Industry News

Data error inflates home value to $400 million

Flawed value creates budget problems

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Home-price appreciation has never happened this fast: A data-entry error on a county computer system in Indiana changed the value of a home to $400 million from its original value of $120,000, according to news reports. The error led to an erroneous tax bill of about $8 million for the property, and a failure to fully correct the data problem has created a boondoggle for the city, county and area schools that have to pay millions of dollars that should have been collected in taxes but was not. The Chicago Tribune reported that the city, county and schools "now find themselves in the position of having to return to the county an advance of $3,090,287.33 that was never collected." The report states that around October 2004 an unidentified computer user – perhaps a real estate agent or title company employee – may have been checking the value of a property on a county computer system and "apparently tapped the wrong key. Officials figure it was an accident." The user accesse...