Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cincinnati to levy special assessments to collect from building owners

Cincinnati City Council has passed an emergency ordinance that will allow the City to levy special assessments to collect the unpaid costs associated with securing or demolishing unsafe or condemned buildings.

The ordinance allows the City to add the money it's owed as a lien, or an assessment, on the Hamilton County Auditor's property tax duplicate.

The action covers 132 property owners who owe the City more than $243,000, with individual amounts ranging from $30 to more than $18,000.

The assessments are payable in five annual installments and carry a 9 percent interest rate.

Under Ohio law, this method of recovery is allowed under Section 715.261 (B)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code.

Typically, the costs of barricading or demolishing problem buildings are direct-billed to the property owners, then sent either to a private collection agency or the City Solicitor if non-payment occurs.