Chapter 4.40
ASSESSMENT DISTRICTS WITHIN SERVICE AREAS

Sections:

4.40.010    Authority to assess.

4.40.020    Methods of initiating district.

4.40.030    Report by manager.

4.40.040    Protest.

4.40.050    Public hearing – Assembly action.

4.40.060    Modification or abandonment of improvement after district formation.

4.40.070    Assessment roll.

4.40.080    Public hearing – Confirmation of roll.

4.40.090    Payment.

4.40.100    Reassessment.

4.40.110    Objection and appeal.

4.40.120    Dissolution of assessment district.

4.40.130    Costs of improvement – Assessable costs.

4.40.140    Allocation of assessable costs.

4.40.150    Notice.

4.40.010 Authority to assess.

A. In accordance with this chapter, the assembly may form assessment districts consisting of all the property benefited by capital improvements and assess against the benefited property all or part of the cost of construction, (or) improving, operating, or maintaining the capital improvements.

B. A property that is unable to be served by a capital improvement because of topography or distance shall not be assessed for operation and maintenance.

C. The assembly may assess any benefited property, notwithstanding that the property otherwise by law is exempt from taxation, except as provided in AS 29.45.030. [Ord. 81-14-O §1, 1981; Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.020 Methods of initiating district.

An assessment district may be initiated by:

A. Filing with the clerk a petition to form the district, signed by the owners of more than one-half, in value, of the property to be benefited by the proposed improvement; or

B. A majority vote of the assembly. [Ord. 98-04 §2, 1998; Ord. 84-61-O §10, 1984; Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.030 Report by manager.

For every assessment district that is initiated, the manager shall report to the assembly regarding the need for, the desirable extent of, and the estimated cost of the proposed improvement. The manager shall present the report to the assembly no later than the time of the public hearing on the proposed improvement. [Ord. 98-04 §2, 1998; Ord. 84-61-O §10, 1984; Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.040 Protest.

A. Any owner of property within a proposed assessment district may protest as to the necessity of the improvement to be constructed therein. A protest is effective only if filed with the clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the last day the borough offices are open prior to the day of the public hearing under KIBC 4.40.050. Once a petition to initiate an assessment district has been filed, no signer of the petition may withdraw from the petition except by filing a protest in accordance with this section.

B. If the owners of property which will bear 50 percent or more of the amount assessed for the improvement protest the improvement in accordance with subsection A of this section, the assembly may not proceed with the improvement unless:

1. The number of protests has been reduced so as to represent property which will bear less than 50 percent of the amount assessed for the improvement; or

2. At least three-fourths of the assembly approves proceeding with the improvement. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.050 Public hearing – Assembly action.

A. The assembly shall hold a public hearing on the necessity of the proposed improvement. After the public hearing, the assembly shall, by resolution, determine whether to proceed with the proposed improvement.

B. The assembly may determine to increase or decrease the extent of the proposed improvement or the number of properties benefited thereby; provided, that if the assembly determines to proceed with an improvement of greater extent or benefiting more properties than proposed, the determination to proceed shall be treated as the initiation of an assessment district by the assembly under KIBC 4.40.020.

C. Where a determination to proceed is not treated as the initiation of an assessment district by the assembly under subsection B of this section, the determination shall be in the form of a resolution forming an assessment district. The resolution shall find that the proposed improvement is necessary and of benefit to the properties to be assessed, and that the district was initiated in accordance with KIBC 4.40.020. The resolution shall describe the improvement and its location, the properties to be assessed, and the method of allocating the improvement cost among the benefited properties. The assembly’s findings as to compliance with KIBC 4.40.020 and as to the necessity of the proposed improvement shall be conclusive. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.060 Modification or abandonment of improvement after district formation.

A. If the assembly finds that it is in the best interest of the borough to do so, it may, after holding a public hearing, reduce the extent of the improvement as described in the resolution forming the assessment district, and modify its determination of the properties benefited by the improvement accordingly.

B. If the assembly determines it is in the best interest of the borough to do so, it may, after holding a public hearing, approve a resolution terminating work on the public improvement and dissolving the assessment district. If a district is dissolved under this subsection, no assessment may be levied pursuant thereto, but the costs incurred for the improvement before the dissolution may be assessed as costs of the improvement under any subsequent assessment district under which the improvement is completed. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.070 Assessment roll.

After the improvement has been completed, and the costs of the improvement determined, the manager shall prepare an assessment roll for the district. The roll shall describe the properties to be assessed and name their owners in accordance with the current records of the assessor, and state the amount assessed against each property. [Ord. 98-04 §2, 1998; Ord. 84-61-O §10, 1984; Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.080 Public hearing – Confirmation of roll.

A. After the assessment roll is completed, the assembly shall hold a public hearing at which any owner of property to be assessed may object to the roll by presenting evidence of errors and inequalities in the roll. After the public hearing, the assembly may correct any error or inequality in the assessment roll. When the roll is finally determined, the clerk shall so certify.

B. After the public hearing and final determination of the assessment roll, the assembly shall enact a resolution confirming the roll and levying assessments in accordance therewith, and establishing a schedule for paying the assessments. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.090 Payment.

A. The resolution confirming and levying may require payment of assessments in one sum or in installments, but no sum or installment may exceed 25 percent of the assessed value of the property against which it is levied, and no assessment payment shall be due sooner than 60 days after enactment of the resolution confirming and levying assessments.

B. Installment payments shall bear interest. In the resolution confirming and levying assessments, the assembly shall set the rate of interest. Installment payments shall be applied first to accrued interest, then to principal.

C. Within 30 days of enactment of the resolution confirming and levying assessments, the director of finance shall mail a statement to the owner of record of each property assessed. The statement shall designate the property, the assessment amount, the time payments are due, and the penalties for past due payments.

D. Penalties and interest on past due assessment payments are the same as for real property taxes. Assessments are liens upon the property assessed and are prior and paramount to all liens except municipal tax liens. They may be enforced in the manner provided for real property tax liens. [Ord. FY06-11 §2, 2006; Ord. 85-31-O §1, 1985; Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.100 Reassessment.

A. The assembly shall within one year correct any deficiency in a special assessment found by a court.

B. Notice and hearing must conform to the initial assessment procedures.

C. Payments on the initial assessment are credited to the property upon reassessment.

D. The reassessment becomes a charge upon the property notwithstanding failure to comply with any provision of the assessment procedure. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.110 Objection and appeal.

A. The regularity or validity may not be contested by a person who did not file with the clerk a written objection to the assessment roll before its confirmation.

B. The decision of the assembly upon an objection may be appealed to the superior court within 30 days of the date of confirmation of the assessment roll.

C. If no objection is filed or an appeal taken within the time provided in this section, the assessment procedure shall be considered regular and valid in all respects. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.120 Dissolution of assessment district.

An assessment district may be dissolved by assembly resolution at any time after all assessments have been paid. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.130 Costs of improvement – Assessable costs.

A. The costs of an improvement shall include the cost of acquiring interests in real property for the improvement, design, engineering and contract administration, administrative overhead, bond costs and interest incurred to finance the improvement, and all other costs incurred in constructing the improvement.

B. The cost of an improvement that is assessable under this chapter shall be the total cost of the improvement under subsection A of this section, less the amount of any grant funds that the borough uses to defray the cost of the improvement. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.140 Allocation of assessable costs.

In the resolution forming an assessment district, the assembly may adopt any of the following methods which the assembly finds will allocate the assessable costs among the benefited properties proportionally to the benefit that the improvement will confer on each:

A. Allocation of costs on a zone basis;

B. Allocation of costs on a per-front-foot basis;

C. Allocation of costs on a per-square-foot basis;

D. Allocation of costs on a per-lot basis; or

E. Allocation of costs on any other basis that reasonably relates the costs assessed to the benefit received from the improvement. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].

4.40.150 Notice.

A. Notice of any public hearing required under this chapter shall be given in accordance with subsections B and C of this section.

B. Forms of notice of a public hearing, as follows:

1. Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the borough at least once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to the public hearing; and

2. Mailing at least 15 days before the public hearing to all record owners of property proposed to be assessed under the assessment district. As used in this subsection, “record owner” means the person or persons listed as the owner of the property on the current property tax records of the assessor. The notice shall be mailed to the record owner at the address stated in the current property tax records of the assessor.

C. Every notice of a public hearing required by this section shall state the date, time, location and purpose of the public hearing, describe the improvement, and, for the notice by mail, state the amount of the estimated or actual assessment against the property of the addressee. The notice by mail shall generally inform the addressee of the manner and method of protesting or objecting to the action to be taken at the public hearing.

D. The failure of any person to receive any notice required by this chapter, where the records of the borough indicate the notice was provided in a timely and proper manner, shall not affect the validity of any proceeding under this chapter. [Ord. 80-29-O §1, 1980].