Special Assessments

Section 33-78 Powers

The Town shall have the power to levy and collect taxes in the form of special assessments upon property in a limited and determinable area for special benefits conferred upon such property by the installation or construction of storm water sewers, flood controls, curbs, and gutters and by the construction, and paving of public ways and sidewalks or parts thereof, and to provide for the payment of all or any part of the above projects out of the proceeds of such special assessment. The cost of any project to be paid in whole or in part by special assessments may include the direct cost thereof, the cost of any land acquired for the project, the interest on bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in anticipation of the collection of special assessments, a reasonable charge for the services of the administrative staff of the Town, and any other item of cost which may reasonably be attributed to the project. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 78.)

Section 33-79 Procedures

The procedure for special assessments, whenever authorized in this Charter, shall be as follows: The procedures outlined in Section 33–76 shall be considered as part of the procedures outlined in this section.

(1) The cost of the project being charged for shall be assessed according to the front foot rule of apportionment or some other equitable basis determined by the Council.

(2) The amount assessed against any property for any project or improvement shall not exceed the value of the benefits accruing to the property therefrom, nor shall any special assessment be levied which shall cause the total amount of special assessments levied by the Town and outstanding against any property at any time, exclusive of delinquent installments, to exceed twenty-five per centum (25%) of the assessed value of the property after giving effect to the benefit accruing thereto from the project or improvement for which assessed.

(3) When desirable, the affected property may be divided into different classes to be charged different rates, but, except for this, any rate shall he uniform.

(4) All special assessment charges shall be levied by the Council by resolution. Before levying any special assessment charges, the Council shall hold a public hearing. The Town Clerk shall cause notice to be given stating the nature and extent of the proposed project, the kind of materials to be used, the estimated cost of the project, the portion of the cost to be assessed, the number of installments in which the assessment may be paid, the method to be used in apportioning the cost, and the limits of the proposed area of assessment. The notice shall also state the time and place at which all persons interested, or their agents or attorneys, may appear before the Council and be heard concerning the proposed project and special assessment. Such notice shall be given by sending a copy thereof by mail to the owner of record of each parcel of property proposed to be assessed and to the person in whose name the property is assessed for taxation and by publication of a copy of the notice at least once in the "Forest Heights News," the town newsletter or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. The Town Clerk shall present at the hearing a certificate of publication and mailing of copies of the notice, which certificate shall be deemed proof of notice, but failure of any owner to receive the mailed copy shall not invalidate the proceedings. The date of hearing shall be set at least ten and not more than thirty days after the Town Clerk shall have completed publication and service of notice as provided in this section. Following the hearing the Council way vote to proceed with the project and may levy the special assessment, subject to the restrictions on projects involving public ways, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks as contained in Section 33–76(b) (4).

(5) Any interested person feeling aggrieved by the levying of any special assessment under the provisions of this section shall have the right to appeal to the Circuit Court of Prince George's County within ten days after the levying of any assessment by the Council.

(6) Special assessments may be made payable in annual or more frequent installments over such period of time, not to exceed ten years, and in such manner as the Council may determine. The Council shall determine on what date installments shall be due and payable. Interest may be charged on installments at the rate to be determined by the Council.

(7) All special assessment installments shall be overdue six months after the date on which they became due and payable. All special assessments shall be liens on the property and all overdue special assessments shall be collected in the same manner as Town taxes or by suit at law.

(8) All special assessments shall be billed and collected by the Town Treasurer. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 79.)