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Housing Authority Disputes Fire Taxes
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Riverbank City Council members agreed Monday to make a partial payment of $47,764 of what the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District claims is due it as special property tax assessments on the Riverbank Housing Authority's downtown apartments for senior and disabled citizens.

The Stanislaus County Tax Collector claims that the Housing Authority owes the Fire District in all about $132,000 in taxes and penalties for non-payment back to the year 2005-2006. But Riverbank's Director of Finance Marisela Hernandez recommended paying only a small portion at this point to avoid depletion of general fund reserves.

Attorneys of the Fire District and the Housing Authority disagree on whether the apartments can legally be assessed for property taxes under Article 13D of the California State Constitution.

On the recommendation of City Attorney Tom Hallinan, the city council seemed inclined to pay the back taxes but was against paying penalties.

Hallinan and the council called for a meeting of representatives for the four parties involved, the City, the Housing Authority, the Fire District and the Stanislaus County Tax Assessor before proceeding further.