Chapter 98

98-1.    Definitions.

98-2.    Defraying cost of public improvements.

98-3.    Initiation of improvement—By petition.

98-4.    Same—By resolution of council.

98-5.    Resolution necessary.

98-6.    Preparation of special assessment roll.

98-7.    Filing of roll and mayor’s report; notice of hearing.

98-8.    Hearing; objections; changes; determination of necessity; confirmation of assessment roll; deviation from plans.

98-9.    Roll final and conclusive.

98-10.    Objections by majority of property owners; necessity of five council votes.

98-11.    Lien; installment payments; interest.

98-12.    Payment of assessment in full.

98-13.    Collection by city treasurer; fees.

98-14.    Payment of installments; computation of interest.

98-15.    Certification of cost by city clerk.

98-16.    Insufficient assessments; procedure.

98-17.    Surplus assessments.

98-18.    Divided lots; apportionment of assessment.

98-19.    Invalid or illegal assessment; procedure.

98-20.    Irregularities or informalities; court judgment.

98-21.    Public hazard or nuisance, assessment.

98-22.    Single lot assessment.

98-23.    Determination of single lot assessment; spreading on tax roll.

98-24.    Additional procedure.

98-25.    Combination of projects.

98-1 Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Cost, when referring to the cost of any public improvement, means and includes the cost of services, plans, condemnation, spreading of rolls, notices, advertising, financing construction, legal fees, interest on special assessment bonds for not to exceed one year, and all other costs incident to the making of such improvement, the special assessments therefor and the financing thereof.

Public improvement means any public work or public improvement, including but not limited to construction, reconstruction, repair, operating and maintenance of any structure or street, work in the nature of public improvement, demolition and clearing, trash and debris removal, weed cutting, public right-of-way improvement, hazard and public nuisance abatement, construction and reconstruction of drains and sewers, removal of snow, ice, obstructions, encumbrances and encroachments, for which any part of the cost is to be assessed against one or more lots or parcels to be specially benefitted thereby within a district (special assessment district) in the vicinity of such improvement as determined by the city council under this chapter.

(Code 1985, § 2-59)

Cross referenceDefinitions generally, § 1-2.

98-2 Defraying cost of public improvements.

The entire cost and expense, or any part thereof, of all public improvements may be defrayed by special assessment upon the lands specially benefitted by the improvement in the manner provided in this chapter.

(Code 1985, § 2-60)

98-3 Initiation of improvement—By petition.

(a)    Initiation of public improvements may be by petition to the city council signed by property owners whose property is subject to be benefitted. Such petition shall be printed on forms approved by the city attorney and shall set forth the location, extent and character of the desired public improvement. If the owners of the majority of the frontage of lands liable to be assessed in any special assessment district, or part of the city which may be constituted a special assessment district, petition the city council for any public improvement, the city shall order such improvements to be made pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter.

(b)    In other cases, public improvements may be made in the discretion of the council by resolution as provided in this chapter. All petitions for public improvements shall be referred to the mayor for report and recommendation. After receiving the mayor’s report and recommendation, the city council shall proceed in the same manner as provided in this chapter for public improvements initiated by the city council.

(Code 1985, § 2-61)

98-4 Same—By resolution of council.

(a)    Proceedings for making public improvements and defraying the entire cost, or any part thereof, by special assessment may be initiated by resolution of the council. Whenever the council shall initially determine to make any public improvement and defray the entire cost and expense thereof, or any part thereof, by special assessment, the council shall by resolution request the mayor to make an investigation of the proposed public improvement and report his findings to the council. Such report shall include an analysis of the following:

(1)    The estimated cost of the proposed public improvement; and

(2)    Plans and specifications for the public improvement.

(b)    There shall also be included in the report of the proposed public improvement under subsection (a) recommendations as to the following:

(1)    The portion of the cost to be borne by the special assessment district and the portion, if any, to be borne by the city at large;

(2)    The extent of the improvement and boundaries of the district;

(3)    The number of installments in which assessments may be paid; and

(4)    Any other facts or recommendations which will aid the council in determining whether the improvements shall be made and how the improvements shall be financed.

(Code 1985, § 2-62)

98-5 Resolution necessary.

No contract or expenditure, except for the necessary procedures of the council and for the preparing of the necessary profiles, plans, specifications and estimates of cost, shall be made for any public improvements, the cost of which is to be paid by a special assessment upon the property specially benefitted thereby, until the council has passed a resolution determining to proceed with such public improvement.

(Code 1985, § 2-63)

98-6 Preparation of special assessment roll.

Upon receipt of the report of the mayor, if the council shall preliminarily determine to proceed with such improvement, it shall by resolution order the report prepared by the mayor filed with the city clerk. In addition, by such resolution, the council shall preliminarily determine to proceed with the public improvement, preliminarily determine the necessity thereof and set forth the nature thereof, preliminarily designate the limits of the special assessment district to be affected and describe the lands to be assessed, preliminarily determine the part or proportion of the cost of the public improvement to be paid by the lands specially benefitted thereby and the part or proportion, if any, to be paid by the city at large for benefit to the city at large, and shall direct the city assessor to make a special assessment roll of the part or proportion of the cost to be borne by the lands specially benefitted according to the benefits received and to report the same to the council.

(Code 1985, § 2-64)

98-7 Filing of roll and mayor’s report; notice of hearing.

(a)    When the special assessment roll shall have been reported to the council, it shall order the special assessment roll filed in the office of the city clerk for public examination along with the report of the mayor required to be made pursuant to section 98-4, and shall fix a date, time and place when the council shall meet to finally determine the nature of the public improvement, the necessity of the public improvement, composition of the district, which shall include the lands and premises included in the district upon which the special assessment is to be levied, to review the roll and to hear complaints. The mayor’s report and the assessment roll shall be open to public inspection for a period of seven days before the hearing required by this section. The city clerk shall give notice of the hearing by the council to determine necessity for the improvement, the composition of the district, to review such special assessment roll and to hear complaints. Notice shall be accomplished by publication at least once in a newspaper printed and circulated in the city at least ten days prior to the time of such meeting. The city clerk shall further cause notice of such meeting to be mailed by first-class mail to each property owner, or party in interest, of the property to be assessed in the special assessment district whose name appears upon the last local tax assessment records as shown by the assessment rolls of the city at least ten days prior to the time of such hearing, notice to be mailed to the addresses shown on the tax records of the city. Such notice shall state that the plans, estimates of cost and special assessment rolls are on file with the city clerk. The last local tax assessment records means the last assessment roll for ad valorem tax purposes which has been reviewed by the local board of review, as supplemented by any subsequent changes in the names or addresses of such owners or parties listed thereon.

(b)    The notice required by this section shall include a statement that appearance and protest at the hearing in the special assessment proceedings is required in order to appeal the amount of the special assessment to the state tax tribunal, and that an owner or party in interest, or his agent, may appear in person at the hearing to protest the special assessment or may file his appearance or protest by letter and his personal appearance shall not be required. The notice shall further include a statement that the owner or any party having an interest in the real property may file a written appeal of the special assessment with the state tax tribunal within 30 days after the confirmation of the special assessment role if that special assessment was protested at the hearing held for the purpose of confirming the role.

(Code 1985, § 2-65)

98-8 Hearing; objections; changes; determination of necessity; confirmation of assessment roll; deviation from plans.

(a)    The council shall meet and hear objections to the public improvement to the special assessment district and the special assessment roll therefor at the time and place appointed, or at an adjourned meeting thereof, and shall consider any objections thereto. The council may revise, correct or amend the plans, estimates of cost, special assessment district and special assessment roll. If any changes shall be made which result in additions to the special assessment district, or increases in the special assessment roll, then a second hearing shall be given in the same manner as required for the first hearing. After the hearing, or second hearing if required, the council may by resolution determine to proceed with the public improvement, determine the necessity thereof, set forth the nature thereof, designate the limits of the special assessment district to be affected, describe the lands to be assessed, and finally determine the part or proportion of the cost of the public improvement to be paid by the lands specially benefitted thereby and the part or portion, if any, to be paid by the city at large for benefit to the city at large. The council may also confirm the special assessment roll with such corrections as it may have made, if any, or may refer it back to the city assessor for revision, or may annul it or any proceedings in connection therewith. After confirmation of the special assessment roll, the council shall direct the city assessor to spread and the treasurer to collect the various sums and amounts appearing therein as directed by the city council. The city clerk shall endorse the date of confirmation upon each special assessment roll.

(b)    No deviation from original plans or specifications as adopted shall be permitted by any officer or employee of the city without authority of the council by resolution. A copy of the resolution authorizing such changes or deviations shall be certified by the city clerk and attached to the original plans and specifications on file in the city clerk’s office.

(Code 1985, § 2-66)

98-9 Roll final and conclusive.

The special assessment roll shall be, upon ratification and confirmation by the city council, final and conclusive.

(Code 1985, § 2-67)

98-10 Objections by majority of property owners; necessity of five council votes.

If at or prior to the final confirmation of any special assessments by the city council more than 50 percent of the number of owners of privately owned real property to be assessed for an improvement, or in the case of paving or similar improvements, more than 50 percent of the number of owners of frontage to be assessed for any such improvement, shall object in writing to the proposed improvement, assessment shall not be made without an affirmative vote of five members of the city council.

(Code 1985, § 2-68)

98-11 Lien; installment payments; interest.

All special assessments contained in any special assessment roll, including any part thereof to be paid in installments, shall from the date of confirmation of such roll constitute a lien upon the respective lots or parcels of land assessed and until paid shall be a charge against the respective owners of the several lots and parcels of land and a debt to the city from the persons to whom they are assessed. Such lien shall be of the same character and effect as the lien created by the Charter for city taxes and shall include accrued interest and fees. No judgment or decree nor act of the council vacating a special assessment shall destroy or impair the lien of the city upon the premises assessed for such amount of the assessment as may be equitably charged against the premises or as by a regular mode of proceeding might be lawfully assessed thereon. All special assessments shall become due upon confirmation of the special assessment roll or in annual installments, not to exceed 20 in number, as the council may determine at the time of confirmation, and, if in annual installments, the council may determine the first installment to be due upon confirmation or upon any other date the council may prescribe, and the subsequent installments annually thereafter. Deferred installments shall bear interest at such rate as the council may prescribe.

(Code 1985, § 2-69)

98-12 Payment of assessment in full.

The whole or any part of any such assessment may be paid in full at any time after the date of confirmation of the special assessment roll without interest or penalty until such date as the council shall prescribe.

(Code 1985, § 2-71)

98-13 Collection by city treasurer; fees.

(a)    Whenever a special assessment roll shall be confirmed and payable, the council shall direct the city clerk to transmit such assessment roll to the city treasurer for collection. The city treasurer shall mail statements of the several assessments to the respective owners of the several lots and parcels of land assessed, as indicated by the records of the city assessor, stating the amount of the assessment and the manner in which it may be paid; provided however, that failure to mail any such statement shall not invalidate the assessment or entitle the owner to an extension of time within which to pay the assessment.

(b)    Each special assessment shall be collected by the city treasurer with the same rights and remedies as provided in the Charter for the collection of taxes, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. All collection fees shall belong to the city and be collectible in the same manner as the collection fee for city taxes.

(Code 1985, §§ 2-70, 2-72)

98-14 Payment of installments; computation of interest.

After the expiration of the period provided in section 98-12 for payment without interest or fees, any installment may be discharged by paying the face amount thereof together with fees and interest thereon from the date of confirmation to the date of payment; provided however, that if the public improvement has been financed by the sale of noncallable bonds or other evidences of indebtedness which are not prepayable, then the interest shall be computed from the date of confirmation to the date upon which such installments would have fallen due had it not been prepaid.

(Code 1985, § 2-73)

98-15 Certification of cost by city clerk.

Upon completion of the improvement, the financing thereof and the payment of the cost thereof, the city clerk shall certify to the council the total cost of such improvement together with the amount of the original roll for such improvement.

(Code 1985, § 2-74)

98-16 Insufficient assessments; procedure.

Should the assessments on any special assessment roll, including the amount assessed to the city at large, prove insufficient for any reason to pay the cost of the improvement for which they were made, then the council may make additional pro rata assessments to supply the deficiency against the city and the several lots and parcels of land in the same ratio as the original assessments, but the total amount assessed against any lot or parcel of land shall not exceed the value of the benefits received from the improvement.

(Code 1985, § 2-75)

98-17 Surplus assessments.

Should the special assessment or the proceeds of the sale of any special assessment bonds prove larger than necessary to meet the costs of the improvement or to meet the principal and interest requirements of any special assessment bonds and expenses incidental thereto, the excess shall be placed in the city treasury. If more than five percent of the costs of the improvement is received, the excess shall be returned pro rata according to assessments, except as otherwise provided in section 98-19. No refunds may be made which contravene the provisions of any evidence of indebtedness secured in whole or in part by such special assessment.

(Code 1985, § 2-76)

98-18 Divided lots; apportionment of assessment.

Should any lots or lands be divided after a special assessment thereon has been confirmed and divided into installments, the city assessor shall apportion the uncollected amounts upon the several lots and lands so divided and inform the city treasurer, and the city treasurer shall enter the several amounts as amendments upon the special assessment roll. The city assessor may adopt an apportionment agreement submitted by all parties in interest of lots and lands so divided. The city treasurer shall, within ten days after such apportionment, send notice of such action to the persons concerned at their last known address by first class mail. Such apportionment shall be final and conclusive on all parties unless protest in writing is received by the city treasurer within 20 days of the mailing of the aforesaid notice.

(Code 1985, § 2-77)

98-19 Invalid or illegal assessment; procedure.

Whenever the council deems any special assessment invalid or defective, or whenever a court adjudges an assessment to be illegal in whole or in part, the council may cause a new assessment to be levied for the same purpose, whether or not the improvement or any part thereof has been completed, or any part of the special assessment collected. All proceedings on such reassessment and for the collection thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as provided for the original assessment. If any portion of the original special assessment is collected and not refunded, it shall be applied upon the reassessment, and the reassessment shall, to that extent, be deemed satisfied. If more than the amount reassessed is collected, the balance shall be refunded to the person making such payment.

(Code 1985, § 2-78)

98-20 Irregularities or informalities; court judgment.

If, in any action, it shall appear that, by reason of any irregularities or informalities, the assessment has not been properly made against the person assessed or upon the lot or premises sought to be charged, a court may nevertheless, on satisfactory proof that expense has been incurred by the city which is a proper charge against the person assessed for the lot or premises in question, render judgment for the amount properly chargeable against such person or upon such lot or premises.

(Code 1985, § 2-79)

98-21 Public hazard or nuisance, assessment.

When any lot, building or structure, because of accumulation of refuse or debris, the uncontrolled growing of weeds, or age or dilapidation, or because of any other condition or happening, becomes a public hazard or nuisance which is detrimental to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the city, or of those residing or habitually going near such lot, building or structure, the city may order such hazard or nuisance abated, or abate such hazard or nuisance, as a public improvement, pursuant to the applicable procedures contained in the Code as found in chapter 58, article II and chapter 122 or as otherwise provided by law and, if the city shall abate same, the cost of such abatement assessed against the lot, premises or description of real property upon which such hazard or nuisance was located shall be made as a single lot assessment.

(Code 1985, § 2-80)

98-22 Single lot assessment.

When any expense shall be incurred by the city upon or in respect to any separate or single lot, parcel of land or premises for which, by the provisions of this article, the council is authorized to charge and collect as a single lot special assessment against the same, and which is not of that class of special assessments required to be made pro rata upon several lots or parcels of land in a special assessment district, and account of the labor or services for which such expense was incurred has been verified by the officer or person performing the labor or services, or causing the same to be done, it shall be reported to the city council in a manner the city council prescribes. The accounting reported to the council shall include a description of the lot or premises on or in respect to which the expense was incurred, the name of the owner or person chargeable therewith, and the cost of labor or services performed. The provisions or the preceding sections of this chapter with reference to pro rata special assessments generally, and the proceedings necessarily to be had before making the improvement, shall not apply to single lot assessments contemplated in this section.

(Code 1985, § 2-81)

98-23 Determination of single lot assessment; spreading on tax roll.

The city council, after review of the single lot assessment accounting, shall determine what amount or part of every such reported expense shall be charged, and the premises upon which the same shall be levied as a single lot special assessment. As often as the city council may deem it expedient, it shall require all of the several amounts so reported and determined and the several lots or premises chargeable therewith, respectively, to be reported by the city clerk to the city assessor, who shall spread such amounts against the real property chargeable therewith on the next tax roll for the collection of real property taxes by the city.

(Code 1985, § 2-82)

98-24 Additional procedure.

In any case where the provisions of this article may prove to be insufficient to carry into full effect the making of any improvement or the special assessment therefor, the city council shall provide any additional steps or procedures required to effect the improvement by special assessment in the resolution declaring the determination of the city council to make such improvement in the first instance.

(Code 1985, § 2-83)

98-25 Combination of projects.

The city council may combine several special assessment districts into one project for the purpose of effecting a savings in cost. There shall be established for each district separate funds and accounts to cover the cost of such project.

(Code 1985, § 2-84)


Cross referenceAdministration, ch. 2.

State law referenceNotices and hearings, MCL 211.741 et seq., MSA 5.3534(1) et seq.; deferment for older persons, MCL 211.761 et seq., MSA 5.3536(1) et seq.; powers re special assessments, MCL 117.4a, 117.4b, 117.4d, 117.5, MSA 5.2074, 5.2075, 5.2077, 5.2084.