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Ballot Typo Could Cause Trouble for Local Schools

I can only see this causing trouble:

A decimal point here, a decimal point there, and soon you're talking real money -- or in this case, an error in a key element of the printed ballot summary for the Bend-La Pine school funding measure. No doubt, some voters won't notice that two rates are presented -- one right, the other wrong -- while others are likely to be either confused or misled by the typo, meaning it is likely to affect some votes, one way or another.

The Bend-La Pine School District's 5-year, $34 million local option tax, Measure 9-28, has a property tax rate of 85 cents per $1,000 of assessed value -- actually, that's a maximum rate, due to the way state law lays out local option taxes (see www.yesforlocalschools.com to calculate your own property's yearly cost).

The only problem is, the ballot question, which has the number right ($0.85, or 85 cents per $1,000 of assessed value) is followed by a ballot summary that lists it as "$.085 per $1,000." That's 8 ½ cents -- one-tenth the actual rate.

It appears that the AP has picked up the story, too.

This is a huge mistake, and one that could cause trouble for the school district and the tax assessor's office. I can picture people griping once they see their tax bill (just because that's what people like to do around here). If the measure passes, people will gripe that they were billed too much, and that they only want to be billed a tenth of what they were actually billed. It may not sound like a big deal now, but it will be if this passes.

Posted by Jake on 10/24/04 @ 03:40 PM
Posted in Local | Permalink



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