Willdan Financial Services (Willdan), the City's special district administrator, receives payment information from San Bernardino County (County) approximately three times a year. This information is then provided to the Finance Department with reports detailing out the delinquent parcels in each special district. The Finance Department, with assistance from Willdan, will send reminder letters or reach out to property owners with significant delinquent balances. In the past two years, staff has worked to have the large delinquencies paid off in full to avoid the costly foreclosure process.
The focus of the most recent report was special taxes that are not on the County roll because they were hand billed. These parcels listed in Attachment No. 1 were hand billed their first year due to a water connection data delay or they were previously owned by a governmental agency. In an attempt to collect, City staff sent out invoices to the property addresses. Many of the property owners contacted City staff asking for a waiver because they were not the property owner at the time of the hand bill.
Since the Community Facilities District No. 1 bonds were defeased on December 12, 2019, (moneys irrevocably escrowed to pay off bonds in March 2020) the covenant to foreclose for the benefit of bond owners is gone and the City has the option to write off these stale delinquencies. It seems unfair to hold subsequent purchasers to these delinquent amounts when they had no notice via foreclosure action or recorded delinquency. Bond Counsel has recommended we ask City Council for authorization to write off the delinquent special taxes and remove them from the delinquency listing.