[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Warwick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Taxation — See Ch. 144.
[Adopted 12-8-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
The Town Board finds that certain costs incurred by the Town, or fees owed to the Town, related to individual properties remain unpaid, unreimbursed or uncollected due to the legal costs of collection and due to the unavailability of the property owner to local or state court jurisdiction. This situation adversely affects the public finances and unnecessarily burdens the taxpayers of the Town with costs and expenses incurred for the benefit of individual properties. Village Law §§ 4-414 and 5-518 provide a mechanism for assessment of such costs by villages, but the Town Law does not contain the analogous procedure. The Town Board finds that Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(ii)(a)(9-a) provides that the Town may adopt a local law related to the fixing, levy, collection and administration of local government rentals, charges, rates or fees, penalties and rates of interest thereon, liens on local property in connection therewith and charges thereon and that the Town may, pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(ii)(d)(3), adopt a local law amending or superseding the Town Law, notwithstanding it is a general law, unless the legislature expressly shall have prohibited the adoption of such a local law. The Town Board finds no express or implied prohibition of adopting a law similar to Village Law § 4-414.
Whenever an owner of property is required by general, special, or local law or by any agreement or stipulation with the Town to make an improvement, perform any work, pay any fee, cost or expense, on or related to such property in the interest of public safety, health, or comfort, and general welfare and such owner shall fail to make the improvement or to perform the work or act required, or to pay the fee, cost, or expense, and the Town Board shall cause such improvement, work, or act to be done on such property, or a contract has been awarded therefor by the Board, or the fee, cost or expense has been determined to be due and remains unpaid, then the cost of such improvement, work, or act, and/or the fee, cost or expense, may be assessed, levied, and collected as provided herein. The amounts which may be assessed, levied, and collected herein shall include all professional fees incurred by the Town, not limited to legal fees, in relation to violations of law existing on any such property, or for any fees incurred in relation to applications respecting such property.
Any amount which may be assessed against the property of an owner pursuant to this article shall, in the first instance be billed to the property owner by mail addressed to the owner as identified by the assessment records of the Town. The records of the Town shall be deemed sufficient to verify such mailing. The amount so billed shall be deemed presumptively valid, but may be challenged by the property owner. Any such challenge shall be made by request for audit and review submitted to the Town Board within 65 days of the date of mailing of the bill. Such request shall specify in detail the basis of the challenge. The decision of the Town Board shall be final, but subject to review by an Article 78 proceeding filed within 30 days of the filing of the Town Board's decision with the Town Clerk.
The Town Supervisor shall include with the Supervisor's proposed budget, the total amount of such monies which may be assessed against individual properties in accordance with this article. The Town Clerk shall prepare a roll of such amounts specifying the individual properties against which the amount shall be assessed, together with the name and address of the property owner as shown on the most current Town assessment roll. The total amount shall be included in the final budget of the Town. The Town Board shall approve the roll of individual assessments and the same shall be assessed against the properties at the same time and in the same manner as Town taxes.
As an alternative to the procedure set forth in Subsection A above, the Town may send notice of the preparation of the individual assessment roll to a particular property owner thereon whose assessment is not yet final in accordance with the procedure set forth in Subsection A above. Such notice shall be mailed not less than 20 days prior to a hearing on the roll to be held at the time of the preliminary budget hearing, or such other date as the Town Board shall specify. The Town Board, following such hearing shall approve, modify, or reject any assessment which was challenged at such hearing. The decision of the Town Board shall be final and may be challenged as set forth in Subsection A above.
All amounts which are assessed in accordance with the procedure herein shall have added thereto 10% of the original amount billed or noticed as an administrative fee. All amounts which may be assessed shall have added thereto interest in the amount of 9% per annum. When listed on the individual assessment roll such interest shall be calculated through January 31 of the next year.