(a) All sums of money paid as taxes imposed under this Article shall be and remain public funds and the property of the Town, and all vendors or other persons collecting the same shall hold the funds in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Town until paid to the Town.
(b) If a taxpayer neglects or refuses to collect or pay the tax imposed under this Article, or neglects or refuses to make a return, the Finance Director shall make an estimate of the amount of the tax due for the period for which the taxpayer is delinquent based upon the information that may be available, and shall add thereto a penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the delinquent amount unless the delinquency is found to be due to fraud or an intent to evade the tax, in which case the penalty shall be one hundred percent (100%) of the delinquent amount, plus interest at one percent (1%) per month on both the delinquent amount and the penalty from the date when the taxes were due. Promptly thereafter, the Finance Director shall provide to the delinquent taxpayer a written delinquency notice of such estimated tax, along with the penalty and interest applicable thereto, which notice shall be sent by certified mail to the last address for the taxpayer on record with the Town. The notice shall also set forth in clear and conspicuous type that the delinquent taxpayer has the right to elect a hearing on the deficiency before the Town Manager. Such estimate shall thereupon become an assessment and the amount therein shall be final and due and payable from the taxpayer to the Town twenty (20) days from the date of mailing; provided, however, that, within said twenty-day period, the delinquent tax-payer may appeal the assessment to the Town Manager for a modification or other action. Any appeal must be filed in writing with the Town Manager, with a copy to the Finance Director, and shall describe in plain language the grounds for such appeal and the relief requested from the assessment.
(c) When a timely appeal is filed in accordance with this Section, no further enforcement action will be instituted by the Town on such portion of the assessment being appealed, unless the taxpayer fails to pursue the appeal.
(d) If any taxes, penalty or interest imposed by this Article and shown due by returns filed by a taxpayer, or as shown by assessments duly made as provided herein, are not paid within five (5) days after the same are due, the Finance Director shall issue a notice setting forth the name of the taxpayer, the amount of the tax, penalties and interest, the date of the accrual thereof, and that the Town claims a first and prior lien therefor on the real and tangible personal property of the taxpayer; except as to pre-existing claims or liens of a bona fide mortgagee, pledgee, judgment creditor or purchaser whose rights shall have attached prior to the filing of the notice as herein provided on property of the taxpayer, other than the goods, stock in trade and business fixtures of such taxpayer. Said notice shall be on forms prepared by the Finance Director, shall be verified by him or her or by any duly qualified agent of the Town whose duties are the collection of such tax, and may be filed in the office of the clerk and recorder of any county in the State in which the taxpayer owns real or tangible personal property. The filing of such notice shall create a lien on such property in that county and constitute a notice thereof. After said notice has been filed, or concurrently therewith, or at any time when taxes due are unpaid, whether such notice is filed or not, the Town may issue a warrant directed to any duly authorized revenue collector or to the sheriff of any county in the State commanding him or her to levy upon, seize and sell sufficient of the real and personal property of the tax debtor found within his or her county for the payment of the amount due, together with interest, penalties and costs, subject to valid pre-existing claims or liens as above provided.
(e) When performing under this Section, revenue collectors or sheriffs shall levy upon sufficient property of the taxpayer, or on property used by such taxpayer in conducting his or her business, and said property so levied upon shall be sold in all respects, with like effect and in the same manner as is prescribed by law in respect to executions against property upon a judgment of a court of record, and the remedies of garnishments shall apply. The sheriff shall be entitled to such fees in executing such warrants as are allowed by law for similar services.
(f) Any lien for taxes shown on the records of a county clerk and recorder as herein provided shall, upon the payment of all taxes, penalties and interest covered thereby, be released by the Town in the same manner as mortgages or judgments are released.
(g) The Town may treat any taxes, penalties or interest due and unpaid as a debt due the Town from the taxpayer. In the case of a failure to pay the tax or any portion thereof, or any penalty or interest thereon when due, the Town may recover at law the amount of such taxes, penalties and interest in any county or district court of the county wherein the taxpayer resides, or has his or her principal place of business, and having jurisdiction of the amounts sought to be collected. The return of the taxpayer or the assessment made by the Town, as herein provided, shall be prima facie proof of the amount due. Such actions may be actions in attachment, and writs of attachment may be issued to the sheriff. In any such proceeding, no bond shall be required of the Town, nor shall any sheriff require of the Town an indemnifying bond for executing the writ of attachment or writ of execution upon any judgment entered in such proceedings; and the Town may prosecute appeals in such cases without the necessity of providing bond therefor. It shall be the duty of the Town Attorney when requested by the Town Manager to commence an action for the recovery of taxes due under this Article, and the remedy shall be in addition to all other existing remedies, including the remedies provided in this Article.
(h) In any action affecting the title to real estate or the ownership or rights to possession of personal property upon which the Town has asserted a lien, the Town may be made a party defendant for the purpose of obtaining a judgment or determination of its lien upon the property involved therein. (Prior code 3.40.100; Ord. 1266 §3, 2007; Ord. 1288 §1, 2008)