Letters to Carson City residents with delinquent water bills will go out May 30 to warn recipients their bills could be tacked onto their property tax burden, according to Treasurer Al Kramer.
Kramer said the annual occurrence usually involves about 1,800 letters in a program authorized by state law more than a decade ago.
“This came about years ago,” Kramer said. “We were the first entity in the state to do this.”
Kramer said Carson City, which has a consolidated city-county government, sends the letters out for any delinquent water customers warning that bills still delinquent at the end of June will be added to property taxes. He said the rollover bills are tacked onto the homeowner/occupant’s or property owner’s tax bill, the latter in the case of rental properties.
Kramer said before the state-authorized program, which other municipalities now use as well, the method to deal with delinquent water bills had been a shutoff of service after about two months or so. He said, however, that could lead to unintended consequences such as a shutoff in service at homes where children might live. He said children aren’t allowed in homes with no water service.
With the rollover method to tack water bills onto property tax bills, he said, what was a short-term problem can be resolved and settled over time. Either both the property tax and tacked-on water bill get paid eventually, or another resolution comes as government processes play out.
Kramer said if property taxes don’t get paid, eventually a tax lien is involved. The unpaid property taxes mean the house is lost to the owner, if payment keeps being withheld, and the property is sold to cover any amount owed.