Phone Company Pays Taxes to Wrong Region 8 City

JUNE 5, 2006 - Posted at 4:52 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - It seems that a name, after all, isn't everything.

A state audit of taxes paid by phone companies to various local governments found a mistake that has cost the city of Augusta, Missouri, thousands of dollars.

CenturyTel reported paying about $3,700 in taxes to the city last year, but the city reported collecting nothing.  It turns out the Louisiana-based company had paid taxes since July 2003 to the city of Augusta, Arkansas, more than 200 miles away from the Missouri town of the same name in St. Charles County.  The audit says payments have totaled about $11,000 in all.

Overall, the audit found more than 80 percent of figures reported by local governments agreed with phone companies' numbers.  But more than a third of companies and governments did not respond.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)