Staff recommends approval of use of non ad valorem special assessments for collection of all costs, including administrative and operating fees, incurred by the City as a result of actions taken to abate code violations.
Due to the length and seriousness of the current economic recession, an increasing number of properties are either in or are facing imminent foreclosure. In light of this situation, some property owners (especially non-local banks) choose to forego routine property maintenance and allow grass to go un-mowed, debris and junk to accumulate, or unsafe conditions affecting buildings to exist. The traditional approach that cities like Leesburg have used to deal with the overgrown lots, putrid pools, and other similar types of code violations has been to clean up the problem and then attach a lien to the property for the cost of the work. With so many properties now bank-owned, this approach is no longer proving to be a dependable or timely means of recovering the city’s costs.
Placing the cost of abatement on a property owner’s annual tax bill will significantly increase the probability that the city will recover its costs in a timely manner, as non-payment of property taxes can result in a tax lien being filed against the property. This procedure is not, however, intended to be used for the collection of any fines that may be issued in connection with a code violation by the City’s Code Enforcement staff.
1. Approve the resolution electing to use the uniform method of collecting non ad valorem special assessments
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
Adopting the proposed ordinance will enable the City to seek reimbursement from property owners for the costs that it incurs abating code violations involving real property, such as mowing overgrown lots, removing junk and debris, draining stagnant water, and securing or demolishing dangerous or harmful structures.
Prepared by: ______________________
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Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. ______JB__________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG FLORIDA, ELECTING TO USE THE UNIFORM METHOD OF COLLECTING NON AD VALOREM SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS FOR THE COLLECTION OF all costs, including administrative and operating fees, WHICH are incurred by the City AS A result OF ACTIONS TAKEN TO abatE Overgrown lots, stagnant water, accumulation of trash, junk or debris, dangerous or unsafe structures and other similar nuisances associated with real property; AUTHORIZING ASSESSMENTS TO BE LEVIED WITHIN THE CORPORATE CITY LIMITS OF LEESBURG; STATING THE NEED FOR SUCH LEVY; PROVIDING FOR THE MAILING OF THIS RESOLUTION TO THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, THE LAKE COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR AND THE LAKE COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER BY JANUARY 10, 2011; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City Commission of the City of Leesburg (“City”) is considering the use of special assessments for the collection of all costs, including administrative and operating fees, that are incurred by the City as a result of actions taken to abate overgrown lots, stagnant water, accumulation of trash, junk or debris, dangerous or unsafe structures and other similar nuisances associated with real property occurring within the corporate limits of the City; and,
WHEREAS, the City intends to seek reimbursement of these costs using the Uniform Method for Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Special Assessments which is authorized under Section 197.3632, Florida Statutes, as amended, because this method allows such special assessments to be collected annually by the Lake County Tax Collector commencing on October 1st of each year, in the same manner as provided for ad valorem taxes; and,
WHEREAS, the City Commission of the City of Leesburg has conducted a duly advertised public hearing prior to the adoption of this Resolution at a regularly-scheduled meeting held on December 13, 2010; and,
WHEREAS, a Notice of this Public Hearing and the City’s intent to use the Uniform Method of Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Assessments was published for four consecutive weeks in a local newspaper of general circulation as required by law, proof of publication of such hearing and Notice being attached hereto as Exhibit “A”;
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT commencing with the Fiscal Year beginning on October 1, 2011, and with the tax statement mailed for such Fiscal Year, the City intends to use the Uniform Method of Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Assessments as authorized in Section 197.3632, Florida Statutes, as amended, to collect all costs (including administrative and operating fees) that are incurred by the City as a result of code enforcement-initiated actions that have been taken to abate overgrown lots, stagnant water, accumulation of trash, junk or debris, dangerous or unsafe structures and other similar nuisances associated with real property occurring within the corporate limits of the City.
THAT the City has determined that the levy and collection of these assessments using the Uniform Method of Collecting Non-Ad Valorem Assessments provides the most effective and cost efficient means of ensuring that the City receives reimbursement for the costs that it incurs abating the aforementioned nuisances, and avoids financial loss.
THAT following adoption of this Resolution, the City Clerk is directed to mail a copy of this Resolution by United States Mail to the Florida Department of Revenue, the Lake County Tax Collector and the Lake County Property Appraiser by March 10, 2011.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the 13th day of December, 2010.