WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
Senate Bill 27
By Senators Kirkendoll, Miller and Gaunch
[Introduced on January 13,
Referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-5-24 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §11A-2-2 of said code, all relating to permitting sheriff to hire outside attorneys to assist in collection of taxes through the courts; and sharing cost of collection with various taxing units.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-5-24 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §11A-2-2 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 5. FISCAL AFFAIRS.
§7-5-24. Sheriff may commence civil action without paying fees and costs; fees and costs recoverable from defendants after completion of litigation.
will is not be
required to pay any filing fee, cost, bond or security, as may otherwise be
required of other civil litigants by provisions of this code, in any action in
which the sheriff commences the action in his or her official capacity or on
behalf of the county government: Provided, That where the sheriff or
county government prevails in the action and any filing fees, costs, bond or
security are recovered from the opposing party, the sheriff shall pay therefrom
the fees, costs, bond or security to the officer who otherwise would have been
entitled thereto but for the provisions of this section: Provided,
however, That any legal fees and costs not so recovered from the
opposing party shall be paid out of the taxes so collected prior to the
distribution of the taxes to the various taxing units.
CHAPTER 11A. COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES.
ARTICLE 2. DELINQUENCY AND METHODS OF ENFORCING PAYMENT.
§11A-2-2. Collection by civil action; fees and costs not required of sheriff.
(a) Taxes are hereby
declared to be debts owing by the taxpayer, for which he or she shall be
personally liable. After delinquency, the sheriff may enforce this liability
by appropriate action in any court of competent jurisdiction. No such action
may be brought after five years from the time the action accrued.
(b) In any such action, the
shall be permitted to may prosecute the same without
paying fees or costs and without providing bond or security, as may otherwise
be required of civil litigants by the provisions of this code, and shall have
all services and process, including the services of witnesses, without paying
therefor: Provided, That the sheriff shall maintain for each action for
the recovery of delinquent taxes records sufficient to demonstrate the total
fees and costs paid and that would have been paid but for the authority
provided herein to seek recovery without such payment: Provided, however,
That where the sheriff recovers delinquent taxes in or as the result of such
action, whether by way of settlement or judgment, such fees and costs as above
required to be recorded shall be recoverable from the opposite party and upon
receipt of any recovery, the sheriff shall pay from the amount recovered such
fees or costs to the officer who otherwise would have been entitled thereto but
for the provisions of this section: Provided further, That the fees and
costs shall be paid prior to payment to the various taxing units of the balance
of the recovered taxes: And provided further, That the payment to the
various taxing units shall be prorated on the basis of the total amount of
taxes due them.
(c) The sheriff may hire an attorney to prosecute any such action: Provided, That any attorney hired by the sheriff shall be paid an hourly rate and not by a percentage of the taxes collected. Any attorney fees or other costs associated with the collection of taxes, not heretofore provided in subsection (b) of this section, shall be paid from the taxes so collected prior to the distribution to the various taxing units.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the sheriff to hire outside attorneys to assist in the collection of taxes through the courts and to share the cost of collection with the various taxing units.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.