42-12052. Review and verification of class three property; civil penalty; appeals
A. Each county assessor shall review assessment information, on a continuing basis, to ensure proper classification of residential dwellings. The assessor may enter into intergovernmental agreements with the department for an exchange of information to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive review and identification of property that may be rented while classified as class three pursuant to section 42-12003.
B. If the assessor has reason to believe that a parcel of property that is classified as class three pursuant to section 42-12003 is not the owner's primary residence or as a qualifying family member residence pursuant to section 42-12053, the assessor shall notify the owner, in a form prescribed by the department as provided by subsection D of this section, and request that the owner respond as to whether the property meets the requirements of section 42-12003 or 42-12053, is a secondary residence or is used as a rental property. If the owner fails to respond to the assessor within thirty days after the notice is mailed, the assessor shall mail the owner a final notice within thirty days requesting that the owner provide information as to whether the property meets the requirements of a primary residence, a secondary residence or is used as a rental property. If the owner fails to respond to the assessor within fifteen days after the final notice is mailed, the assessor shall:
1. Reclassify the property as class four. In addition to other appeal procedures provided by law, the owner of the property that is reclassified as class four under this paragraph may appeal the reclassification to the county board of supervisors within thirty days after the notice of classification is mailed. If the owner proves to the board's satisfaction that the property is occupied as the owner's primary residence, the board shall order the property to be reclassified as class three property pursuant to section 42-12003.
2. Notify the county treasurer, who shall assess a civil penalty against the property equal to the amount of additional state aid paid pursuant to section 15-972 with respect to the property in the preceding tax year. The civil penalty shall not be assessed if the ownership of the property has changed after notification. The owner of the property shall pay a penalty under this paragraph to the county treasurer within thirty days after the notice of the penalty is mailed. The owner may appeal the penalty to the county board of supervisors within the time required for payment. If the owner proves to the board's satisfaction that the property is occupied by the owner, the board shall waive the penalty, and the property shall be listed as class three pursuant to section 42-12003. Until paid or waived, the penalty constitutes a lien against the property. The county treasurer shall deposit all revenue received from penalties assessed under this paragraph in the county general fund.
C. Beginning in 2013 and during each elective term of office thereafter, the county assessor shall send notices under subsection B of this section to each owner of property classified as class three pursuant to section 42-12003 described by any of the following:
1. The owner has a mailing address outside the county in which the property is located.
2. The owner has a mailing address, other than a post office box, that is different than the situs address of the property.
3. The owner has the same mailing address listed for more than one parcel of class three property in this state.
4. The owner appears to be a business entity.
D. The department shall:
1. Prescribe all forms used to notify property owners under this section. The forms shall contain information as to criteria for the reclassification of property and the civil penalties that may result if the owner fails to respond to the notice.
2. Monitor and review the procedures and practices used by assessors and treasurers to accomplish the verification of class three property and the assessment and collection of penalties prescribed by this section and propose suggested improvements to establish uniform processes and performance among the counties.
E. The department may inspect the records of county assessors and county treasurers to determine compliance with the requirements of this section and the accuracy of the classification of owner-occupied residential property and rental property.