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State Controller Orders City of Bell to Give Back $2.9 Million in Illegally-Collected Property Taxes

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State Controller John Chiang announced yesterday that he has ordered the City of Bell to return $2.9 million in property tax revenue that has been collected illegally--and in excess--since 2007, according to the LA Times.

Bell residents have asserted that they felt they were being overtaxed. Property owners had been paying into a voter-approved "retirement tax that "made property owners responsible for some of the cost of municipal employees' pensions," at a rate that had been steadily rising since 2007.

Many feel that Chiang's decision is a step in the right direction, particularly following the recent scandal surrounding city officials' large salaries.

However, that $2.9 million does not go back to the taxpayers: "According to state law, the nearly $3-million overpayment cannot be refunded to taxpayers and must instead go to schools in the city."