Orange County residents paying taxes for property they don’t own


OFF OF FAYETTEVILLE STREET JUST BEFORE 8:30. NO ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED AT THIS TIME. HOME OWNERS SAY THEY HAVE BEEN PAYING TAXES ON PROPERTY THEY DIDN’T OWN FOR DECADES. A SURVEYOR MISTAKE FROM BACK IN THE 70s WAS JUST DISCOVERED. CRYSTAL PRICE IS GETTING ANSWERS ABOUT WHY ORANGE COUNTY WON’T REFUND THOSE PAYMENTS. WE HAD NO IDEA WE WERE PAYING TAXES ON THAT LAND. Reporter: JOHN AND JUDITH ARE STILL IN SHOCK AFTER FINDING OUT THEY WERE PAYING PROPERTY TAXES ON LAND THAT WAS REALLY OWNED BY THE COMPANY LAKE ORANGE INC.. IT IS A QUARTER OF AN ACRE OF LAND. THE COUPLE SAYS OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS, THEY HAVE PAID ABOUT $4500 IN TAXES FOR THIS PROPERTY THEY DON’T EVEN OWN. WE WERE SOMEWHAT AGHAST THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN BUT I GUESS IT CAN. Reporter: AFTER RESEARCH, IT WAS FOUPD TO BE A RESULT OF AN ERROR IN A SURVEY BACK IN THE 1970s. THEY CONTACTED THE ORANGE COUNTY TAX OFFICE AND HAD THEIR LAND RESURVEYED SO THEY WILL NO LONGER BE TAXED FOR THAT PROPERTY. THE NEXT STEP WAS TO TRY TO GET SOME OF THAT MONEY BACK. BUT A COUNTY ATTORNEY ADVISED THE BOARD OF ORANGE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO NOT DPRANT A REFUND TO THE COUPLE. THE LAW IS SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT INSTANCES QUALIFY FOR A REFUND AND THIS WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE INSTANCES. Reporter: THE COUNTY SAYS THERE HAS TO BE A CLERICAL ERROR OR THE TAX HAD TO BE LEVIED FOR AN ILLEGAL PURPOSE AND THAT DIDN’T APPLY HERE. AND THEY SAID ACCORDING TO THEIR RECORDS, THEY DID OWN THE PROPERTY. THE COUPLE ARGUED THAT THEY DON’T OWN THE PROPERTY THROUGH THE RECENT SURVEY. THEY BELIEVE 40 TO 50 OTHERS NEAR THE LAKE MAY BE PAYING TAXES FOR PROPERTY THEY DON’T OWN EITHER. THEY THINK THE COUNTY SHOULD GIVE EVERYONE THEIR MONEY BACK. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE ENTITLED, GO AHEAD AND GIVE IT A TRY BUT IT’S HARD TO FIGHT CITY LAW. IN ORANGE COUNTY, CRYSTAL PRICE, CBS17 NEWS. I HOPE THE OTHER FAMILIES CHECK THAT OUT. THE FAMILY COULD ONLY REQUEST TO

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