A special assessment is a charge levied against properties within the boundaries of an area known as a Special Improvement District (SID). Typical improvements include streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, streetlights, sewer and water facilities, etc. A special assessment is a lien on the property until the assessment is paid off.
Special assessments are different than real property taxes, and are billed separately. A special assessment may only be levied against parcels which have been identified as having received a direct benefit from the public project. The cost of these projects is apportioned, or divided, among properties that benefit from them. The basis for apportioning the assessments is in proportion to the special benefits derived by each of the parcels and can be made on a front foot, area, zone or other equitable basis. No assessment shall exceed the reasonable market value of the parcel assessed or the amount of the estimate of maximum special benefits to the tract assessed from any project.
Clark County generally issues bonds to cover the cost of the projects. The assessments (principal and interest) are typically billed and collected semi-annually and used to pay the debt service and administrative expenses over a designated period of years. Because the special assessment payments are used to pay off bonds, the penalty for late payment is substantial. Also, within 60 days of a delinquency by the property owner, the County commences foreclosure proceedings to collect the outstanding debt and satisfy the debt service requirements of the special assessment bonds.
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