The city failed to pay $8,700 in state toxic dumping taxes and fees since 1987, apparently because an ex-employee never sent in the returns, City Manager James E. Starbird told the City Council on Tuesday.
The State Board of Equalization recently notified the city of the oversight and demanded the money, plus $4,700 in penalties.
After the notice arrived, city officials found four years' worth of the blank tax returns in the desk drawer of a former employee, who apparently never filed them.
The City Council agreed to pay the tax bill Tuesday but asked Starbird to request relief from the penalties because of the mix-up. Mayor Robert Bartlett said responsibility for filing taxes has been centralized within the finance department and said he believes such an error will not reoccur.