Section 1201 Power: Special Assessments

The City of Takoma Park shall have the power to levy and collect taxes in the form of special assessments upon property in a limited and determinable area for special benefits conferred upon the property by the installation or construction of municipal improvements and to provide for the payment of all or any part of the above project out of the proceeds of such special assessments. The cost of any project to be paid in whole or in part by special assessments shall include the direct cost thereof, the cost of any land acquired for the project, the interest on bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in anticipation of the collection of special assessments, a reasonable charge for the services of the administrative staff of the City, and any other item of cost which may reasonably be attributed to the project.

Section 1202 Special Assessment Procedures

The procedure for special assessments, wherever authorized in this Charter, shall be as follows:

(a)    The cost of the project being charged for shall be calculated, apportioned and levied:

(1)    Equally per front foot, lot, parcel, dwelling unit, or square foot;

(2)    According to the value of the property as determined by the Council; or

(3)    In any other reasonable manner that results in fairly allocating the costs of the project.

(b)    When desirable, the affected property may be divided into different classes to be charged different rates but, except for this, any rate shall be uniform.

(c)    All special assessment charges shall be levied by the Council by ordinance. Before levying any special assessment charges, the Council shall hold a public hearing. The City Manager shall cause notice to be given stating the nature and extent of the proposed project, the kind of materials to be used, the estimated cost of the project, the portion of the cost to be assessed, the number of installments in which the assessment may be paid, the method to be used in apportioning the cost, and the time and place at which all persons interested, or their agents or attorneys, may appear before the Council and be heard concerning the proposed project and special assessment. Such notice shall be given by sending a copy thereof by mail to the owner of record of each parcel of property proposed to be assessed and to the person in whose name the property is assessed for taxation and by publication of a copy of the notice at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The Clerk shall present at the hearing a certificate of publication and mailing of copies of the notice, which certificate shall be deemed proof of notice, but failure of any owner to receive the mailed copy shall not invalidate the proceedings. The date of hearing shall be set at least ten (10) and not more than thirty (30) days after the Clerk shall have completed publication and service of notice as provided in this section. Following the hearing the Council in its discretion, may vote to proceed with the project and may levy the special assessment.

(d)    Any owner of property on which a special assessment has been levied shall have the right to appeal the levy of the special assessment to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County within thirty (30) days after the levying of the special assessment by the Council.

(e)    Special assessments may be made payable in annual or more frequent installments over such period of time, not to exceed forty (40) years, and in such manner as the Council may determine. The Council shall determine on what date installments shall be due and payable. Interest may be charged on installments at the rate to be determined by the Council.

(f)    All special assessment installments shall be overdue thirty (30) days after the date on which they became due and payable. All special assessments shall be liens on the property and all overdue special assessments shall be collected in the same manner as city taxes or by suit at law. Unless otherwise provided in the ordinance, special assessment shall bear the same interest and penalties as other city taxes and shall be subject to the same lien priority and tax sale procedures in case of delinquency as is provided for general city taxes.

(g)    All special assessments shall be billed and collected by the Treasurer or other agent for the City.