FPL charging FMB for billing oversight

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Residents on Fort Myers Beach have been seeing credits on their latest FPL statements.

No, it’s not a mistake. Florida Power and Light says they started refunding customers money they were mistakenly charged last month.

FPL says more than 12,000 customers had been overcharged since 2012, and they mistakenly collected $381,000.

FPL says they “unintentionally failed to apply and exemption from the Ft. Myers Beach Municipality Utility Tax”, and thus, over-collected.

The tax dollars go straight to the Town’s general fund. Now, FPL says the money they had to refund to customers, needs to be reimbursed to them, by the ones who initially received the funds: Fort Myers Beach.

Don Stillwell, FMB’s Town Manager, says this mistake is the sole responsibility of FPL to fix, and the burden should not be placed on the small town’s budget.

He says their monthly statements speak for themselves, where they cite their billing calculations are certified to be up to date. The statement reads:

“The accuracy and correctness of billing and collection, in accordance with Town of Fort Myers Beach, Florida ordinance, are hereby certified upon execution of this statement.”

Both FPL and the town have been discussing the situation since July of this year, but still have not reached an agreement.

FPL says the town has yet to respond to any of the options they have offered to FMB. Stillwell says the only option they’ve gotten is to pay now, or pay over a period of time.