AT&T Billing Error Costs City $273,000

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AT&T Inc. wrongly imposed taxes on municipal iPhone and BlackBerry users in Springfield, Ill., and now the city has to repay the overages.

The billing mistake will cost Springfield $273,000, WICS, a TV station in Illinois’ capital city, reported on Thursday.

From November 2005 to September 2010, AT&T billed for a telecommunications tax on data plans. The City of Springfield does collect a telecom tax to fund the Lincoln Library; but, since the taxes were not supposed to be charged to data plans, the city now has to fork out the $273,000.

WICS said a class-action lawsuit settlement will reimburse end users, but people who qualify won’t see the full amount they’re owed because some of the money will go toward court costs.

Meantime, library users shouldn’t be adversely affected. WICS said Springfield’s budget has some “wiggle room," which will just mean a smaller surplus at the end of the year.

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