Senate Bill No. 355
(By Senators Klempa, McCabe and Wells)
[Introduced January 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §11A-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to collection of delinquent taxes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §11A-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. DELINQUENCY AND METHODS OF ENFORCING PAYMENT.
§11A-2-2. Collection by civil action; fees and costs not required
(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 shall be brought after five years from the time the action accrued.
(b) In any such action, the sheriff shall be permitted to 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 in this section, and any other fees and cost including, but not limited to, legal fees and collection cost incurred by the sheriff, 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow counties to deduct the cost of collection of delinquent taxes from the distribution to levying bodies.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.