City of Petersburg overdraws personal property tax payment from woman’s account

Petersburg woman update at city for handling money

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - "I love my city, I’m not talking about my city but we’ve got to get it together,” said Petersburg resident Wanda Crawley.

She is at her wits end over a situation with the City of Petersburg that stretches all the way back to May 31. That’s when she paid her personal property tax online through the city’s website. She paid the bill authorizing the $584.50 to be taken out of her checking account.

"I printed my receipt, that you have, and went about my business,” Crawley said.

But then weeks passed and she discovered something was wrong.

"I noticed when I was doing my bills, I was like I don’t think this amount came out of my account yet, so I did the search for the amount and there were no hits,” Crawley said.

She said she began reaching out to the city via email and to find out why the payment had not been taken out.

Then on August 20, nearly three months later, her payment was finally processed.

"I bet you - if I paid my water bill three months late - I wouldn’t have any water,” Crawley said.

It was processed not for the $584 she’d authorized, but for nearly $200 more. Again, she tried reaching out to the city for help.

“So now I’m really angry,” Crawley said. “I’m calling saying ‘OK, you cleared it but you cleared it for the wrong amount,'” Crawley said.

Then she did get a response to one of her emails but not the one she wanted.

“I got a response that said your email has been deleted without being read,” Crawley said. “To me, it’s just saying we don’t care. I don’t care about you, I don’t care about your bills, I don’t care that you paid your bill on time, I don’t care that we took out the wrong amount. It was disrespectful.”

That’s when she called 12 On Your Side.

After reaching out to the city, a spokesperson responded saying Crawley had been working with a few members of the Commissioner of Revenue team and the Billing and Collections team to get this resolved.

“The only people I’ve been dealing with is that computer,” Crawley insisted. “No one from that office has responded to me one way or the other. Not via voicemail, text, email, nothing. No one said kiss my big toe, nothing.”

The spokesperson said a manager in the Billing and Collections Department would handle this situation, even offering up the manager’s cell. Crawley called the manager who said he’d call her back. A week later that call back had not happened.

After reaching back out, city officials apologized to Crawley and said they will resolve her issue. Crawley said she’ll believe it when she sees it.

"I want my money refunded, I want an apology and I want for this to never happen again,” Crawley said.

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