Wheel Tax Refund From City Stalled By Paperwork

A taxpayer living outside Omaha has been paying more than his fair share and tax collectors say he's right. For months now, that taxpayer has been saying “show me the money,” but he hasn't seen any of it.

Country living didn't exempt one family from the city wheel tax. “We should never have been paying for it at all,” says Scott Wegner, expecting a refund on two cars. “They know they owe us $100, but we can't seem to get that back from them."

Wegner, who lives in western Douglas County, says he's been waiting for a check since last fall.

Omaha's Finance Department confirmed for Fact Finders the taxpayer in this case does live outside of the city’s reach for wheel tax and is due a refund, but the city is waiting on certain paperwork from the county before sending out a check, probably in April.

Omaha has been refunding the $50 wheel tax to taxpayers living outside the city's three-mile jurisdiction, like Scott and his wife, but the Finance Department says their refund fell through the cracks. “It’s just unfair because I should never have been paying this wheel tax to start with.”

Scott didn't get a check he planned to use on renewing his plates this month. “If I'm late, guess what? I get a $25 late fee, but they don't have to pay no late fees, they can hold onto your money as long as they want.”

The city attorney tells Fact Finders that Scott won't get any interest on the wheel tax refund when he gets it.

Taxpayers living outside the city but inside the three-mile jurisdiction halo aren't entitled to wheel tax refunds. However, city finance confirmed a few of those taxpayers may have inadvertently received a check. That's why the address list of those owed refunds will be carefully reviewed.

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