Property Taxes – Supervisors to Decide Whether to Impose Liens on Delinquent Bill Payers

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
3 Min Read

Property Taxes

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday scheduled a June 25 public hearing to consider the imposition of special assessments totaling $3.39 million on thousands of Riverside County residents’ property tax bills to collect unpaid trash collection debts.

According to the Department of Environmental Health, 6,348 residents in unincorporated communities owe the county’s four waste haulers for rubbish pickup and disposal services in 2023.

Amounts in arrears range from a low of $136 to a high of $9,159 per customer, according to the proposed special assessment roll.

Environmental Health Director Jeff Johnson requested the public hearing for the board to approve the assessments, which would be tacked onto delinquent payers’ annual property tax obligations.

Supervisor Karen Spiegel asked Johnson about why the current proposed assessment list was not search-friendly via the internet, and he assured her his staff was working to correct the issue for the benefit of property owners.

“I’ll have that presentable at the public hearing on June 25,” Johnson said.

In a statement posted to the board’s agenda, the environmental health director noted that “regular removal of solid waste from residential properties is a basic sanitation practice that protects both the environment and the public.”

“The mandatory collection of solid waste and the payment for the collection is critical,” he said.

The hearing will provide a platform for ratepayers to argue before the board their cases against assessments, offering specifics about mitigating circumstances, including how their finances have been impacted in the last year by inflation and other factors, to the extent that they have not been able to meet some obligations.

In the past, petitioners have presented appeals to the board based on the fact that they oversee their own waste disposal and shouldn’t be on the hook for the waste haulers’ costs. Sometimes, properties are also under lease, and the owners aren’t responsible for paying trash disposal charges.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries has additionally pointed out instances in which haulers are charging for services never rendered, failing to regularly pick up garbage but still charging as if they have been.

If the board authorizes the special assessments after the hearing is closed, an additional $77-per-parcel charge would be applied to delinquent bills to cover the cost of public noticing and county staff time.

Officials said residents will be able to avoid the supplemental charge by paying their bills in full on or before July 19.

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