Modifications Of County Treasurer Duties
The act modifies the authority and duties of the county treasurer (treasurer) of each county.
Treasurer's fees: The treasurer is required to charge and receive fees on all money received for town and city taxes. Current law also specifies that the fee for the collection of specific ownership taxes shall not be charged by the treasurer, as the fee is charged when the specific ownership tax is collected by the authorized agent. Section 1 of the act clarifies that the requirement to charge fees does not apply to the collection of specific ownership taxes.
In addition, section 1 makes the fees that the treasurer is required to charge for research consistent with the fees charged pursuant to the "Colorado Open Records Act", and sections 1 and 14 make the fee charged for issuing an authentication of paid ad valorem taxes and a transportable manufactured home permit discretionary.
Deputy treasurer: Current law authorizes a treasurer to appoint a deputy treasurer as necessary. Section 2 authorizes a treasurer to appoint a chief deputy and specifies that the chief deputy treasurer performs the duties of the treasurer if the treasurer is unable to perform such duties or if there is a vacancy in the treasurer's office.
Receipts: Each treasurer is required to issue a receipt upon payment of any money to him or her. Sections 3 and 11 specify that if a person who has paid taxes wants a receipt for payment of taxes, the person shall request a receipt and the treasurer is required to issue such receipt upon request.
Keeping a cash book: Current law requires each treasurer to keep a cash book with a record of every financial transaction in which the treasurer is involved. Section 4 repeals this requirement, as it is redundant to another statutory provision that requires each treasurer to keep a just and true account of the receipt and expenditure of all money that comes in or goes out of the treasurer's office.
Definition of treasurer: For county purposes, "treasurer" is defined as the elected treasurer of a county or his or her appointed successor. However, the Weld county treasurer is appointed pursuant to the county's charter rather than elected. Section 5 modifies the definition of treasurer to include the treasurer or equivalent officer, as provided in the county's charter, for any home rule county.
Conveyance of property: Current law specifies when the grantee or grantor of a conveyance of property will pay the taxes levied on the property if the conveyance does not include an express agreement regarding which party will pay the taxes due. Section 6 clarifies that this provision applies only when the property conveyed is not personal property, which is addressed in another provision of law. In addition, section 9 repeals obsolete language that required the treasurer to waive personal property tax obligations resulting from any conveyance, relocation, or change in tax status of the property that were not in the process of collection as of a certain date.
Notice of property tax exemption: By specified dates each year, each county assessor and treasurer is required to mail certain mailings or notices to each residential real property address in the county. Section 7 specifies that if the county assessor or treasurer has reasonable certainty that such a notice will not be delivered to a residential real property address by the United States postal service, the county assessor and treasurer are not required to send the notice to that address.
Declarations: Current law allows the treasurer to assess and tax any taxable property located in the treasurer's county if the property was omitted from the county assessor's tax list and warrant. Current law also requires public utilities in the state and the operators or owners of oil and gas leaseholds in the state to file with the property tax administrator or the county assessor, respectively, certain statements regarding their property. The statements are confidential and are currently not available to the treasurers. The treasurer, however, may need access to these statements if property owned by the public utility or the oil and gas leaseholds are omitted from the tax list and warrant. Sections 8 and 10 specify that such statements filed with the property tax administrator and the county assessor are available to the treasurer.
Notice of school district mill levy: Current law requires each person whose name appears on the tax list and warrant to be informed in writing of specified information regarding the school district general fund mill levy. Section 12 modifies this provision to require the school district mill levy information be included on every tax notice.
Estimated payment of tax: Current statute does not authorize a treasurer to accept an early payment of tax. Section 13 allows a treasurer to accept an estimated prepayment of property taxes due for the current tax year prior to the treasurer's receipt of the tax warrant. Section 13 also gives the treasurer broad authority to establish the conditions and terms under which estimated prepayments will be accepted.
Tax liens on mobile homes: Current law specifies that a mobile home that is sold may be redeemed by the owner if certain criteria are satisfied. Section 15 modifies this provision to also allow the mobile home to be redeemed if it is stricken off to the county.
When a mobile home has been purchased by the county at a tax sale and the assessor has determined that the actual value of the mobile home is less than $1,000, current law requires the treasurer to declare the mobile home condemned and to dispose of the mobile home at the end of the redemption period. Section 15 authorizes, rather than requires, the treasurer to condemn and dispose of the mobile home at the end of the redemption period.
Personal property tax moving from county: Pursuant to current law, if the treasurer has reason to believe that personal property will be removed from the state, the treasurer may proceed with collections. Current law also states that if the county assessor reports that the property is moving out of the county, the treasurer is required to proceed with the collections process. Section 16 makes the 2 provisions consistent by referencing property moving out of the county in both instances and by allowing the treasurer to determine whether to proceed with collections in both instances.
Abatement of taxes: Current law specifies that for abatements or refunds of taxes made pursuant to a petition for abatement or refund, interest accrues from the date a complete abatement petition is filed. Section 17 requires that beginning January 1, 2020, interest accrues from the date an abatement petition is filed or the date payment of taxes was received by the treasurer, whichever is later.
Certification of taxes due: Upon request, a treasurer is required to certify the amount of taxes due as shown in the records of the treasurer's office or the records of the department of revenue. Current law specifies that a certificate signed by the treasurer showing payment of all taxes due is conclusive evidence that the taxes have been paid, without distinguishing between taxes owed to the treasurer and taxes owed to the department of revenue. Section 18 specifies that a certificate signed by the treasurer is conclusive evidence that only the taxes owed to the county have been paid.
County held liens: Current law requires the treasurer, at least annually, to prepare and present to the board of county commissioners a list of all tax liens on all real property struck off to the county and all certificates of sale relating to the property if the certificates have been held by the county for 30 years or more without obtaining a deed or being otherwise disposed of. Section 19 changes this requirement to apply to certificates held by the county for 3 years to allow the board of county commissioners to take certain actions regarding the property at an earlier date.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)