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      RS 40:1505     


§1505. Parcel fee; submission to voters

            A.(1) Each district may levy and collect a parcel fee within its boundaries which shall not exceed one hundred dollars per parcel per year, which parcel fee shall be imposed by resolution or ordinance of the governing authority of the district only after the question of the imposition of the parcel fee and the purpose, rate, and duration of the parcel fee has been approved by a majority of the voters of the district voting at an election held therein. The proceeds of such parcel fee shall be expended for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, maintaining and operating fire protection facilities and equipment, including the cost of obtaining water for fire protection purposes and salaries of firemen, and all purposes incidental thereto. Any parcel fee imposed pursuant to this Section shall be levied and collected and be due and owing annually. Such fee may be carried on the tax rolls for the parish in which such district is located and collected at the same time as parish ad valorem taxes.

            (2) If any parcel fee is not paid when due, such district shall proceed against the parcel for the collection of the amount of the fee unpaid and delinquent, any collection costs incurred by such district plus interest at a rate not exceeding twelve percent on the unpaid amount of the parcel fee, and in the event legal proceedings are necessary to effect collection, court costs and reasonable attorney's fees. However, attorney's fees shall be payable by the parcel owner only if demand by the governing authority of such district has been made on the parcel owner by registered or certified mail, and such parcel owner has failed to pay the amount due within ten days after such demand.

            (3) A judgment obtained for nonpayment of a parcel fee, upon being recorded in the mortgage records in the parish in which a district is located, shall prime all other liens except those for taxes and prior recorded local or special assessments. If there are one or more property mortgages on such parcel and the mortgage holder or holders have notified the tax collector in the parish of such recorded mortgage in accordance with the requirements of R.S. 47:2180.1, the district, prior to proceeding against such parcel for failure to pay a parcel fee, shall give notice to each mortgagee of the amount of the parcel fee due and owing on such parcel and that such parcel fee must be paid within twenty days after the mailing of the notice or proceedings will be commenced against the parcel. The notice shall be sent to each such mortgage holder by certified mail, return receipt requested, or made by personal or domiciliary service on such mortgage holder.

            (4) Alternatively, the lien authorized by this Subsection may be enforced by assessing the amount of the lien against the immovable as a tax against the immovable, to be enforced and collected as any ordinary property tax lien to be assessed against the property. The lien may be collected in the manner fixed for collection of taxes and shall be subject to the same civil penalties for delinquencies. After the governing authority of a fire protection district has incurred such costs and expenses as constitute the lien on the property, including any cost of court, attorney fees, and interest, the governing authority may send an attested bill of such costs and expenses to the assessor of the parish in which such district is located, who shall add the amount of the bill to the next tax bill of the property owner. The lien shall prime all other liens or privileges against the property, except other tax liens, filed after the statement specified in this Subsection is filed with the recorder of mortgages, regardless of the date on which the lien is perfected.

            B.(1) Each district may incur debt and issue bonds payable from an irrevocable pledge and dedication of all or a portion of the proceeds of a parcel fee, provided, however, that the question of funding said proceeds into bonds shall have been approved by a majority of the voters of the district voting at an election held therein and the State Bond Commission has approved the issuance of the bonds. The question or proposition with respect to the funding of the proceeds of the parcel fee into bonds may be voted upon at the election held to authorize the imposition of the parcel fee or may be submitted at a separate election held for that purpose. The maturities of the bonds shall be so arranged that the total amount of principal and interest falling due in any year, together with that falling due in such year on all bonds theretofore issued payable from such parcel fee, shall not exceed eighty percent of the estimated proceeds to be received from the levy of such parcel fee in the calendar year in which the bonds are issued.

            (2) The bonds may be sold at public or private sale and shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of a resolution adopted by the governing authority of the district, provided, however, the bonds shall mature over a period not to exceed the period for which the parcel fee, the proceeds of which are to be used to pay principal and interest on the bonds, is authorized. The bonds and the income therefrom shall be exempt from taxation by the state and by any parish, municipality, or political subdivision thereof.

            C. Each district may incur debt and issue certificates of indebtedness pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 33:2921 to R.S. 33:2925, inclusive, subject to the approval of the State Bond Commission.

            D.(1) A "parcel" as used in this Section shall mean a lot, a subdivided portion of ground or an individual tract upon which is located, either in whole or in part, a residential or commercial structure, regardless of the structure's being occupied or unoccupied.

            (2)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, within Fire Protection District 8-C in Lafourche Parish, the term "parcel" shall also mean each improved portion of ground upon which a residential or commercial structure has been or may be situated and to which a mailing address has been assigned by a local governmental subdivision, a landowner, or a lessor.

            (b) In the case of mobile home parks or other commercial property where spaces are leased for residential or commercial structures, the landowner is responsible for the parcel fee for each portion of ground described in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph.

            (c) No parcel fee shall be levied on any parcel defined in this Paragraph unless the question of levying such fee has been approved by a majority of the registered voters of the district who vote on the proposition at an election held for that purpose in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code. Any such parcel fee shall be imposed by resolution or ordinance of the governing authority of the district.

            Acts 1988, No. 402, §1, eff. July 10, 1988; Acts 1992, No. 538, §1; Acts 2015, No. 292, §1.

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