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Miscalculation to boost property taxes in Hubbard

HUBBARD — A school levy miscalculation through the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office will lead to a property tax increase for Hubbard city and township residents in the second half of the year.

The initial miscalculation caused levy income to be short 5.45 mills.

This will affect nearly 9,500 property owners.

Trumbull County Auditor Martha Yoder said Hubbard township will see an increase of “roughly 9%, while the city will be roughly 11%, but there are variables that affect that, including owner occupancy, nonbusiness credit and homestead exemption.”

Yoder said Sunday that the miscalculation was discovered in February but could not be addressed as the first-half property tax statements had been mailed. The corrected numbers are on the county auditor’s website and in the second-half statements.

Property taxes are divided into two halves, the first half in March and the second half in August.

The second half payment due date has been switched to Sept. 9, according to the Trumbull County Treasurer’s website.

Yoder said this is for the Hubbard Exempted School District’s bond levy and its three emergency levies.

The levy originally cost the owner of a $100,000 home $190 per year.

“This happened due to human error,” Yoder said. “We are all human beings and even the most skilled people can make mistakes. We are examining our process to make this less likely to happen again.”

She said the miscalculation was made by an employee, whom Yoder referred to as exemplary.

Yoder said the error was made while the employee was setting up the spreadsheet to calculate the yearly bond and emergency levies.

“An incorrect amount was recorded for class two valuations which inflated the total value for the district,” she said. “The incorrect rates in turn made the effective rate for the two taxing districts (city and township) in the school district to be incorrect.

“The second half tax bill is correcting the miscalculation of both halves just for those particular levies and has been prepared with the guidance of the department of taxation,” she said.

Yoder said mistakes don’t happen often in Trumbull County, but mistakes do sometimes happen elsewhere.

“We have 24 districts each with bonds and emergency levies,” Yoder said. “Statewide there are 609 active school districts with their own bonds and emergency levies. I have been told that statewide each year there is at least one of these miscalculations.”

Yoder said the miscalculation is being investigated further.

“My senior accountant has been with our office since 2011, and this is the first time we have had this type of error since that time (in Trumbull County).”

Have an interesting story? Contact Hailey Rogenski by email at hrogenski@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter @TribToday.

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