Posted April 6, 2012
More than two-dozen Sarpy County vehicle owners can now show neighbors and police that they pay their taxes. Channel 6 News Fact Finders uncovered misplaced license renewals at the treasurer's office. How did it happen?
Denise Walker's new registration and tags arrived late after being misplaced at the Sarpy County Treasurer's Office. “It’s good to know they figured out evidently I was not the only one missing their stickers.”
After Fact Finders asked where Denise’s registration was, Sarpy County Treasurer Rich James discovered 29 online renewals had been misplaced. “Clearly by accident.”
When renewing registrations, office staff prints two copies, one for you, one for the government. The treasurer keeps his copy of the pink slip in a pile, but that day the copy to the vehicle owners got stuck, so instead of the "send file" it went to the "keep file."
James said a new employee working online registrations made the mistake for online renewals paid on March 23rd. “I came back here to look through the day's work to see if I could find these missing registrations and there were 29 of them in a row sitting in the ‘retain work’ as opposed to things that should be mailed out.”
While the tags came late, 29 Sarpy County vehicle owners can now prove they're not delinquent taxpayers. “I feel better now,” said Walker. “I'm legal and don't have to worry about driving with expired plates.”
The Sarpy County treasurer said more than 5,000 license plate renewals have been handled online this year and this was the first major problem. James said steps have been taken to make sure it won't happen again.
A mystery in Sarpy County and Channel 6 News helped solve it. Online vehicle registrations for one day never got mailed. Fact Finders uncovered the problem and brought it to the attention of the county treasurer.
Denise Walker paid her vehicle taxes ahead of time, but her plate sticker looks like she's delinquent. “I gave them more than enough time to sent me my sticker.”
Denise sent in her $530 on March 23rd and Sarpy County promised the renewed registration would be sent within five days, but five days into April the stickers have not yet arrived. “It bothers me a lot. I don't know if I'm gong to get a ticket, if this receipt is good enough and who else is having this problem.”
After Fact Finders asked about Denise’s missing stickers, Sarpy County Treasurer Rich James discovered a batch of 29 registrations that may had been misplaced. A worker inexperienced with online renewals caused the registrations and stickers not to be sent, all from vehicle owners who renewed on March 23rd.
If you didn’t receive one in the mail it doesn't mean you won't show up registered if an officer pulls you over. James says the 29 registration renewals that didn't make in the mail March 23rd were sent out on Thursday.
It should not have taken that long,” says Walker. “They can send me my bill right away. My bill for the next vehicle was mailed out April 1st and I got it the 2nd.” After anxiously waiting two weeks already, Walker is ready to tag her truck for this year.
The Sarpy County treasurer says renewed registrations should appear on computers used by law enforcement, so until owners get the new tags they won't face a ticket. He says the 29 missing registrations should arrive in the mail Friday or Saturday.