Division 2. Other Assessments, Taxes and Fees

Chapter 8.32
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES

Sections:

8.32.010    Purpose.

8.32.020    Initiation.

8.32.030    Resolution of necessity.

8.32.040    Objections to proposed improvement.

8.32.050    Ordinance to proceed.

8.32.060    Ordinance of assessment.

8.32.070    Notice of assessment ordinance.

8.32.080    Reassessment.

8.32.090    Collection of assessments.

8.32.100    Expenses included in capital improvement cost.

8.32.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the establishment of special assessment procedures by the borough in accord with state law. (Ord. 2016-40 § 55, 2016; amended during 1993 republication; Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.010.)

8.32.020 Initiation.

An improvement proposal may be initiated by:

A. A petition to the borough clerk signed by the owners of one-half in value of the property to be benefitted; or

B. The borough assembly by resolution. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.020.)

8.32.030 Resolution of necessity.

A. When a petition has been filed with the borough clerk and presented to the assembly or when the assembly desires to make improvements under this chapter, the assembly may authorize the mayor to prepare plans, specifications, profiles and estimated costs of the proposed improvements. After the plans, specifications, profiles and estimated cost of the improvement have been filed with the borough clerk, the clerk shall set a date for public hearing on the resolution. After the hearing, the assembly may declare the necessity for such improvement by the passage of such a resolution of necessity.

B. The resolution of necessity shall:

1. State the nature and location of the improvement and the lands to be assessed for the improvement;

2. Approve the plans, specifications, profiles and estimated costs of the proposed improvement;

3. State the method of levying the special assessment;

4. State the number of annual installments of the special assessments;

5. State whether or not bonds will be issued in anticipation of the collection of the special assessments;

6. Provide for the preparation of an estimated assessment roll in accordance with the method of assessment set forth showing the amount of the assessment against each lot or parcel to be assessed. Such estimated assessment shall be filed in the office of the borough clerk.

C. Upon passage of a resolution of necessity and the filing of the estimated assessment roll, the borough clerk shall:

1. Hold the estimated assessment roll open for public inspection;

2. Notify the owners of record of the lots and parcels of land to be assessed for the proposed improvement of the following: the passage of the resolution of necessity, the place of filing of the estimated assessment roll, and the procedure for presenting objections.

D. Notice under subsection (C) of this section shall be mailed by certified mail addressed to each owner at his last known address or to the address where tax bills are sent. If it appears that an owner cannot be found, such owners shall be notified by publication of the notice once in a newspaper of general circulation within the borough. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.030.)

8.32.040 Objections to proposed improvement.

A. The owner of any lot or parcel of land who objects to the amount or apportionment of, or the assessment against the land as set forth in the estimated assessment roll, shall file such objection, in writing, with the borough clerk within 30 days from the date of completion of the notice required by FNSBC 8.32.030(C).

B. In the event any owner of any lots or parcels of land to be assessed submit written objection to the amount or apportionment against the lots or parcels, the clerk shall notify by mail the persons objecting of the time and place for a hearing. This hearing shall be held before the borough mayor or his designee who shall hear and review all objections to the estimated assessment roll which have been filed under subsection (A) of this section. The results of this hearing shall be submitted to the assembly prior to proceeding with these procedures.

C. In the event that written objections are filed by owners of lots or parcels bearing one-half or more of the estimated costs of the improvement, the assembly may not proceed with the improvement unless it either revises the plan and the objections are reduced to less than 50 percent, or it approves the plan by at least three-fourths of the assembly. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.040.)

8.32.050 Ordinance to proceed.

A. The assembly shall, after the expiration of the time for filing written objections, determine whether or not it will proceed with the proposed improvements.

B. In the event the assembly determines to proceed, it shall pass an ordinance to proceed which shall:

1. State the intentions of the borough to proceed with the improvement in accordance with the provisions of the resolution of necessity adopted under FNSBC 8.32.030;

2. Adopt an estimated assessment roll;

3. Authorize the mayor to proceed with the construction of the improvement;

4. Require the clerk to record in the district recorder’s office a copy of the ordinance to proceed and the estimated assessment roll.

C. After passage of an ordinance to proceed, the improvement may be constructed by force account or by contract, but in a manner provided by law.

D. In the event that the lowest and best bid for labor and materials for the improvement exceeds the estimated cost for labor and materials by 15 percent or more, then no contract shall be entered into without assembly approval. Prior to such approval, the clerk shall publish notice once in a newspaper of general circulation within the borough specifying the time and place when the owners of property to be assessed for the improvement may be heard on the question and shall, by regular mail, notify affected property owners of the time and place when they may be heard on the question. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.050.)

8.32.060 Ordinance of assessment.

A. After the actual cost of the public improvements authorized under FNSBC 8.32.050 has been ascertained, the borough assembly shall by ordinance assess against each lot and parcel of lands enumerated in the estimated assessment roll adopted under FNSBC 8.32.050. The final assessment roll shall be developed in the same proportion to the estimated assessment roll as the actual cost of the improvement bears to the estimated cost of the improvement. This assessment shall be payable in the manner provided in the resolution of necessity adopted under FNSBC 8.32.030, and shall be final upon the adoption of the ordinance.

B. The assessment roll made under this section shall be filed with the borough assembly at the time of the introduction of said ordinance of assessment and shall be open to public inspection.

C. Prior to adoption of the ordinance of assessment, the assembly shall:

1. Fix a time to hear objections to the assessment roll;

2. Provide that the borough clerk publish notice of the filing of the assessment roll once in a newspaper of general circulation within the borough stating that such assessment has been made and is on file in the office of the borough clerk, and also stating the time and place for the hearing of objections;

3. Provide that the borough clerk notify the owners of record of the lots and parcels of the land to be assessed for the improvement by regular mail not less than 10 days before the hearing; the notice shall include notice of individual assessment and notice of the time and place of the hearing. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.060.)

8.32.070 Notice of assessment ordinance.

A. Within 15 days after the adoption of an ordinance under FNSBC 8.32.060 levying a special assessment, the finance director shall mail a statement to the owner of record of each property assessed. The statement shall designate the property, the assessment amount, the time of delinquency and penalties.

B. Within five days after the statements are mailed, the finance director shall publish a notice that such assessments have been mailed and that the assessment roll is on file in the office of the borough clerk.

C. After adoption of an ordinance under FNSBC 8.32.060 levying a special assessment, the clerk shall file in the office of the district recorder an appropriate notice of assessment on all lands assessed. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.070.)

8.32.080 Reassessment.

When it appears to the assembly that a special assessment is invalid or when an assessment is adjudged to be illegal by a court, the assembly shall order a reassessment whether the improvement has been made or not. Proceedings for a reassessment and for the collection thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as if provided for the original assessment. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.080.)

8.32.090 Collection of assessments.

A. When any special assessments are levied under this chapter, the finance director, on or before the first Monday in May of each year, shall prepare a list of such assessments stating the amounts and time of payment. Such assessments shall be placed upon the tax roll and collected in the same manner and at the same time as other borough taxes are collected. In no case shall an assessment be added to the assessment list unless at least 60 days have intervened between the date of the passage of the ordinance making the levy and the time of preparation of the assessment list provided for in this chapter.

B. All assessments are liens upon the property assessed and are prior and paramount to all liens except borough tax liens. They may be enforced as provided in state law.

C. In placing any assessment on the tax list, the mayor may authorize the finance director to add to each assessment such charge as he deems necessary to defray the expense of collecting it. The amount of the collection fee shall in no case exceed three percent of each assessment. (Ord. 2016-40 § 56, 2016; Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.090.)

8.32.100 Expenses included in capital improvement cost.

The cost of any capital improvement to be paid for in whole or in part by funds derived from special assessments may include but not be limited to:

A. The purchase price of real estate or any interest thereon when acquired by purchase;

B. The cost of preliminary and other surveys;

C. The cost of preparing plans, specifications, profiles and estimates;

D. The cost of printing, serving and publishing notices, resolutions and ordinances;

E. The cost of labor and material, whether furnished by contract or force account;

F. Interest on bonds and notes issued in anticipation of the levy and collection of the special assessments;

G. The total amount of damages, resulting from the improvement assessed in favor of any owner of lands affected by the improvement and interest thereon;

H. The costs incurred in connection with the preparation, levy and collection of the special assessment, including legal expenses incurred by reason of the improvements;

I. Incidental costs directly connected with the improvement. (Ord. 80-16 § 3, 1980. 2004 Code § 3.05.100.)