The Finance Department provides administrative direction in all aspects of the general affairs of the City to ensure conformance with legal and professional standards and fiscal prudence, and to provide for the short - and long-term financial needs of the City to ensure its financial viability.
Accounts Payable prepares and distributes checks to vendors for goods and services provided to the City. Accounts payable also provides each City department with all related financial reports and maintains the paid voucher files. Accounts Payable is also responsible for the issuance of IRS Form 1099-Misc Income to all contractors paid by the City. All invoices and statements should be sent to the City department that originated the purchase.
Local Improvement District (LID)
The Local Improvement District (LID) can be used to construct a variety of public improvements such as:
- Parking facilities
- Parks and playgrounds
- Paved alleys
- Sewer systems
- Street lighting systems
- Water systems, etc. within a specified area
The benefiting property owners pay for the improvements. If you wish to initiate a Local Improvement District for your area, please contact the Engineering Department.
Once the work on the LID is completed and the final assessments are accepted by the City Council, the final hearing is held on the LID. After the adoption of the final assessment roll upon completion of the hearing, an ordinance is prepared to confirm the final assessment roll for adoption at the next council meeting.
After adoption, the ordinance is published on the Wednesday following the meeting and becomes effective five days later. A 30 day prepay period begins on the date the ordinance becomes effective. Property owners may pay all or part of their assessment without any interest during the prepay period. After the prepay period, the balance of the assessment roll is financed by the sale of municipal bonds.
The annual due date is the anniversary date of the last day of the 30 days prepay period, and interest is computed annually the day following the installment due date. Each individual LID assessment is billed in annual installments of one-tenth of the original assessment plus interest. Bills are mailed 45 days prior to the installment due date. Part or all of the LID assessment may be paid at any time.
If your LID is delinquent, please email Lisa Wolff. The LID assessment is a lien upon the property. If two installments are delinquent as of January 1 or if the final installment has been delinquent for more than one year, foreclosure proceedings will be commenced after notification by certified mail.
For a LID deferral, the homeowner must apply annually to the Cowlitz County Assessor's Office who administers the program locally for the Washington State Department of Revenue at least 30 days before the payment is due. The City’s bills are mailed 45 days before they are due. This program postpones payment only. The Department of Revenue pays the assessment each year. The amount of the postponed assessment, plus 5% interest, becomes a lien against the property in favor of the state.
To be eligible for a LID deferral, you must:
- Be at least 60 years of age by December 31 of the year you apply.
Be unable to work because of a disability.
- Be at least 57 years of age and the surviving spouse or domestic partner of a person who was receiving a deferral at the time of his/her death.
- Own the home (irrevocable trusts may qualify).
- Provide proof of your age and/or disability with your application.
- Provide proof of annual household income, which may not exceed $40,000. Household income includes your disposable income, that of your spouse and any co-tenants living in your home with an ownership interest. If someone living elsewhere has an ownership interest, the amount of your deferral will be based on the percentage of your interest in the property. Disposable income is computed by adding wages, salaries, tips, social security, pensions, annuities, IRA and Keogh distributions, interest and dividends, business and rental income, and capital gains. You may deduct non-reimbursed amounts paid for prescriptions, nursing homes, in-home care, medical treatment, and medical furniture and equipment from the computation.
- Use the property as your principal residence and you must live in it at least six months each year. You may defer an amount up to 80% (80%) of the equity in your home.
- Provide the Department of Revenue with a copy of your fire and casualty insurance within 60 days of application. It must list the Department of Revenue as a “Loss Payee.” Otherwise, you may only defer an amount based on your equity in the land only. For more information on the Department of Revenue Deferral Program call the State of Washington, Department of Revenue, Property Tax Division at 360-753-1942 or the Cowlitz County Assessors Office at 360-577-3010. Applications are also available from the Cowlitz County Assessor's Office.