(A)   Upon receipt of a notice of deficiency and delinquency, an owner shall have 30 days in which to contest the determination by the city. To contest the violations contained in the notice of deficiency and delinquency, the owner must file a written petition stating specifically any issue which the owner wishes to challenge together with any and all books, records, or other documents or evidence that owner would offer as proof to contradict the findings in the notice of deficiency and delinquency. Such petition and supporting documents or evidence shall be filed in the office for the City Clerk for the City of Metropolis. Failure to timely file the written petition and supporting documents and evidence as aforesaid shall result in a conclusive presumption that the violations were committed by owner as described therein and that all sums claimed to be due by city are correct.
   (B)   Upon timely receipt of a written petition and supporting documents and evidence, the City Treasurer shall schedule a hearing upon the petition. In any such hearing, the city shall be represented by the City Attorney or Corporation Counsel. The owner, may at its sole expense, be represented by an attorney of its choice. Owner shall bear the burden of proof in any such hearing. The City Treasurer or an attorney at law, other than the City Attorney or Corporation Counsel, shall act as the hearing officer. In the event the City Treasurer performed the examination or audit of records, she may need to be called as a witness so an independent attorney at law shall act as hearing officer. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with written rules established by the City Treasurer similar to rules for other civil proceedings. Evidence shall be taken by sworn testimony and the production of authenticated documents. The strict rules of evidence shall not apply and hearsay or other evidence which might not be admitted in a court of law may be admitted in these hearings provided the same is relevant, material, and some proof of its reasonable reliability is offered. A complete record of the hearing shall be taken and prepared by a licensed or certified shorthand reporter or by a reliable electronic recording device and a transcript of the hearing shall be produced upon payment of the cost for such production by the party requesting it.
   (C)   Following the hearing, the City Treasurer shall issue a written decision which shall set forth the Treasurer’s factual findings, decision, and order regarding the issues raised by the owner in the petition. The findings, decision, and order of the Treasurer shall be subject to review by the Circuit Court of the First Judicial Circuit for Massac County, Illinois in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Review Law (ILCS Ch. 735, Act 5, §§ 3-101, et seq.). After expiration of the period of time within which judicial review under the administrative review law may be sought for a final determination of a violation of this subchapter, the City may commence a proceeding in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial Circuit for Massac County, Illinois for purposes of reducing the findings, decision, and order to a judgment.
   (D)   Nothing set forth herein shall preclude city from pursuing any and all other remedies for the enforcement of this subchapter and the collection of any taxes due it without first using the administrative procedures provided herein; including without limitation a civil action against the owner to recover judgment for all taxes, penalties, interest, costs of collection, costs of suit and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(Ord. 2016-12, passed 8-22-2016)