Special Assessment Tax: What It Is and How It Works

A special assessment tax is a tax levied by a local government to fund specific projects or improvements that benefit a specific area or group of properties. Here’s what you need to know about special assessment taxes.

How Special Assessment Taxes Work

Special assessment taxes are usually calculated based on the value of the property and the cost of the improvement. The tax is added to the property owner’s regular property tax bill and is typically paid over a number of years.

Examples of Special Assessment Taxes

Common examples of special assessment taxes include taxes to pay for street paving, sidewalk repairs, and sewer line upgrades. In some cases, special assessment taxes may also be used to fund community facilities such as parks, libraries, and fire stations.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Special Assessment Taxes

The main benefit of special assessment taxes is that they allow local governments to fund specific projects without raising taxes for all residents. However, the drawback is that property owners may be subject to higher taxes if their property is located in an area that requires special assessment taxes.


Special assessment taxes can be a useful tool for local governments to fund specific projects and improvements. As a property owner, it’s important to understand how special assessment taxes work and how they may impact your property tax bill.

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