ARCHER: When mistakes go public


When you make a mistake at work, how bad is it really? You order extra stock or you miss a meeting and chances are it doesn't have massive public ramifications.

The City of Penticton's finance department made a simple mistake on this year’s property tax notices, yeah... it blew up in public. They entered values for the wrong school district when calculating YOUR tax bill and overcharged you.

Colin Fisher, the city’s chief financial officer, said the staff member who made the slip up is just beside herself. She has worked at the city for over 20 years and couldn’t believe she made such a silly mistake.

But it’s fixable. Property owners were informed and can expect new notices in the mail. Some people are rightly upset but beyond the inconvenience, consider it an unexpected windfall. Strangely, it would have been much worse if they undercharged you. 

Mistakes happen. You can make a big deal of it—it's your city, your tax money. But you can also shrug this off and understand: Everyone makes mistakes. Hopefully yours aren't so public.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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