HCS SCS SB 894 -- DELINQUENT PROPERTY TAXES

SPONSOR: Quick (Hoppe)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Local Government and Related Matters by a vote of 19 to 0 with 1 present.

The substitute makes several changes in laws regarding the collection of delinquent property taxes. The substitute:

(1) Allows St. Louis and Kansas City, by ordinance, to discharge a special tax bill if the city determines a public benefit will be gained;

(2) Changes the interest penalty for prepaid property taxes to only apply to the unpaid balance of the taxes if a payment is delinquent;

(3) Allows for the creation in Buchanan and Clay counties of a land trust to administer the management, sale, and disposition of tax-delinquent properties;

(4) Requires a sheriff's sale for delinquent property taxes in charter counties of the first classification to begin at 10:00 a.m.;

(5) Prohibits persons who have violated municipal building or housing codes in charter counties of the first classification from bidding on property at a delinquent property tax sale; and

(6) Allows the court administrator in counties of the first classification to record a deed on property sold at a delinquent property tax sale. Any challenge to the validity of an administrator's or sheriff's deed must commence within 2 years.

The substitute also:

(1) Requires the number of Planned Industrial Expansion Authority commissioners in St. Louis to be reduced from 15 to 5 through the process of attrition. The city may also adopt a consolidation plan to combine the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority with the Land Reutilization Authority;

(2) Authorizes Kansas City to enact any needed ordinances to protect public and private property from illegal dumping and littering, with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 12 months of imprisonment, or both, for each offense;

(3) Allows solid waste disposal areas or solid waste processing facilities in Kansas City to accept yard waste commingled with solid waste resulting from an illegal dump cleanup activity or a program conducted by the city government;

(4) Requires that 1% of the property taxes collected against the first $500 million of assessed valuation in all counties that become counties of the first classification after September 1, 2000, and 1/2% on all taxes collected on the remainder of taxes collected against property in excess of $500 million be deposited in the assessment fund. In order to allocate these percentages among each political subdivision in the county, the assessor must determine the percentage of total property valuation divided into $500 million. The collector is required to retain 1% of that percentage of collections from each political subdivision's property taxes for the assessment fund and 1/2% on the remainder, also for the assessment fund;

(5) Increases the travel reimbursement for assessors in counties of the third and fourth classification from the current 15 cents per mile to the same reimbursement paid to other county officials. The reimbursement cap of $2,250 per year is also eliminated;

(6) Allows municipalities, after proper notice, to order property owners to remove weeds which have been declared a nuisance; and

(7) Requires county collectors to apply payments for property taxes against any delinquent taxes before applying the payment to taxes due in the current year. The requirement does not apply to the payment of real property taxes made by financial institutions or mortgage loan companies from escrow accounts.

Under current law, proceedings to foreclose on property with delinquent property taxes must be initiated within 3 years. The substitute exempts the 3-year limitation when property that has been tax-exempt has been transferred but the instrument of the transfer has not been filed. The 3- year limitation will begin once the recording of the title has occurred.

FISCAL NOTE: No impact on state funds.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the bill is needed to help Clay and Buchanan counties get property with delinquent taxes back on the tax rolls.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Quick; and Clay County Commission.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Steve Bauer, Legislative Analyst