Don Bauder 6:07 a.m., May 21
Reneging on refunds
Another deadline looms for Greater Golden Hill residents to receive refunds
The clock is ticking for the residents of Golden Hill and South Park to receive refunds for the illegally-formed maintenance assessment district. If residents don't file refund forms with the City by December 10, then the four-year statute of limitations that the City has imposed will run out and residents will forfeit the money they paid for the December 2008 property bill.
On April 9, 2012, the San Diego City Council dissolved the Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District once and for all.
The announcement was made just one day before the expiration of the four-year statute of limitations by the City.
Many residents were unaware of the deadline to file. And why wouldn't they be when representatives from the City Attorney's office had been telling them the assessments were not subject to the deadline?
"In case you haven't yet realized it, a special assessment IS NOT A TAX and is not subject to a four year statute of limitations for refunds..." wrote San Diego City Attorney Carmen Brock to a lawyer for the residents on January 25, 2012.
"It would be nice if you figured out what area of law applies before you accuse the City of wrongly performing its duties to its citizens. The accusations are offensive to all of us who work hard on behalf of the citizens."
Just four months later, on May 10, councilmember Todd Gloria, gave residents another story.
"Please allow 4-6 weeks for the Economic Development Department to process and investigate your claim. City staff will accept your Claim Form up to four years from your last posted payment. (If you paid your last assessment fee in December 2010, you have until December 2014 to file your form.)
"Thank you for your patience throughout this process. I am hopeful that with the conclusion of these events, we will have a stronger, more unified neighborhood."