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57-02-08.3. Homestead credit for special assessments - Certification - Lien

1. Any person who has qualified for the property tax credit provided for in section 57-02-08.1 may elect to also qualify for an additional homestead credit against that person's homestead for the portion of any special assessment levied by a taxing district which becomes due for the same year. The total amount of credits allowed for any one property must not exceed six thousand dollars excluding any interest charged by the body levying the special assessment. This credit may be granted only at the election of the qualifying person. The person making the election shall do so by filing with the county auditor a claim for the special assessment credit on a form prescribed by the tax commissioner. The claim must be filed with the county auditor on or before February first of the year in which the special assessment installment thereof becomes payable.
 
2. a. By March first of each year, the county auditor of each county shall certify to the state tax commissioner, on forms prescribed by the tax commissioner, the following information:
 
(1) The name and address of each person for whom the special assessment credit provided for in subsection 1 was allowed for the preceding year.
(2) The amount of credit allowed for the special assessment installment thereof due for the preceding year.
(3) The total amount of the special assessment credits due in each special assessment district.
(4) Other information that the tax commissioner requires.
 
b. The tax commissioner shall audit the certifications, make such corrections as may be required, and certify to the state treasurer for payment to each county by June first of each year the sum of the amounts computed by adding the credits allowed for portions of special assessments which were due for each homestead in the county for the preceding year. No more than the portion of special assessments due for the preceding year shall be allowed as a credit for any homestead in any year.
 
c. The county treasurer upon receipt of the payment from the state treasurer shall forthwith apportion and distribute the payment to each special assessment district in the county according to the total credits allowed for each respective special assessment district.
 
d. Supplemental certifications by the county auditor and by the state tax commissioner and supplemental payments by the state treasurer may be made after the dates prescribed herein to make such corrections as may be necessary because of errors therein.
 
3. a. Any credit allowed under subsection 1, plus interest in the amount of nine percent per year from June first of the year for which the special assessment installment for which a credit is taken becomes payable, creates a lien in favor of the state against the property upon which the special assessment credit is allowed and remains a lien upon the property from the time the credit is allowed until the lien is fully satisfied by depositing the amount of the lien in the state general fund. If the amount of the lien exceeds the market value of the property, the state may accept the amount of the market value of the property as payment in full on the lien.
 
b. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a transfer of title to the homestead because of sale, death, or otherwise may not be made without the lien being satisfied. When a credit under subsection 1 is allowed, the county auditor shall cause a notice of lien of record to be filed against subject property with the recorder.
(2) The recorder may not record any deed for property on which the county auditor has determined that there is an unsatisfied lien created under this section, except for a transfer between spouses because of the death of one of them as provided in paragraph 3.
(3) When a transfer occurs between spouses because of the death of one of them, the lien allowed by this section need not be satisfied until the property is again transferred.
 
c. This lien has precedence over all other liens except general tax liens and prior special assessment liens and shall not be divested at any judicial sale. A mistake in the description of the property covered by this lien or in the name of the owner of the property does not defeat the lien if the property can be identified by the description in the special assessment list.