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 but not limited to the construction and reconstruction of:
Curb and Gutter
Street Grade and Gravel
Utility Service Laterals
Purpose & Objectives
The primary purpose of the assessment 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 States 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.
The objectives of a special assessment policy (PDF) are to promote orderly development, to ensure fair and equitable treatment of benefiting properties and to assure that the City's financial resources are protected. The City of Owatonna's special assessment and improvement policy was adopted by City Council on September 1st, 1981 and was revised on April 2nd, 2012.