"Embarrassing" mistake almost led to no taxes
BAKER - Residents in Baker almost didn't have to pay property taxes to the city this year after a paperwork mistake.
The Baker City Council met today for an emergency meeting to clear up the mess. Some council members called it "embarrassing."
Mayor Harold Rideau said new guidelines weren't followed as the city reported whether to roll a tax millage forward in January. Residents in Baker have paid the tax for years. It was the tax assessor and legislative auditor who caught the mistake.
"You have to make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's," Rideau said.
The Council voted unanimously to reinstate the tax. It amounts to $300,000 in money for city services and salaries.
Residents like Donald Ruth want to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"I want to see it rectified," Ruth said. "Even though I could use the cash, I don't want to get it like that."
The Mayor said changes have been made to prevent this. A new city clerk and city attorney were hired.
"There should be some checks and balances," Ruth said. "In today's day of technology and scrutiny, this should not happen at all."