Beaumont will add delinquent service payments to county tax rolls | News

A number of property owners seem to have no idea that they owe the city of Beaumont late service fees related to some city services, and Beaumont went ahead and added them as liens on the county’s tax rolls.

At the Aug. 3 Beaumont city council meeting, it was revealed that there are $183,540.02 in outstanding solid waste disposal handling charges, as well as $574,011 in late sewer fees, and some $61,333.50 of back payments awaiting collection for weed abatement services.

Public hearings were held regarding the placement of delinquent sewer charges and solid waste handling service charges on the property tax roll; the city passed a resolution as an action item to order the collection of weed abatement charges to be collected by the county auditor via tax rolls.

During a public hearing on the matter, Councilman David Fenn was curious as to what the city has done to diligently reach out to property owners, since some may not realize they owe the city money.

“My experience in the past as a local real estate agent is often times when a bill gets unpaid like this, it’s sometimes due to the fact that someone has sold their home and there’s new change of ownership, and the new person coming in sees the old homeowner’s name on the bill and just discards it,” causing the bill to become delinquent.

Sue Foxworth spoke on behalf of Waste Management, explaining that a couple of letters go out, and a couple of notices are also published in an adjudicated newspaper; those not caught up by Aug. 3 will be added to the tax roll.

Councilman Rey Santos expressed concern that the city as a public entity is collecting for Waste Management, a private entity.

City Manager Todd Parton explained that “One of the elements in our agreement with Waste Management is that we would Teeter any unpaid balances due at the end of the year to ensure that those revenues could come in. Unpaid balances have an impact on all the ratepayers,” Parton said. “If individuals stop paying their bills, or they are going into arrears, that cost still has to be borne by Waste Management, and it could potentially impact the rate calculations” in future agreements.

“This is a way to ensure that the rate calculations and rate components of the agreements are whole and kept intact. There is a public interest to ensuring that these rates are being paid.”

Santos held his ground and voted against approving the addition of delinquent waste disposal service fees to the tax roll, though it passed 4-1.

The other two measures passed 5-0.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , and messages may be left at (951) 849-4586 x114.