A special assessment is a levy on a property to defray the cost of public improvements. Special assessments are not the same as property taxes. There are a wide variety of infrastructure improvements that can be assessed, including construction and reconstruction of:
- Sanitary and water services
- Drainage improvements
- Flood mitigation projects
The primary purpose of special assessments is to have the properties that benefit from public improvements pay as much of the cost of the improvements as is reasonable, thereby reducing the City’s reliance on general property taxes.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 429 grants cities the authority to use special assessments as a mechanism to finance a broad range of public improvements. Not all improvements are paid for in this manner; some projects are funded through the City’s general revenue fund or general obligation bonds.
Paying for Special Assessments
After a property owner receives their final assessment bill, the City Council conducts a public hearing and considers the adoption of the final assessment. Upon adoption, the owner has the following payment options:
- Payment in Full
After adoption of the special assessment, the property owner has a period of time to pay the assessment in full, without incurring interest. This due date is defined in the final assessment bill. Partial Payment
- Partial Payment
Partial payments of the uncertified balance are allowed, with a minimum payment amount of $100.
- Unable to Pay
Any remaining balance left on the due date will be certified to Clay County for payment with your property taxes in equal installments over the assessment period with interest. Property owners can pay off an assessment and any accrued interest in full at any time without a prepayment penalty.
- Senior Citizen or Retired and Disabled Hardship Deferral
MSA 435.193 to 435.195 permits deferral of special assessments for homestead property to persons 65 years of age or older by virtue of disability for whom it would be a hardship to make the payments. For more information on deferrals contact the Finance staff at 218.299.5320.
You can pay your special assessments on the 3rd floor of City Hall (500 Center Ave).
For more details on how the City determines the cost, terms and assessments areas, please see the City’s Special Assessments Policy Manual and Street Assessment Policy.
Frequently Asked QuestionsPlease see the Special Assessments FAQ for answers to comment questions we received about special assessments.
Looking Up Your Special Assessments
You can find details on all of the current and planned for your property on the City’s Property Information Website. You can look up your property by address or parcel number, then click the Special Assessments link.Email the Special Assessment Coordinator or call 218.299.5427.