Agenda Item # 1
Columbus Consolidated Government
Council Meeting

July 24, 2018

Agenda Report # 11

TO: Mayor and Councilors

SUBJECT: Amnesty Month for Interest and Penalty on Demolition Liens

INITIATED BY: City Manager’s Office

Recommendation: Approval is requested to designate September 2018 as Amnesty Month for Interest and Penalty on Demolition Liens.

Background: Once a property is determined to be a nuisance or in disrepair, which affects the health and welfare of the surrounding community, the owner of the property is notified and required to bring the property into compliance. If the owner does not comply, the property is submitted to City Council to authorize demolition of the property. A lien is placed on the property for the amount paid to the contractor for demolition. The lien accrues interest and penalties monthly. At times, the amount owed on the property can exceed the value of the property.

An Amnesty Month is a limited opportunity for Columbus citizens to pay past due demolition liens with the waiver of interest and penalty. It allows for the potential to help citizens or heirs to these properties who have liens in excess of the property value. Removing liens from the property will allow for the property to potentially return to the tax roll or be sold for infill development.

To take advantage of Amnesty Month, the principal amount of the demolition lien must be paid and all other city liens including property tax liens on the property must be satisfied and cancelled of record.

Analysis: The current principal amount of demolition liens is $2,035,198.35. The represents 340 liens. The amount of accrued interest is an additional $1,101,570.02.

A letter will be included in the August 16, 2018 statement outlining the requirements to participate in the Amnesty Month.

Financial Considerations: Amnesty Month could result in unanticipated revenue collections and removal of outstanding liens on the property.

Projected Annual Fiscal Impact Statement: No ongoing impact.

Legal Considerations: The City Council must approve waiver of interest and penalties on demolition liens.

Recommendations/Actions: Approval is requested to designate September 2018 as Amnesty Month for Interest and Penalty on Demolition Liens.

No. _______


WHEREAS, a demolition lien is placed on a property in accordance with Columbus Code Section 8-85 when the city goes through legal procedures to remove or board up a dilapidated structure; and,

WHEREAS, the accrued interest and penalty can accumulate so that the lien exceeds the property value; and,

WHEREAS, an Amnesty Month is a limited time opportunity for Columbus citizens and heirs to the property to pay past due demolition liens; and,

WHEREAS, Paragraph (5) of Columbus Code Section 8-85 gives the Columbus Council authority to waive demolition liens.


That September 2018 is designated as Amnesty Month and interest and penalties on demolition liens imposed pursuant to Columbus Code Section 8-5 will be forgiven and removed from the Demolition Lien Book upon satisfaction of the following conditions:

1) the principal amount of the demolition lien must be paid in full between September 1 and September 30, 2018; and,

2) the Revenue Division of the Finance Department will confirm that all other City liens including those for property taxes have been satisfied.

Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia, held on the 24th day of July, 2018, and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of members of said council.

Councilor Allen voting __________.
Councilor Baker voting __________.
Councilor Barnes voting __________.
Councilor Davis voting __________.
Councilor Garrett voting __________.
Councilor Huff voting __________.
Councilor Thomas voting __________.
Councilor Turner Pugh voting __________.
Councilor Woodson voting __________.

_______________________________ ________________________
Tiny B. Washington, Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor