After the city of Bell overcharged property owners by $3 million over the last three years, California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado was scheduled to sign a state law Monday that will give them refunds.

About 4,000 property owners will eventually get a check in the mail under the assembly bill that Maldonado, the acting governor while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visits Asia, plans to sign.

“The City Council of Bell illegally took $3 million form a blue collar, hard-working community, and tomorrow, once I put my signature on AB 900, the community will start receiving their money back immediately,'' Maldonado told CBS2.

The overcharges happened at a time when Bell's city manager reportedly cleared $1.5 million in take-home pay and other officials were making exorbitant salaries.

The illicit property taxes meant that Bell had the second nighest rate in Los Angeles County, beating out tony Beverly Hills and several other cities while claiming a population that is one of the area's poorest.

Unfortunately the law set no timetable for refunds, but it does mandate them.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

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