An accident, they said

Carver County, Minnesota, is facing a budget crisis, and they’re blaming it on a typo:

[T]he trouble began in August when a clerk went into [Eric] Mattson’s file to change the designation of the property … from homestead to non-homestead to reflect its change in status after its sale.

The clerk filled in the $18,900 proposed valuation, but then mistakenly hit the key to exit the program. The computer added four zeros to fill out the nine numerical spaces required by the software, thus indicating the value was $189,000,000.

Not a problem in and of itself, except that:

[N]o one is laughing at the assessor’s office, where the problem started. Neither is anyone at the Carver County Board, the city of Waconia or the Waconia School District.

Those three entities — which were counting on the $2.5 million in increased property tax collections — now face the daunting task of raising taxes or cutting budgets to make up for the shortfall.

And you just know they were gleeful at the prospect of spending that money. Now they’re going to have to rely on that expatriate Nigerian minister-without-portfolio whose financial adviser has promised them a cut of his Swiss bank account.


1 comment

  1. David Fleck »

    9 December 2007 · 8:44 am

    You’d think somebody in one of those government entities might have wondered where all that new money came from all of a sudden. If my paycheck suddenly had a few extra mil tacked onto it, I wouldn’t start remodelling the house right away, you know?

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