☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XVII AGRICULTURE AND ANIMALS

Chapter 262

Effective - 28 Aug 2001 bottom

  262.802.  Abeyance of water and sewer assessments, when — applicability — charges, when paid, amount — notice provided, contents — disputes, procedure. — 1.  This state or any political subdivision of this state shall hold water and sewer assessments in abeyance, without interest, until improvements on such property are connected to the water or sewer system for which the assessment was made.  However, if a political subdivision requires the property to be connected to the sewer system of the political subdivision pursuant to section 644.027, such connection shall not trigger the payment of the assessment.

  2.  The provisions of this section shall apply only to tracts of real property:

  (1)  Comprised of ten or more contiguous acres; and

  (2)  Used for farming purposes.

  3.  At the time improvements on such property are connected to the water or sewer system, the owner shall pay to the political subdivision an amount equal to the proportionate charge for the number of system lines connected to improvements on such property.

  4.  The owner shall not be charged based on the total cost of running the water or sewer system to or across the owner's real property.  Rather, the assessment shall be based on:

  (1)  A reasonable hookup charge;

  (2)  A proportionate charge for the number of improvements requested to be connected to such assessments in relation to the total capacity of the system; and

  (3)  The anticipated proportionate burden to the system.

  5.  The period of abeyance shall end when the property ceases to be used for farming purposes.

  6.  When the period of abeyance ends, the assessment is payable in accordance with the terms set forth in the assessment resolution, so long as such terms are not inconsistent with sections 262.800 to 262.810.  To the extent that such terms are inconsistent, the provisions of sections 262.800 to 262.810 shall control.

  7.  All statutes of limitation pertaining to action for enforcement of payment for assessments shall be suspended during the time that any assessment is held in abeyance without interest.

  8.  In addition to any other federal, state or local requirements concerning assessments for improvements, the political subdivision responsible for assessments shall notify owners of all properties which are proposed to be assessed of the amount proposed to be charged and the terms of payment for each improvement and that the property may be subject to protection according to the provisions of the Missouri farmland protection act.

  (1)  The notice shall:

  (a)  Be provided in writing to the owners and all parties of recorded interest, at the address listed on records of the county for the receipt of real property tax statements for such tract of land;

  (b)  Be sent certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery to addressee;

  (c)  Clearly state the total amount of the proposed assessment for said parcel of real property;

  (d)  State in the body of the letter as follows:

"As owners of the property proposed to be assessed, you have one hundred eighty days from the date of receipt of this notice to accept, in writing, the amount of the assessment stated herein or to dispute the amount by filing an action in the circuit court of the county where the real property is located.  If your property is comprised of ten or more contiguous acres, your property may be eligible for protection from payment of the assessment under the Missouri Farmland Protection Act as provided in chapter 262, RSMo, and you have sixty days from the date of receipt of this notice to notify (the political subdivision proposing the assessment), in writing, of your intent to claim protection for your property under the Act.  Whether or not you claim the protection under the Farmland Protection Act, you have the right to dispute the amount of the assessment in circuit court.";

  (e)  Owners must be given the address for sending notice to the political subdivision with the letter; and

  (f)  A copy of the farmland protection act shall be included with the letter.

  (2)  An owner claiming protection under the farmland protection act does not forfeit the right to contest the amount of the assessment.

  9.  Any owner of property proposed to be assessed who chooses to dispute the amount of the assessment shall file an action disputing the amount of the assessment in the circuit court of the county in which the real property subject to the assessment is located.  The action disputing the assessment must be filed within one hundred eighty days of receipt of the notice in subsection 8 of this section.

  10.  Any political subdivision that disputes the applicability of the farmland protection act to property proposed to be assessed shall file an action in the circuit court of the county in which the real property subject to the assessment is located to dispute the applicability of the farmland protection act to said parcel of real property.  Such action must be filed within thirty days of receipt of the notice of the claim for protection under the farmland protection act.

  11.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as diminishing the authority of counties or other political subdivisions to hold assessments in abeyance.

  12.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to public water supply districts as defined by sections 247.010 to 247.227, except that a public water supply district shall not require payment from landowners whose property is crossed to service another tract of land until any improvement on such property is connected to the rural water supply district.  At the time such connection is made, the provisions of the farmland protection act shall apply.

  13.  In a city with a population of at least four hundred thousand located in more than one county, the assessments on a tract of property entitled to protection pursuant to the provisions of the farmland protection act shall be held in abeyance except that an initial payment of an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars per acre of the tract, up to an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars may be assessed at the time of final judgment concerning the amount of the assessment or upon mutual agreement of the parties as to the amount of the assessment.  In all other respects, the provisions of the farmland protection act shall apply.

  14.  If a political subdivision files any action challenging the constitutionality or to have all or any portion declared null and void or for declaratory judgment of sections 262.800 to 262.810, the state shall be added as a party to any such action and the attorney general of Missouri shall defend such action.  Any owner of property that is subject to the provisions of the farmland protection act shall have the right to be apprised of the status of such action.  If the property owner requests separate representation in writing, the attorney general may appoint a special assistant attorney general if the property owner asserts an argument in conflict with the arguments asserted by the attorney general.  Such special assistant attorney general may continue to represent the property owner for purposes of all appeals.  If the political subdivision fails to prevail, whether in whole or in part, in its action, the entire cost of providing representation to the landowner, including reasonable attorney fees and costs, shall be fully reimbursed to the state of Missouri by the political subdivision.

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(L. 2001 S.B. 462)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2001 ----

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