January 30-- The Montgomery County Commission is facing a lawsuit for allegedly misusing insurance premium tax proceeds and overtaxing property owners who live in unincorporated parts of the county.
County Clerk of Court Keith Hamilton filed the class action suit after the the commission denied his request for a tax refund for the six year period from 2007-2012.
Hamilton sought a refund totaling $2,311.04 for the period. The class action request estimates 3,626 taxpayers might be included.
According to the suit, the Montgomery County Commission improperly used proceeds from the insurance premium tax which are required by state law to be used only for specific services in unincorporated areas. Funds not used in that manner must be used to reduce the property taxes of residents in the unincorporated areas.
The suit claims Montgomery County told the State Revenue Department is was using the money for rural fire protection and solid waste collection while at the same time taxing residents for the same purpose.
A Montgomery County Superior Court judge is being asked to order the county commission to use the insurance premium tax only for the purposes allowed under state law; to keep the funds in a separate account and account for them separately; reflect in the county budget how the funds are used; and refund to taxpayers in the unincorporated areas the funds collected from 2007-2012.
Montgomery County manager Brandon Braddy says attorney's for the county's insurance company are expected to file a reply to the suit by Friday, January 31.
He says the county received insurance premium taxes totaling $656,384 for the last three-year period.