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State Board of Equalization Hammers DMV for Overcharging Sales Tax

State Board of Equalization Hammers DMV for Overcharging Sales Tax

The Department of Motor Vehicles’ reputation for being incompetent is legendary. Now a member of the State Board of Equalization is saying it is a swindler as well.

District Two Board member George Runner has accused the California Department of Motor Vehicles of overcharging taxes on vehicle sales, reported the Sacramento Business Journal.

In a letter to DMV director Jean Shiomoto, Runner said that the BOE was miscalculating taxes by relying on postal codes to determine tax rates. The DMV did not allow for the fact that millions of Californians live in ZIP codes with more than one rate. Consequently, many Californians were overcharged.

The Journal further reported that the DMV admitted privately that the overcharging was a result of an antiquated computer system that determines vehicle taxes based on ZIP codes.

Runner, who represents nine million Californians from San Bernadino County all the way up to the Oregon border, took the DMV to task, saying, “I am happy to assist taxpayers overcharged by DMV in obtaining refunds, but they should not be overcharged in the first place. I don’t want to hear excuses. I want to see change.”

The BOE provides a web tool that calculates appropriate sales tax on their website and suggests consumers use it to check tax rates until the problem is fixed.


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