ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After reporting by NEWS10 discovered some residents in Rotterdam’s Sewer District 2’s bill increased significantly, Schenectady County has come up with a solution that could put money back in people’s pockets.
The county announces a resolution the legislature would need to vote on that could correct dozens of bills and refund thousands of dollars after mistakes were made to billing for residents in Sewer District 2, Extension 1. For Debbie Reutter, not having to pay the erroneous bill helps a lot.
“It’s a big relief that you know, I won’t have to come up with the extra money and it was such a huge burden on my mind. Thinking $1,400 is not something to sneeze at,” says Reutter.
Debbie and her father Steve first alerted NEWS10 to the issue in early January. In 2021, Debbie’s bill for sewer taxes was only $262. For 2022, she says her bill came in at $1,668.53.
In a press release, the county says two errors were identified. The first: “the town changed the method of allocating certain expenses.” The second: “the town allocated all of the expenses to only a handful of properties instead of all the properties subject to the expense.”
This means all residents in Sewer District 2 were supposed to pay this year’s debt allocation for a sewer improvement project from around 2016. However, when allocating that cost to residents, the town had mistakenly placed all of that cost on the residents in Sewer District 2 Extension 1. Despite the error made by the previous town board, residents were still told they had to pay the bill.
According to Schenectady County, if the resolution passes when introduced on February 8, anyone who already paid their bill will be eligible for a refund of the difference between what they paid and what was actually owed.
For people like Debbie and her father Steve who have not yet paid their bills, the charges will be frozen until a new bill is issued by the town. For anyone who was not charged but still lives in another extension of District 2, those corrected charges will appear in their 2023 property tax bill. The average cost is estimated to be around $36.