§ 10.5-19. Alternative method of collection.  

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  • In lieu of utilizing the Uniform Assessment Collection Act, the city commission may elect to collect the fire protection assessments by any other method which is authorized by law or under the alternative collection method provided by this section:

    (1) The city commission shall provide fire protection assessment bills by first class mail to the owner of each affected parcel of property, other than government property. The bill or accompanying explanatory material shall include:

    a. A brief explanation of the fire protection assessment;

    b. A description of the unit of measurement used to determine the amount of the fire protection assessment;

    c. The number of units contained within the parcel;

    d. The total amount of the fire protection assessment imposed against the parcel for the appropriate period;

    e. The location at which payment will be accepted;

    f. The date on which the fire protection assessment is due; and

    g. A statement that the fire protection assessment constitutes a lien against assessed property equal in rank and dignity with the liens of all state, county, district or municipal taxes and other non-ad valorem assessments.

    (2) The city commission shall have the right to foreclose and collect all delinquent fire protection assessments in the manner provided by law for the foreclosure of mortgages on real property or appoint or retain an agent to institute such foreclosure and collection proceedings. A fire protection assessment shall become delinquent if it is not paid within thirty (30) days from the date payment was due, as identified in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. The city commission or its agent shall notify any property owner who is delinquent in payment of his or her fire protection assessment within sixty (60) days from the date such assessment was due. Such notice shall state in effect that the city commission or its agent will either:

    a. Initiate a foreclosure action or suit in equity and cause the foreclosure of such property subject to a delinquent fire protection assessment in a method now or hereafter provided by law for foreclosure of mortgages on real property; or

    b. Cause an amount equivalent to the delinquent fire protection assessment, not previously subject to collection using the uniform method under the Uniform Assessment Collection Act, to be collected on the tax bill for a subsequent year.

    (3) All costs, fees and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees and title search expenses, related to any foreclosure action as described herein shall be included in any judgment or decree rendered therein. At the sale pursuant to decree in any such action, the city may be the purchaser to the same extent as any person. The city commission or its agent may join in one (1) foreclosure action the collection of fire protection assessments against any or all property assessed in accordance with the provisions hereof. All delinquent owners whose property is foreclosed shall be liable for an apportioned amount of reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the city commission and its agents, including reasonable attorney fees, in collection of such delinquent fire protection assessments and any other costs incurred by the city commission as a result of such delinquent fire protection assessments and the same shall be collectible as a part of or in addition to, the costs of the action.

    (4) In lieu of foreclosure, any delinquent fire protection assessment and the costs, fees and expenses attributable thereto, may be collected pursuant to the Uniform Assessment Collection Act; provided however, that:

    a. Notice is provided to the owner in the manner required by the Uniform Assessment Collection Act and this chapter; and

    b. Any existing lien of record on the affected parcel for the delinquent fire protection assessment is supplanted by the lien resulting from certification of the assessment roll, as applicable, to the tax collector.

    (5) Notwithstanding the city commission's use of an alternative method of collection, the city manager shall have the same power and authority to correct errors and omissions as provided to him or other city officials in section 10.5-16

    (6) Any city commission action required in the collection of fire protection assessments may be by resolution.

(Ord. No. 2008-26, § 1, 8-4-08)