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AT&T Overpayments May Cut Into Springfield's Budget

Updated: Thursday, July 17 2014, 11:49 PM CDT

A wireless carrier makes a mistake that's now costing the city of Springfield hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Newschannel at Nine's Christina Mueller explains what this means for AT&T customers.

The city of Springfield collects a telecommunications tax on cell phones and land lines.
This tax is used primarily to fund the Lincoln Library, a free resource to local residents.

"It's convenient, it's not far from where I stay at so I come every day almost. This is where I spend my time and collect my thoughts and get all my priorities in order."

This library patron says he spends hours at the library getting ready to start college in the fall and deciding what he wants to do with his future.

Two library branches have closed in recent years.

The city's director of budget and management says tax money designated for the library is on the decline.

Now on top of that, 5 years of billing mistakes from AT&T means the city has a hefty sum to repay.

"It was a letter saying a settlement was negotiated with AT&T and oh by the way, you owe $273,000 in over payments in taxes and we're going to start collecting that."

The money from the tax is distributed by the department of revenue.
That means for the next nine months, Springfield will see about a thirty thousand dollar drop in payments from the department of revenue.
Fortunately, the current city budget has some wiggle room.

The only impact this billing error will likely have is a smaller budget surplus at the end of the year for the city of Springfield.

"We don't expect any adverse impact on library manpower, library hours, or rather library services. We're going to go ahead and deal with it, without cutting any of that."

AT&T Overpayments May Cut Into Springfield's Budget


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