Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Glitch causes some Hillsborough County taxpayers to get charged twice

TAMPA — Patricia Farrington was preparing to pay her car insurance bill Tuesday when she did a quick check of her bank account balance.

"I was in the red," Farrington said. "This is the first time I was ever in the red. The money should have been there."

Farrington, 51, a stay-at-home mom from Keysville, quickly traced the problem to a nearly $500 online payment she made for her Hillsborough County property tax bill. Her account was hit twice for the same payment.

Tax Collector Doug Belden said the same thing happened to about 20 people who logged on to his Web site Sunday to make tax payments. Two hundred people used the site that day to make payments.

The technical problem appeared to be confined to those who used the e-check function as opposed to those who keyed in credit or debit card numbers.

RT Lawrence Corp., a vendor from Santa Fe Springs, Calif., that Belden's office uses to process online bill payments, took responsibility for the glitch. The company's director of operations said the problem occurred only in Hillsborough County.

Larry Tong, director of operations for RT Lawrence, said his staff is investigating to determine what caused the double billing.

"Our No. 1 priority at this moment is to make sure that all our customers' accounts are credited back as soon as possible," Tong said.

Tong said he expected that to happen by the end of the day Tuesday but that it would likely be today before customers notice the change in their bank account balances.

Belden said it appears people who paid using a checking account number also had payments sent to Charlotte County, where RT Lawrence provides online service for the tax collector, due to a technical problem. His office learned of the issue after receiving several phone calls from people who noticed a discrepancy on their bank accounts.

Farrington was one of them.

She said she believed she would be able to turn to friends to pay her car insurance bill. It was due Tuesday.

Bill Varian can be reached at or (813) 226-3387.

Glitch causes some Hillsborough County taxpayers to get charged twice 11/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida concealed weapons permit holders exposed in computer hack


    More than 16,000 concealed weapons permit holders in Florida may have had their names accidently made public because of a data breach at the The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

  2. Editorial: Careless words unfit for a mayor


    Even his critics marvel at how well Bob Buckhorn has grown into the job since first being elected as Tampa's mayor in 2011. His grace in public and his knack for saying and doing the right things has reflected well on the city and bestowed civic pride in the mayor's office. That's why Buckhorn's cheap shot at the media …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during a Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center last year. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  3. SCOTUS won't hear Bondi appeal on death penalty


    From Dara Kam at News Service of Florida:

  4. Kriseman to open campaign office


    Mayor Rick Kriseman will open his campaign office Friday with Congresman Charlie Crist in attendance.

  5. 'Neo-Nazi' in Florida National Guard arrested after explosives found at Tampa Palms murder scene


    TAMPA — A man accused of shooting his two roommates Friday in a New Tampa apartment told police he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with the men until he converted to Islam then killed them because they showed disrespect for his faith.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, of Tampa told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam and shot them because they disrespected his faith.
[Photo courtesy of Tampa Police]