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File #: RES. 2021-R085    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
File created: 12/14/2021 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/10/2022 Final action: 1/10/2022
Title: To request that the Council Chief of Staff cause the preparation of a study of the City's delinquent tax sale program.
Patrons: Vice President Robertson, Ann-Frances Lambert
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 2021-R085

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To request that the Council Chief of Staff cause the preparation of a study of the City’s delinquent tax sale program.

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WHEREAS, the City is authorized to conduct a delinquent tax sale program pursuant to section 58.1-3965 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, which provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen any taxes on any real estate in a locality are delinquent on December 31 following the second anniversary of the date on which such taxes have become due, or, in the case of real property upon which is situated (i) any structure that has been condemned by the local building official pursuant to applicable law or ordinance; (ii) any nuisance as that term is defined in § 15.2-900; (iii) any derelict building as that term is defined in § 15.2-907.1; or (iv) any property that has been declared to be blighted as that term is defined in § 36-49.1:1, the first anniversary of the date on which such taxes have become due, such real estate may be sold for the purpose of collecting all delinquent taxes on such property;”  and

WHEREAS, the City Auditor conducted an audit of the City’s delinquent tax tale program and the findings of such audit were presented to the City Council in a document entitled “Audit Report #2021-10, Delinquent Real Estate Tax Sale Audit,” prepared by the City Auditor, and dated February 22, 2021, which made recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the City’s administration of its delinquent tax sale program; and

WHEREAS, it is the opinion of the Council that further study should be conducted of the City’s delinquent tax sale program in light of the findings presented in the document entitled “Audit Report #2021-10, Delinquent Real Estate Tax Sale Audit,” prepared by the City Auditor, and dated February 22, 2021, for the purpose of identifying any aspects of the City’s delinquent tax sale program in need of equitable improvements; and

                     WHEREAS, the Council believes that it is in the best interests of the residents of the City of Richmond that the Council request that the Council Chief of Staff cause the preparation of a study of the City’s delinquent tax sale program authorized by section 58.1-3965 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, and to seek, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, the assistance of Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University in connection therewith;

NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND:

                     That the Council hereby requests that the Council Chief of Staff cause the preparation of a study of the City’s delinquent tax sale program authorized by section 58.1-3965 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, and to seek, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, the assistance of Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University in connection therewith.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

                     That the study requested by this resolution shall include the following:

                     1.                     Analysis of the publicly available financial and economic data of the purchasers of properties sold at the City’s delinquent tax sale auctions.

                     2.                     Identification of who has benefited from and who has been negatively affected by the City’s delinquent tax sale program.

                     3.                     A review of the context and demographics of the owners whose properties have been sold through the City’s delinquent tax sale program.

                     4.                     Evaluation of the data collected during performance of the study for which this resolution calls using a process for analyzing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on underserved and marginalized individuals and groups.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

                     That the Council Chief of Staff shall cause the findings of this study requested by this resolution to be submitted to the Council both in written form and by oral presentation by no later than February 28, 2022.