ARVIN, Calif. (KGET) — Stores at the Outlets at Tejon have been accidentally been paying a higher sales tax than they were supposed to, according to a new Kern County Grand Jury report.
The report says stores have been paying the 1 percent Measure L tax that businesses in the city of Arvin have charged following the passage of the measure in 2008, which raised the tax rate to 8.5 percent. However, that extra 1 percent tax is only supposed to apply to sales within the city limits.
The Outlets at Tejon are outside of the Arvin city limits and therefore stores should not have been paying the higher tax rate, the report says.
The city identified 17 stores located at the Outlets that have been sending the Measure L sales tax money to the state, which then dispersed it to the city, according to the grand jury. The city should not have received those funds, according to the grand jury.
“This may be a potential corporate accounting issue, and the City had no role in collecting or charging the sales tax for any business located at the Outlets in Tejon or at any other location outside of City limits,” the report says.
The city has notified the parent companies of the stores paying the higher rate and the procedure for any refund claims, the report says. The extra money, which currently stands at $701,516, has been set aside by the city in an assigned account for possible claims by the companies.
After October 1, any unclaimed funds remain with the city, the report says. The Grand Jury recommends that the city use any unclaimed funds for road maintenance.