[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 4-19-1989 by Ord. No. 56. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Council is required by § C419:58 of the City Charter to prescribe by general ordinance the complete special assessment procedure. The purpose of this chapter is to comply with that requirement.
Whenever a special assessment is proposed to pay the expense, in whole or in part, of any public improvement pursuant to § C419:57 of the Charter, the procedure as set forth in this chapter shall be followed.
The City Council shall, by resolution, declare that the expense of a specifically described public improvement shall be paid in whole or in part by a special assessment upon the properties which receive special benefit. The resolution shall direct the Manager to obtain the plans, specifications and estimated costs of such public improvement for the purpose of scheduling of a public hearing and acting thereon. The resolution shall also direct the Manager to complete a special assessment roll containing all properties on which the special assessment is to be levied.
Upon certification from the Manager to the Council that the plans, specifications, estimate of costs and special assessment roll have been completed, the Council shall schedule a public hearing upon the proposed special assessment.
Upon scheduling the public hearing for the proposed special assessment, the Council shall cause notice to be served as follows: The notice shall be set forth the day, date, time and place of the public hearing and shall contain a description of the specific public improvement for which the special assessment is proposed. The notice shall also state where, and during what hours, a copy of the plans, specifications, estimates of costs and special assessment roll may be reviewed and examined by any person. At least 10 clear days prior to the public hearing, such notice shall be sent by certified mail to each property owner on the special assessment roll and published in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the city. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "10 clear days" shall not include the day the notice is mailed and published nor the day of the public hearing.
At the public hearing before the Council, the Manager or his/her designee shall present the plans, specifications and estimate of costs of the specific public improvement, together with the list of properties on the special assessment roll. A recommendation shall be made to the Council as to the amount and terms of the special assessment and the basis for the special assessment for the properties on the assessment roll. The Council shall receive such information and comments from the public as it deems necessary and appropriate.
After the close of the public hearing, the Council shall, by resolution, take appropriate action upon the requested special assessment, including the estimated costs, the specific plans and specifications, the property owners included on the special assessment roll and the amount and allocation of the special assessment.
All special assessments made pursuant to this chapter shall create a lien upon the properties listed on the special assessment roll in the same manner and to the same extent as real estate taxes.
Special assessments made in accordance with this chapter shall be collected by the Tax Collector in the same manner as real estate taxes pursuant to the provisions of RSA Chapter 80. The Tax Collector shall have all the rights and remedies and be subject to the liabilities provided in RSA Chapter 80 relative to the collection of real estate taxes. All liens for special assessments made under this chapter shall be executed according to the provisions of RSA 80:85 - 80:86.
All persons owning land subject to a special assessment made pursuant to this chapter shall be liable to pay the amount of the assessment to the city in the same manner as real estate taxes.
The real estate of any person liable for a special assessment who does not pay such assessment on or before December 1 shall be subject to the tax lien procedure.
The City Council may abate any assessment upon receipt of an application for abatement from the owner of the land subject to such assessment. The following procedure shall apply to such abatement:
The Mayor shall appoint a committee consisting of two members of the Council, the City Manager and the Tax Assessor, who will review the application for the abatement. The committee shall make a written report to the Council, together with recommendations. If the payment of the special assessment constitutes a financial hardship, the committee may consider establishing an installment payment schedule so long as the lien for the special assessment is not adversely affected.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the City Council as to an application for an abatement may appeal to the Superior Court as provided by law.