Utility Billing Fall 2014 Certification Process
June 30 marked the beginning of the Fall 2014 Utility Billing Certification Process. Our cities follow their own business timetable regarding their actual certification steps, and because of the many elements involved it takes almost a full six months for our total membership to complete the Fall process.
The Utility Billing Certification process prepares past due utility bill amounts for assessment against property owner real estate taxes. All of the LOGIS utility billing membership (except Hutchinson Utilities, which bills gas and electric) certify past due utility bill amounts to property taxes. The majority of our members certify these past due amounts in the fall, but there are several that process certifications in the spring as well as the fall of each year.
The Certification process transfers past due utility bill amounts from the originally billed AR’s to certification ‘holding’ AR’s. This action allows the city to identify and closely monitor these past due accounts, create certification letters informing the property owner of the potential certification, and apply administration fees. The certification notification letter to the property owner advises him/her of the potential certification of unpaid services for a specific time period and the date by which they must pay the past due amount if they wish to avoid that amount from being assessed against their real estate property taxes.
The window to process the certification can range from a week to three months, depending on the member’s policies and business practices. Some members move the past due amounts subject to certification immediately to their Special Assessment departments; others leave those past due amounts in the Utility Billing system until it is time for the certification file to be forwarded to the County. The past due amounts that are identified as certifiable to real estate property taxes are removed from the Utility Billing system once the certification file has been forwarded to the member’s Special Assessment department or to the County Assessor’s Office for collection.
When the transfer of the certification file to the County is complete, the County collects the certified amounts as real estate property taxes and becomes responsible to reimburse the member for those amounts, usually at predetermined intervals.
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Category: Utility Billing