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Replacement municipal tax bills sent to Murrysville residents

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Erroneous municipal tax bills that had been sent out across Murrysville earlier this month have been followed up with corrected bills.

Officials said corrected tax bills were sent out by Hempfield-based Keystone Collections Group the first week of March after the tax collection firm mistakenly charged some residents a one-tenth mill hydrant tax and did not charge others. Replacement bills were mailed to everyone in the municipality, Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said.

“There was no rhyme or reason,” Morrison said. “We don't know who received the wrong one, so we're sending them out to everyone.”

Murrysville property owners who live within 600 feet of a fire hydrant are assessed the tax, which generates about $28,000 annually. Municipal finance director Diane Heming said the tax amounts to less than $5 for most property owners.

Heming said she was pleased with how Keystone was handling the situation. Tax officials will refund the tax to anyone who mistakenly pays it and will contact Heming if anyone doesn't pay it, she said.

“They're trying to attack it both ways,” Heming said.

Property owners should pay the invoice marked “corrected bill” in the top corner, Heming said.

The new bills were sent out within 24 hours after Keystone discovered the discrepancy, said Joseph Lazzaro, attorney for Keystone Collections Group.

“Importantly, every Murrysville real estate bill is accurate and correct,” Lazzaro said. “The average hydrant tax amount is less than $3.75, so the correction to any affected accounts is truly minimal.”

The tax amounts to less than 1 percent of the tax invoice, Lazzaro said.

Lazzaro did not say how many bills contained errors.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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