(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A printer accidentally mailed tens of thousands of duplicate property tax bills to Arlington homeowners, the county said today.
ARLnow began receiving reports from readers earlier this week about fraudulent mailings.
“We got a duplicate property tax bill today and contacted a few friends who also don’t have a mortgage and they got one too,” one reader said. “We’ve all already paid and the taxes aren’t due until 6/15 anyway.”
“Isn’t that a terrible waste of time and our county tax postage?” adds the reader.
In each case, readers said they counted the county, which confirmed that they had indeed paid and that the mailings had been sent in error.
Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava told ARLnow her office was not at fault and taxpayers would not bear the additional expense, though she apologized for the confusion caused by the letters. .
The County Treasurer’s Office is releasing the following statement this afternoon.
The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office discovered yesterday, May 31, 2022, that an error by our external printing provider resulted in approximately 26,000 duplicate letters being printed and mailed to our ratepayers. . The vast majority of these duplicate letters were property tax bills, and we regret the confusion and inconvenience this error has caused our customers.
The Treasurer’s office regularly sends test files to our external print provider prior to major billings such as the recent 1st installment property tax billing. Although our office followed established procedures, unfortunately our external print provider did not. A print vendor employee mistakenly printed and sent letters from the test environment, and customers in Arlington County began receiving the letters last weekend.
The taxpayers of Arlington County will not bear any printing and postage costs resulting from this error. Additionally, we will work with our print provider to improve their internal control procedures to prevent such errors from occurring in the future. If you are concerned about a particular invoice, please email us at [email protected] or call 703-228-3702.
De la Pava estimated the total cost of the shipment, had the county been responsible, at around $14,000.
A similar incident involving a “significant number” of duplicate tax invoices occurred in 2016. It was blamed on “a problem” in sending data to the printer.
“We are currently having conversations with [the contractor] to find out what processes and procedures they have in place, or can put in place, to prevent duplicate printing and sending of files,” de la Pava told the Sun Gazette at the time.