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BMV admits more overcharges, blames computer program

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INDIANAPOLIS | Oops, they did it again.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles revealed Tuesday an estimated 180,000 Hoosiers were overcharged approximately $29 million in vehicle excise tax since 2004.

BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said agency computers misapplied an inflation adjustment factor to the value of new cars when calculating the annual excise tax, which is set based on a vehicle's value.

The error has been corrected, Snemis said. The BMV did not explain in its statement announcing the error why it took a decade to discover.

Snemis said Hoosiers who were overcharged will receive a pre-printed refund request form through the mail in the next 30 days.

They will receive back any overpayment, plus interest paid by the state.

Local governments that received excess excise tax revenue will have their future distributions adjusted over the next two years to correct the error, according to the BMV.

In addition, Republican Gov. Mike Pence has authorized Snemis to hire an independent consulting firm to audit the BMV's processes, procedures and computer system.

This is the third revelation of BMV overcharging in the past 13 months. The agency previously coughed up some $30 million in refunds and attorney fees after admitting it charged more than allowed by law for driver's licenses obtained between 2007 and 2013.

A pending lawsuit also alleges the BMV overcharged millions of dollars for everything from registration fees to chauffeurs licenses since 2007.

The BMV has sought to block public disclosure of videotaped depositions in that lawsuit, which reportedly feature a former BMV official admitting the agency knew in 2010 that it was overcharging but covered it up to prevent budget problems.

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