Colorado Springs and El Paso County disagree over measures to collect from Stormwater scofflaws

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Eileen Welsome):

The city wants to turn over nearly 10,000 past-due accounts to the county treasurer for collection by mid-November, but the treasurer is being cautioned against putting them on the 2010 property tax bills.

County Attorney William Louis sent a letter to County Treasurer Sandra Damron on Oct. 30, warning that the city-owned Stormwater Enterprise, which residents voted to phase out in Tuesday’s election, might not be entitled to use the county treasurer’s office to collect the fees. “Although hospitals and golf courses are operated by the private sector as well as by the public sector, there is no private sector hospital or golf course that can avail itself of this coercive power,” the letter states.

Normally, the county treasurer simply acts as a middleman, collecting the taxes and then passing them back to municipalities. But if the stormwater fees are, in fact, a fee and not a tax, the city should be barred from using “government’s most coercive powers, the tax lien collection process,” to collect payments, Louis writes.

More stormwater coverage here and here.

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