Another glitch from the $26 million upgrade to the Department of Motor Vehicles computer system could impact tax bills for as many as 50,000 drivers, the department said Wednesday.
The DMV, the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers, and the Connecticut Tax Collectors Association are asking residents to check their motor vehicle tax bills carefully to make sure there are no errors.
“We are advising residents early so that they look immediately at their tax bills and make any necessary changes before paying them,” DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra said. “All of us are being pro-consumer in this effort and wanting to prevent inconveniences for taxpayers.”
The wrong tax bills could be sent to as many as 50,000 vehicle owners, according to a press release from the department.
The problem, which has been one of many with the new system, was discovered last year. The new system at the DMV wasn’t communicating with the software the tax assessor’s use and it made it look like some drivers hadn’t paid their tax bills. There were also some inconsistencies regarding mailing addresses.
The problem initially involved 250,000 taxpayers, but has been whittled down to 50,000, according to John Rainaldi, president of the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers.
At a press conference, Rainaldi said the extra hours tax assessors put into resolving the problems between the old and new system were never tabulated. But they’re been working on the problem for months.
A press release from the DMV says that data in the old system may have not been properly transferred to the new system.
That means drivers may receive tax bills from the wrong town.
“While we have made a great deal of progress in addressing these issues, and have significantly reduced them, there will be some cases where people receive tax bills from the wrong town. It is important that if anyone receives a tax bill from the wrong town, they contact the town that issued the bill as soon as possible so that the bill can be forwarded to the correct town,” Rainaldi and Launa M. Goslee, president of the Connecticut Tax Collector’s Association, said. “If anyone receives a tax bill from the wrong town, it is important that they do not ignore the incorrect tax bill.”
Earlier this year, the department determined that the new computer system was too “sensitive” in identifying instances in which car owners didn’t have insurance, a requirement for registration, and sent out notices. Then it was unable to keep up with processing the notices after the office closed for a week back in August.
As a result, some vehicle owners saw their registrations temporarily suspended until the DMV processed their responses and confirmed they did have insurance.
The DMV has stopped sharing insurance suspension information with police departments until it can be assured the problem is resolved.
“We are still working with 3M to resolve some code issues before we give a list of registration suspensions for insurance compliance to law enforcement,” William Seymour, a DMV spokesman said. “We do not want people ticketed or towed for this matter until it is fully cleared up.”
The DMV has since terminated its contract with 3M, but the company is still responsible for correcting the system it installed.
Byzdra also said the state contracted with Microsoft to look at the computer system 3M installed and help fix the problems. He said 3M is aware of the relationship and remains involved with correcting system errors.
State officials advised residents that if they receive a tax bill from a municipality in which they did not reside or in which they did not have a vehicle (both as of Oct. 1, 2015), they need to contact their tax assessor to request a transfer to the correct town or city of residency as of Oct. 1, 2015.
Customers who need information to make a registration address change at DMV can go to ct.gov/dmv/changeaddress or call DMV at 860-263-5700.