Check those numbers! Software error adds $2 to recent mail-in car tag renewals; refunds coming

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Cullman County Courthouse (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Tribune heard recently from readers who encountered a strange issue with the math on their mail-in vehicle tag renewals: according to the notices sent by the Cullman County Revenue Office, $26.33 (tag fee) plus $2 (mail fee) equals $30.33.

According to County Revenue Commissioner Barry Willingham, “It don’t add up!”

Willingham explained that a software error due to the resetting of the billing controls after the COVID-19 shutdown doubled the mail fee. The error affected people who received tag renewal notices in June and chose to renew their tags by mail, several of whom noticed the error and contacted the office.

Willingham said about the renewals and renewal notices, “April and May’s (were) set up to be no mail fee, (to) try to keep people out of the courthouse. Well, our software provider had to hard code June’s to send out a $2 mail fee on the renewal notices, but keep April’s and May’s from charging $2 while people come in. It was one of those things that went out and it showed a $2 mail fee, but it doubled up on the print.”

“We (were) aware of it, but we (weren’t) aware of it till everybody started getting it.”

Willingham specified that the error was confined to mail-in renewals, noting, “Everything online, everything in the office, is fine.”

The commissioner stated, “Refund checks are being issued.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com