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SENATE BILL NO. 214
INTRODUCED BY S. BARTLETT
AN ACT REVISING THE LAWS RELATING TO A SHERIFF'S LEVY AND SALE FOR THE COLLECTIONS OF TAXES; ALLOWING A SHERIFF TO CHARGE REGULAR FEES, MILEAGE, AND COSTS WHETHER OR NOT PROPERTY IS SEIZED; CLARIFYING THE MANNER OF CONDUCTING A SALE OF SEIZED PERSONAL PROPERTY; AMENDING SECTIONS 15-16-119, 15-16-401, AND 15-17-911, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 15-16-119, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-16-119. Taxation of personal property -- duty of department -- collection by department of administration. (1) If the taxes on personal property are not a lien upon real property in the same county in an amount sufficient to secure the payment of the taxes, the department shall assess the property and compute the tax for the assessment. The department shall notify the county treasurer of the assessment and the amount of taxes due. To compute the taxes due on the personal property, the department shall use the appropriate mills levied during the previous year.
(2) The county treasurer shall notify the person against whom the tax is assessed and any other person having a properly perfected security interest of record of the amount and due date of the tax. The tax is due and payable 30 days from the date the treasurer mails the notice. Taxes not paid within 30 days become delinquent, and the penalty and interest provisions of 15-16-101 must be applied.
(3) The county treasurer shall, after the tax becomes delinquent, either proceed under subsection (7) or levy upon and take into possession the personal property against which a tax is assessed or any other personal property in the hands of the delinquent taxpayer. The county treasurer may proceed to sell the property in the same manner as property is sold on execution by the sheriff.
(4) The county treasurer shall, for the purpose of making the levy and sale, direct the sheriff to make the levy and sale.
The sheriff, undersheriff, or any deputy sheriff of the county is ex officio a deputy county treasurer for sale purposes and
may receive payment of the taxes, penalty, and interest. The sheriff
may receive the same fees as for making a seizure and
sale as provided in 15-17-911 is entitled to the fees, mileage, and costs as provided in 7-32-2141 and 7-32-2143, which must
be assessed against the delinquent taxpayer.
(5) The county treasurer and the treasurer's sureties are liable on the treasurer's official bond for all taxes on personal property remaining uncollected by reason of the willful failure and neglect of the treasurer to levy upon and sell the personal property for the taxes levied upon the property, including penalty and interest.
(6) Failure by the sheriff, undersheriff, or deputy sheriff acting as a deputy county treasurer to make the levy and sale results in a levy against the official bond of the sheriff, undersheriff, or deputy sheriff for payment of the delinquent tax, including penalty and interest.
(7) The county treasurer shall give the board of county commissioners a list of delinquent personal property taxpayers and the taxes due. The board may order the county treasurer to verify the list under oath and to send a copy of the list to the department of administration for collection under Title 17, chapter 4, part 1.
(8) The provisions of this section do not apply to property for which delinquent property taxes have been suspended or canceled under the provisions of Title 15, chapter 24, part 17."
Section 2. Section 15-16-401, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-16-401. Tax due as a judgment or lien. Unless suspended or canceled under the provisions of Title 15, chapter
24, part 17, every tax has the effect of a judgment against the person, and every lien created by this title has the force and
effect of an execution duly levied against all personal property in the possession of the person assessed from and after the
date the assessment is made. The county treasurer may issue a writ of execution for delinquent personal property taxes,
unless suspended or canceled under the provisions of Title 15, chapter 24, part 17, and deliver the writ to the sheriff of any
county in the state in which the property or some part of the property is located. Writs of execution may be issued at the
same time to different counties. The sheriff shall
thereupon proceed upon the writ in all respects, with like effect, and in the
same manner prescribed by law in respect to executions issued against property upon judgments of a court of record. and
shall be The sheriff is entitled to the fees, provided for in 15-17-911 mileage, and costs as provided in 7-32-2141 and
7-32-2143, which must be assessed against the delinquent taxpayer. The judgment is not satisfied nor the lien removed until
the taxes are paid or the property sold for the payment thereof of the taxes."
Section 3. Section 15-17-911, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-17-911. Sale of personal property for delinquent taxes -- fee -- disposition of proceeds -- unsold property. (1) The tax on personal property may be collected and payment enforced by the seizure and sale of any personal property in the possession of the person assessed. Seizure and sale are authorized at any time after the date the taxes become delinquent or by the institution of a civil action for its collection in any court of competent jurisdiction. A resort to one method does not bar the right to resort to any other method. Any of the methods provided may be used until the full amount of the tax is collected.
(2) The provisions of 15-16-119 and this section apply to a seizure and sale under subsection (1).
(3) (a) A sale under subsection (1) must be:
(i) conducted at public auction;
(ii) conducted under the provisions of 25-13-701(1)(b); and
(iii) noticed as a treasurer's sale of personal property seized for taxes.
(b) The return on the levy and sale must be signed by the sheriff or deputy sheriff as ex officio deputy county treasurer.
For seizing and selling personal property, the The county treasurer shall charge $25 or a fee set by the county
commissioners, plus the mileage allowance provided by law to the sheriff, plus reasonable expenses for seizing, handling,
keeping, or caring for any property seized. The charge and other costs may be charged only when property is actually seized
and offered for sale or sold the cost, as defined in 15-17-121, of the collection of delinquent personal property taxes. The
cost must be assessed against the delinquent taxpayer and is in addition to any sheriff's fees, mileage, and costs charged
under subsection (4)(b).
(b) The sheriff is entitled to the fees, mileage, and costs as provided in 7-32-2141 and 7-32-2143, which must be assessed against the delinquent taxpayer.
(5) On payment of the price bid for any property sold as provided in this section, delivery of the property, with a bill of sale, vests the title of the property in the purchaser.
(6) (a) After sale of the property, the proceeds of the sale must be used first to reimburse the county for all costs and charges incurred in seizing the property and conducting the sale. Any excess, up to the total amount of the taxes owed, must be distributed proportionally to the funds that would have received the taxes if they had been paid before becoming delinquent. Any remaining excess, up to the amount of the penalty and interest owed, must then be distributed proportionally to the fund that would have received the penalty and interest if they had been paid in full.
(b) Any money collected in excess of the delinquent tax, penalties, interest, costs, and charges must be returned to the person owning the property prior to the sale, if known. If the person does not claim the excess immediately following the sale, the treasurer shall deposit the money in the county treasury for a period of 1 year from the date of sale. If the person has not claimed the excess within 1 year from the date of sale, the county treasurer shall deposit the amount in the county general fund and the person has no claim to it.
(7) Any property seized for the purpose of liquidating a delinquency by a tax sale that remains unsold following a sale may be left at the place of sale at the risk of the owner.
(8) The provisions of this section do not apply to property for which delinquent property taxes have been suspended or canceled under the provisions of Title 15, chapter 24, part 17.
(9) The county commission, in its discretion, may cancel any personal property taxes, including penalty, interest, costs, and charges that remain unsatisfied after the property upon which the taxes were assessed had been seized and sold. If the taxes are canceled, one copy of the order of cancellation must be filed with the county clerk and recorder and one copy with the county treasurer."
Section 4. Applicability. [This act] applies to any levy and sale begun after September 30, 1999.
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