Couple Fined for Shorting Albemarle County a Penny in Taxes

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Peter Casey and his wife are questioning a new law Peter Casey and his wife are questioning a new law

A couple in central Virginia is going public with a bill the two received after completing their real estate taxes.

They accidentally shorted the county by a penny, so the county fined them two pennies, and they did it through the mail. Now, the couple wants to know if that was really necessary.

Peter Casey and his wife bought a townhouse in Albemarle County four years ago, and they pay their taxes every year. But for 2017, the couple accidentally wrote the check for one cent less than the total bill.

Albemarle County fined them for that mistake, and they are stunned by the message they found in the mail. The couple's real estate bill ended up being several hundred dollars and 41 cents, and they accidentally only paid several hundred dollars and 40 cents.

The county told the couple the state legislature passed a new law that prohibits counties from writing off any tax amount, no matter how small. However, Casey believes that this new law makes for a waste of time and taxpayer money since it cost the county $0.48 to send the postage through the mail.

"No matter what the amount is, no matter what the cost penalty is, to send out to collect two cents is, they have to send it out,” says Casey.

According to the county, this new law only applies to personal property taxes so there remains some confusion as to why it was extended to real estate in this case.

NBC29 reached out to Delegate David Toscano to comment on the law, but he says he's never heard of it before.