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BMV Plans Second Overcharge Repayment After Excise Tax Error

Niels Paul

If you bought a new car in the last 10 years, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles may have overcharged you.

The BMV will send refund forms over the next month to an estimated 180,000 Hoosiers who were charged too much excise tax.

Commissioner Don Snemis says a computer coding error improperly denied an inflation adjustment to some cars bought early in the model year -- and went unnoticed for 10 years, through three governors and countless BMV commissioners.

The announcement comes 10 months after the state reached a $30 million settlement in a lawsuit which revealed the BMV had been charging more for driver’s licenses than state law allows.

Snemis says the state will hire an outside consultant to conduct an audit to see if there are any other undiscovered errors.

"We just want to make absolutely sure that there isn't anything else out there like this," Snemis says. "So people can have a good independent review and comfort that we're charging them the right amounts."

Snemis says the error affects less than half-a-percent of all registrations. Excise tax is based on the vehicle’s price, with different charges for 17 different price ranges. The overcharges affected new cars with prices near the dividing line between rates.

The refunds and interest total an estimated $29 million -- about $160 for each person affected.


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