PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage residents who checked their mail recently got a surprise when it came to their property tax bills.

This week 18,000 Portage property owners received bills that mistakenly had last winter’s tax bill, instead of the higher summer amount. One of them, Pam Hutson, thought it was too good to be true.

“It was maybe 10% of what we usually pay,” Hutson said. “I knew it was wrong. I wish it was right. I knew right away.”

Grant Taylor, who serves as Portage’s deputy director of treasury, said it was not a miscalculation on the city’s end. After city workers approved the final PDFs for the summer statements, the printing firm forgot a key step.

“The print firm went back into the data and removed the 2022 data to do some testing with the old data,” Taylor explained. “They forgot to put it back and printed the bills with that old 2021 winter tax data.”

The unnamed firm will cover all printing and postage costs to send the correct statements, which are expected to be in mailboxes by next week.

According to Taylor, the misprints will not affect mortgages or escrow accounts, since lenders and servicers were not given the incorrect numbers seen on them.

“They all received correct information and they received that information through our online database,” Taylor explained. “They were not affected whatsoever. This just happened to be on pieces of paper that were … printed and sent to residents.”

For a brief moment, it gave homeowners like Hutson a chance to dream with how the misprinted numbers were way lower than expected.

“I knew that was too good to be true, but it was fun for a minute,” Hutson joked.

According to Taylor, city leaders will determine if this mistake violated the print firm’s contract with them before considering taking any action.