After nearly two years of trying to collect on deadbeats who refused to pay the city's stormwater billings, El Paso County has taken on the job by attaching the outstanding bills to property taxes.
County Treasurer Bob Balink's office issued the following press release today:
On Friday, November 4, 2011, the Colorado Springs City Council formally submitted a list of delinquent Stormwater accounts to the El Paso County Treasurer’s office for collection, in compliance with Colorado law, having exhausted its administrative procedures to collect the obligations.
This action follows the City of Colorado Springs City Council passing an Ordinance on August 9, 2011 (No. 11-65) allowing the City to certify its delinquent Stormwater Fees to the El Paso County Treasurer’s Office. Under Colorado Revised Statute § 31-20-105 a municipality may certify “delinquent charges, assessments or taxes” to the County Treasurer’s Office for collection.
This submission from the City included 5,630 regular delinquent accounts; 30 government accounts; and 8 non-profit organization accounts.
Last week the City notified citizens that two delinquent Stormwater account categories would not be submitted to the County at this time: (1) those of homeowners who purchased a property after December 31, 2009 and which included a delinquent balance of the prior owner; (2) delinquent Stormwater accounts with outstanding balances under $20. The City indicated it would use other means in an attempt to collect those delinquent fees from the appropriate parties.
The El Paso County Treasurer is mandated to faithfully discharge all the duties and obligations imposed by existing Colorado laws, including § 31-20-105. Therefore, the obligation owed to the City of Colorado Springs is now payable to the El Paso County Treasurer.
A letter describing City Ordinance 11-65 and the subsequent certification of delinquent City of Colorado Springs Stormwater fees to the County Treasurer for inclusion on the 2012 property tax statements will be mailed to property owners by the County Treasurer’s office in a matter of days.
That letter will include a payment coupon to facilitate timely and accurate processing of these payments, prior to these delinquent fees being added to next year’s property tax bills.
Questions regarding payment of the City of Colorado Springs delinquent Stormwater Fees, may be addressed to the County Treasurer’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 719-520-7900.