[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Roseville 2-28-1984 by Ord. No. 895 as Ch. 5 of the 1984 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Power to assess taxes — See Ch. 9.
Board of Review — See Ch. 9, Sec. 9.7 et seq.
Special assessments — See Ch. 10.
Taxation — See Ch. 304.
The making and financing of public improvements by the special assessment method shall be governed by this chapter, and all proceedings therefor shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The term "public improvement," as used in this chapter, shall include the reconstruction in whole or in part of any structure or work as well as the original construction thereof. The cost of surveys, plans and specifications of a public improvement and all expenses incident to the proceedings for the making of such improvement, the making and collecting of the special assessments therefor and the issuance of bonds in anticipation of such special assessments shall be deemed a part of the cost of said improvement. Whenever any property is acquired by condemnation or otherwise for the purpose of any public improvement, the cost thereof, exclusive of that part of such cost representing damages for injury to improvements to such property and the cost of the proceedings required to acquire such property, may be added as a part of the cost of such improvements. No contract or expenditure, except for the cost of preparing necessary legal procedures and engineering plans and estimates, shall be made for the improvement until special assessments to defray the cost of the same shall have been levied, unless the owners of all of the property in the assessment district petition for the public improvement proposed to be made. Any assessment may be made upon the basis of the estimated cost of the improvement if the actual cost has not been definitely determined.
A petition addressed to the Council may be filed with the City Clerk requesting the Council to make a public improvement therein described and to assess the cost thereof, or such part of the cost as the Council shall decide, to benefited lands comprising a special assessment district to be determined by the Council. Any petition so filed may be in one or more parts and shall be signed by the owners of lands having at least 50% of the privately owned frontage abutting upon the proposed improvement, and the City Clerk shall not present to the Council any petition not so signed. A purchaser on land contract shall be deemed the owner of such land. Such petition, in addition to the signatures of the owners, shall contain a brief description of the property owned by the respective signers thereof, and the genuineness of the signatures on each petition or part thereof shall be verified by the affidavit of the circulator. Any such petition shall not be mandatory upon the Council but shall be advisory only, and in no event shall such petition be deemed jurisdictional.
Irrespective of whether or not such a petition shall have been filed, the Council may determine to make any public improvement and to defray any part of the cost thereof by special assessment of lands benefited or to be benefited thereby. Before any other action shall be taken thereon, the Council shall refer the matter to the City Manager, who shall make and submit to the Council a survey and report setting forth the need for such improvement, the desirable extent and probable (estimated) cost thereof, the portion of the cost to be borne by the city at large and the portion to be assessed to benefited lands and the lands to constitute the special assessment district to be so assessed. The City Manager shall also prepare or cause to be prepared the plans for such improvement and shall submit the same to the Council.
Upon receipt of such survey and report, with such plans, the Council shall order the same to be filed with the City Clerk; and if the Council shall desire to proceed with the improvements, it shall so declare by resolution and shall designate the special assessment district and what part of the cost of said improvement shall be paid by special assessment against the lots and parcels of land in said special assessment district and what part, if any, shall be paid from the general funds of the city. The Council shall also fix a time and place when it will meet and hear any objections to such improvement and to the special assessment district, at which all persons within the proposed special assessment district therefor or who own property therein may be heard. The Council shall cause notice of such hearing to be given by publication thereof in a newspaper published within the city and also by mailing a copy of such notice to each person owning any land in the special assessment district, as shown on the last preceding tax assessment roll of the city or as otherwise known to the city, at his or her last known address, such publication and mailing to be not less than 10 days prior to the date of such hearing, provided that there shall be mailed with each such notice, or endorsed thereon, an instruction to the addressee to the effect that, if he or she is not the owner or the land contract purchaser of the property assessed, he or she shall forward the notice to the owner or land contract purchaser. Such notice shall state that the plans and cost estimate are on file with the City Clerk and shall contain a description of the proposed improvement and special assessment district. At the time of such hearing, or any adjournment thereof, which may be without further notice, the Council shall hear any objections to such improvement and to the special assessment district and, without further notice, may revise, correct, amend or change the plans, estimate and/or district, provided that no property shall be added to the district until notice is given as above provided or by personal service upon the owners thereof, and a hearing afforded such owners.
After the hearing provided for in the preceding section, if the Council desires to proceed with such improvement, it shall adopt a resolution approving the plans and cost estimate as originally presented or as revised, corrected, amended or changed, determining to proceed with the proposed public improvement, determining the probable life of the improvement, finally fixing the special assessment district therefor and ordering the Assessor to prepare a special assessment roll therefor, provided that, if prior to the adoption of the resolution authorizing the making of the public improvement written objections thereto have been filed by the owner of property in the district, which according to estimates will be required to bear more than 50% of the cost thereof, or by a majority of the owners of property to be assessed, no resolution determining to proceed with the improvement shall be adopted, except by the affirmative vote of five members of the Council.
The City Assessor shall thereupon prepare the special assessment roll in which shall be entered and described all the lots and parcels of land to be assessed, with the names of the respective owners thereof, if known, and the amount to be assessed against each such lot or parcel of land, which amount shall be such relative portion of the whole sum to be levied against all the lots and parcels of land in the special assessment district as the benefit to such lot or parcel of land bears to the total benefits to all lots and parcels of land in the special assessment district. There shall also be entered upon said roll the amount which has been assessed to the city at large. When the City Assessor shall have completed the assessment roll, he or she shall file the same with the office of the City Clerk, after first having affixed thereto a certificate stating that it was made pursuant to a resolution of the Council of said city adopted on a specified date and that in making such assessment roll he or she has, according to his or her best judgment, conformed in all respects to the directions contained in such resolution and to the Charter of the city.
Before confirming any assessment roll, the Council shall appoint a time and place when the Board of Review established by the City Charter will meet and review the same and hear any objections thereto, and the Assessor, as Clerk of the Board of Review, shall give notice of such hearing and of the filing of such assessment roll by publication in a newspaper published in the city and also by mailing a copy of such notice to each person in whose name any land is assessed on said roll, at his or her last known address, such publication and mailing to be not less than 10 days prior to the date of said hearing, provided that there shall be mailed with each such notice, or endorsed thereon, an instruction to the addressee to the effect that if he or she is not the owner or the land contract purchaser of the property assessed, he or she shall forward the notice to the owner or land contract purchaser. The Board of Review shall meet at the appointed time and place and at such meeting or any adjourned meeting (which may be without further notice) shall review the special assessment roll and hear and consider any objections thereto, review the special assessment roll and hear and consider any objections thereto and report thereon to the Council. Such report shall be prepared by the Assessor, signed by him or her and the members of the Board of Review and filed with the City Clerk and shall set forth the names of all persons who objected to said roll, the properties owned by them, the nature of their objections and the recommendations of the Board of Review with respect to such objections and with respect to confirmation of the roll. Any person objecting to the assessment shall file an objection in writing with the Assessor prior to the meeting of the Board of Review or shall appear and make the objection in person at such meeting. Within three days after the report of the Board of Review is filed with the City Clerk, any such objector may appeal from said report and the recommendations therein contained by filing an appeal with the City Clerk, and any appeal so filed shall be heard by the Council at its next regular meeting following the expiration of said three-day period or, on due notice to the appellant, at a subsequent meeting prior to confirmation of the roll. After receiving the report of the Board of Review and after hearing any appeals therefrom, the Council, by resolution, may confirm the special assessment roll or may correct the same as to any matter appearing therein and confirm it as so corrected or may refer it back to the Assessor for revision or may annul it and direct a new roll to be made. When a special assessment roll shall be confirmed, the Clerk shall endorse thereon the date of confirmation. After such confirmation the special assessment roll and all assessments therein shall be final and conclusive.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 9, Sec. 9.7, of the Charter.
In the resolution confirming the roll, the Council shall fix the date upon which the special assessment, or the first installment thereof if installment payments are allowed, shall be due and payable; the number of annual installments (not exceeding 15) in which the special assessment may be paid; and the rate of interest (not exceeding 6% per annum) to be charged upon all deferred installments from a stated date. The amount of each installment, if more than one, need not be extended upon the special assessment roll until after confirmation. Deferred installments, together with interest on all unpaid installments, shall be due at intervals of 12 months from the due date of the first installment or from such other date as the Council shall fix. Any one or more installments may be paid to the City Treasurer at any time, together with interest and penalties on all unpaid installments accrued to the date of payment. If any installment of a special assessment is not paid when due, then the same shall be deemed to be delinquent; and there shall be collected thereon, in addition to interest as above provided, a penalty at the rate of 1/2 of 1% for each month or fraction thereof that the same remains unpaid, prior to return of the same to the County Treasurer. The city's portion of the cost of any improvement may be divided into installments the same as the assessments against lands in the district, and in such case the provisions of this chapter relative to such installments shall apply to the city installments insofar as they are applicable.
Upon the confirmation of each special assessment roll, the special assessments thereon shall become a debt to the city from the persons to whom they are assessed and, until paid, shall be a lien upon the property assessed, for the amount of such assessments and all interest and charges thereon. Such lien shall be of the same character and effect as created by the City Charter for city taxes. No judgment or decree, nor any 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 same or as by a regular mode of proceeding might be lawfully assessed thereon.
When any special assessment shall be confirmed, the Council shall direct the assessments so made in the special assessment roll to be collected. The City Clerk shall thereupon deliver to the City Treasurer said special assessment roll to which he or she shall attach the warrant commanding the City Treasurer to collect from each of the persons assessed in said roll the amount of money assessed to and set opposite his or her name therein. Upon receiving such special assessment roll and warrant, the City Treasurer shall proceed to collect the several amounts assessed therein.
In addition to any other remedies and without impairing the lien therefor, any delinquent special assessment, together with interest and penalties, may be collected in an action of assumpsit in the name of the city, against the person assessed, in any court having jurisdiction of the amount. If in any such action it shall appear that by reason of any irregularities or informalities the assessment has not been properly made against the defendant or upon the premises sought to be charged, the court may, nevertheless, on satisfactory proof that expense has been incurred by the city, which is a proper charge against the defendant or the premises in question, render judgment for the amount properly chargeable against such defendant or upon such premises.
Should any lot or parcel of land be divided after a special assessment thereon has been confirmed and before the collection thereof, the Council may require the Assessor to apportion the uncollected amounts upon the several parts of such lot or parcels of land. The report of such apportionment, when confirmed, shall be conclusive upon all parties, provided that, before such confirmation, notice of hearing shall be given to all the interested parties by personal service or by publication and mailing as above provided in case of an original assessment roll.
Additional pro rata assessments may be made when any special assessment roll proves insufficient to pay for the improvement for which it was levied and the expenses incidental thereto or insufficient to pay the principal and interest on bonds issued in anticipation of such assessment roll, provided that the additional pro rata assessment shall not exceed 25% of the assessment as originally confirmed, unless a meeting of the Council is held to review such additional assessment, for which meeting notices shall be published and mailed as provided in the case of review of the original special assessment roll.
Whenever any special assessment shall, in the opinion of the Council, be invalid by reason of irregularity or informality in the proceedings, or if any court of competent jurisdiction shall adjudge such assessment to be illegal, the Council shall, whether the improvement has been made or not or whether any part of the assessment has been paid or not, have power to cause a new assessment to be made for the same purpose for which the former assessment was made. All proceedings on such reassessment and for the collection thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as provided for in the original assessment except as to correction in the proceedings required to make the assessment legal. Whenever any sum or part thereof levied upon any property in the assessment so set aside has been paid and not refunded, the payment so made shall be applied upon the reassessment. If the payments exceed the amount of the reassessment, refunds shall be made.
Moneys raised by special assessment for any public improvement shall be credited to a special assessment account and shall be used to pay for the costs of the improvement for which the assessment was levied and of expenses incidental thereto, to repay any principal or interest on money borrowed therefor and to refund excessive assessments. Should the amount collected on assessments prove larger than necessary by 5% or less the amount of the original roll, the Council may place the excess in any of the funds of the city; but if such excess shall exceed such 5%, then the same shall be credited pro rata on the assessments against the several parcels of lands according to the amounts thereof, such credit as to each parcel to be made upon the unpaid installments to inverse numerical order, provided that, if as to any parcel there shall be no unpaid installments or if the unpaid installments are less than the amount of the credit, then such total or surplus amount of credit shall be applied toward the payment of the next city tax levied against such property. If the city shall have been assessed for any portion of the cost of the improvements, then it shall be considered in the same category as the owner of private lands and shall be entitled to its share of any such excess, provided that any amount due the city, which in case of private lands would be applied to the payment of city taxes, shall be refunded to the city in cash.
When any expense shall have been incurred by the city upon or in respect to any single premises, which expense is chargeable against such premises and the owner thereof under the provisions of the Charter or any ordinance of the city or law of the state, and is not of that class required to be pro rated among the several lots and parcels of land in a special assessment district, an account of the labor, material and service for which such expense was incurred, with a description of the premises upon or in respect to which the expense was incurred and the name of the owner, if known, shall be reported to the Controller, who shall immediately charge and bill the owner, if known. In the event that the Controller finds that such amount is not otherwise collectible, he or she shall report the same to the Council, which may direct the Assessor to prepare a special assessment roll covering all such charges reported to it, together with a penalty of 10%. Such roll shall be filed with the Clerk, who shall present the same to the Council. Thereafter the same proceedings shall be followed in respect to such special assessment roll as are provided in §§ 5-8 through 5-19 of this chapter, and all the provisions of said sections with reference to special assessments generally shall apply to special assessments under this section, insofar as the same may be applicable.
No lands in a special assessment district which are benefited by the improvement therein shall be exempt from assessment, but if the same are owned by a public or other corporation exempt by law from payment of special assessments, then the special assessments against such lands, or the installments thereof, shall be paid by the city as the same become due or may be paid in advance of their due dates.
In the event that a lien to secure payment of a special assessment or any one or more installments thereof is created in favor of the city by deed of the addressed property to the city pursuant to Section 10.8 of the City Charter, by reason of the finding of the Assessor and Council that the owner of such property is unable because of poverty to pay such assessment or installments and should be accorded relief therefrom, the obligation of the owner to make such payment shall thereby become the obligation of the city; and the city shall pay from its general fund any such assessment or installments, together with interest and penalties, which falls due during the period while the beneficial ownership of such property remains in the grantor of said deed and while the agreement of the city to grant such relief remains in effect.