Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A special assessment tax is a charge or levy a governing entity with taxation powers can impose on a property owner to finance public improvements made directly to their property or that enhance the value of their property. Imposing a special assessment tax entails a partial condemnation of the specific pieces of property that are to receive the improvement. A special assessment tax may benefit a property by removing a burden or increasing its adaptability. For example, public improvements that a special assessment tax might help finance are generally related to infrastructure or amenities, such as sewer systems, retaining walls, street lighting, parks and recreational facilities, pedestrian walkways, etc. Municipal and state governments often use the special assessment tax for these purposes. Some municipalities also might use a special assessment tax to recover unpaid fines, charges, or the cost of services. The improvement or benefit derived from a special assessment tax is usually related to the market value of a property, but other benefits are possible.
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This glossary post was last updated: 5th February, 2020