Ramsey: County faces lawsuit for overcharging on property taxes
By Fatima Rahmatullah
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - At Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting, Commissioners heard more about the federal investigation of the county's property tax audits.
The county's new trustee announced plans to put money back in the pockets of nearly 1,500 people.
"We filed to keep from losing the house under foreclosure," says Bobby Ford.
Ford's home has been passed down to him from his grandmother. Ford and his mother filed for bankruptcy nearly eight years ago. Hamilton County Trustee charged the Fords, interest penalties for late and unpaid taxes.
"I thought it was a lack of communication. You can't file suit on someone who's on bankruptcy," says Mayor Claude Ramsey.
The new trustee Bill Hullander went through more than 3,000 files of people that went bankrupt in Hamilton County from 2002- 2010. He found that a lot of those folks overpaid property taxes totaling nearly $300,000.
"What we've done today is brought this to the attention to the county commission and we're going to refund that money to the appropriate people and we're going to pay them interest back at a fair market value of what the interest would be," says Hullander.
The county plans to not only payback the money in taxes but they plan to pay it back along with interest.
"It's probably a mistake some things that were overlooked and I'm just glad that it was caught. I'm glad that the federal folks worked with it us and gave us the opportunity to pay these people back," says Hullander.