Delinquent utility charges added to Carson City tax bills

Property owners who have fallen behind on their Carson City utility payments will see those amounts added to their August tax bills.

"Many of these people are dealing with short-term financial problems," said Al Kramer, the city's treasurer. The city has been moving delinquent utility payments to property tax bills for three years.

"A lot of them owe only $20 or $30 on these bills. Not too many have gone without paying their utility bills for a year," he said.

Rather than send utility employees to red tag a taxpayer's meter, go back and turn off a utility, then return to turn it back on - and charge the taxpayer for each visit - "it effectively makes us a no-turnoff city," he said.

The city hasn't sold a property at auction for overdue taxes in a decade.

And it's better for the utility workers, who used to go to these homes and sometimes face "potentially dangerous situations," Kramer said.

Roughly 1,000 taxpayers will be effected. There will be no additional penalties assessed if someone opts to pay their utility this way.

Penalties still exist for paying the utility bill late, however. It's 2.5 percent of the amount per month, he said.

The charge won't be included on the tax bill if it is paid by Thursday.

If a taxpayer is financially able to pay, doing so by Thursday would keep mortgage companies from recalculating the person's house payment upward, Kramer said.

August tax bills will be arriving in people's mailboxes starting in mid-July, he added.

For details, call the city at 887-2027, ext. 1505.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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