Eva Knott 10:44 a.m., May 18
Residents in Golden Hill and South Park are finally receiving refund checks for assessments they paid to what was ruled an illegal maintenance assessment district. There is one problem; the checks do not include the first year's (2007-2008) assessments. The reason, says the City Attorney's Office, is a four-year statute of limitations.
Just bad timing, well, not exactly. The four-year deadline ran out before the City had even posted the forms needed for refunds. According to one resident, those forms were not made available until May 8, three months after Superior Court Judge Richard Whitney released his final decision.
It wouldn't have mattered all that much even if the forms were available. Residents would have needed to submit claims for the first installment of annual property taxes by December 2011, months before Judge Whitney had issued his final decision on February 8.
As for the deadline for second installment, that date was April 2012. Unfortunately for residents who fought so long and hard to prove the district was ill-conceived, the City Attorney was in no rush to respond to the judge's ruling. In a March 20 email, a spokesperson for the City Attorney said the office had not opined on the decision. Council later accepted the ruling at a April 8 council meeting.
I am waiting to hear from the City Attorney's Office on the statute and whether pending litigation extends that statute.