Special Assessment Terminology

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Certified Special Assessments:  The annual installment payment due on the outstanding balance of special assessments for a property.  This amount is certified annually to the County Auditors Office on October 31.  The County Auditor includes this amount on the annual property tax statement for each property.  Once an installment has been certified to the County it must be paid at the County Auditor's Office as part of the property tax bill.  

Uncertified Special Assessments:  The principal balance of special assessments that have been levied on a property. This balance decreases each year by the amount of principal certified to the County for collection on the annual property tax statement.  These can be paid at any time, with accrued interest, at the City Auditor's Office.  

Pending Special Assessments:  The estimated cost of a special assessment project that has been assigned to a property, but that has not yet been certified by the City Council to the property.  

Front Footage:  The number of lineal feet a property occupies on the street.  

Effective Front Footage: A term used to define the approximate useable width of an irregular shaped lot.  An irregular shaped lot is a lot where the front is either greater or less than the rear of the lot.  Irregular shaped lots would be divided into two or more parts.  The first part would be the largest rectangular size, which has full frontage on the street.  The remaining part or parts would be calculated as triangles using a factor chart to determine approximate useable widths of each portion.  The sum of the useable widths of each triangular portion plus the width of the rectangular portion would be the Effective Frontage.  

Square Footage:  The area that a property takes up. 

Special Assessment District:  A geographic area which has been designated to pay for a special assessment project.  The area is approved by the City Council.  The rules governing special assessment districts are provided in North Dakota State Century Code 40-27

Special Assessment Commission:  An appointed group of citizens of the municipality whose purpose is to assign benefit to properties within a special assessment district.  The group is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. 

Benefit:  The added value an improvement brings to the property, such as access to water, roads, drainage of storm water, etc.

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