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State incorrectly taxed small trailers in Spokane

Wed., Sept. 21, 2011, 11:41 a.m.

State officials have incorrectly charged Spokane’s new $20 tab tax to the owners of small trailers.

County Auditor Vicky Dalton said today that the state Department of Licensing incorrectly included trailers weighing less than 2,000 pounds when selecting vehicles that would be subject to the new tax.

The Spokane City Council in February approved the $20 fee that began appearing on vehicle tab bills this month.

Dalton said her office caught the error and has been working with the state and the city to provide refunds to those who should not have to pay it. Owners of trailers incorrectly taxed will have to pay the fee if they decide to renew their tabs online or by mail, Dalton said. A refund process will be created by the city.

“They’re going to try to make people whole,” she said.

If owners who were incorrectly charged their tab bill in person at the Spokane County Auditor’s Office or other offices that provide the service the tax can be waived, Dalton said.

Dalton said “a handful” of people who live outside city limits also were incorrectly billed the tax in their recent vehicle renewal notices. That problem, she said, appears to be much smaller compared to the trailer issue and was caused because the state had incorrect information about those vehicles in its database.

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