Channel 2 Action News has learned that Georgia’s Secretary of State's Office will have to refund $1.8 million in fees the office mistakenly collected.
Most of those that overpaid are nonprofit corporations. There is no question the legislature intended to assess higher fees on corporations to bring in additional revenue for the state, but the law did not authorize higher fees on nonprofits.
Tens of thousands of nonprofits are now due a refund. Channel 2’s Richard Belcher tracked down officials at the Secretary of State’s Office who promised to make it right.
“I mean, you know, it's one of those things. We're human. There was a mistake made. And best thing we can do is just figure out the most seamless way that we can to fix and to make this wrong a right,” Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said.
In 2010, the state legislature approved a $20 increase in annual fees for corporations. Nonprofits and so-called foreign corporations were exempted, but the state mistakenly charged everyone.
Kemp said the error was probably the result of miscommunication between his office and a private company doing computer programming. He recently hired two additional full-time workers to handle communications with people who are trying to get their refunds.
He said the office has emailed 10,000 out of 60,000 corporations that overpaid and 1,500 cases have been resolved. Click here to check if you’re organization is affected.
Affected individuals who have questions about the notice or refund process may also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-602-9120.