently when the records are updated all of the penalties are removed and you can simply pay the correct amount.

Since there were only a few days left before the February 1 deadline we hurried down to City Hall, property tax bill in hand to pay the now undisputed 2008 taxes.

When we got their we discovered their records had changed again. They now showed the 2008 property tax bill had been paid, but they couldn't tell us who paid it.
They could only tell us it had been paid by personal check. They kept asking why we had made a partial payment implying that it was somehow our fault their records were incorrect.

This left us dazed and confused, to quote the Led Zepplin song. We couldn't determine whether the error was on the part of the city applying someone else's payment to our taxes, a gift from Ray or Erroll, or if in the worst of all possible worlds our mortgage company had taken it upon itself to pay the taxes, creating yet another controversey we will have to fight about.

Every since the incorrect tax bill had shown up we have been fighting with out mortgage company over paying the taxes. Our taxes are not escrowed, we pay them ourselves, so the mortgage companies only interest is in preventing a tax seizure. We have explained to them over the phone and in writing numerous time that the bill is in error , the bill should not be paid and that we were diligently working on it. They are dumber than a box of rocks.

Returning home Tuesday (Mardi Gras) someone purporting to be from the mortgage company left us a long message saying they they had paid our taxes.

Great, they have now overpaid my taxes by several hundred dollars, probably enough to pay next years taxes. Good luck getting any of it back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It took us about 3 years to get our overpayment for 2005 taxes; the homestead exemption was not applied even though we've sent the fom in time, and it was in the assessor's computer but not in NOLA's treasurer's compting system!!!
When we got the check after about three years they have cut about $250 instead of paying us interest on the money they have kept that did not belong to them!
You need to keep calling and make sure to fill out the forms get them notorized, and to follow up regularly.
Best of luck.