Glossary

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Special Assessment
A special assessment represents an additional expense, usually added to property tax, for public improvements made to benefit the property owner. For example, when a street is paved or a new storm sewer is installed underneath the street serving a property owner, the city expects those property owners to pay a share of the project's cost. Often times, the city borrows money on the private market to make these improvements, and the loan is repaid by an assessment above and beyond real estate taxes. Special assessments are usually assessed over a set number of years and can be paid off early at the option of the property owner. When paid-off early, the property owner can usually save money since interest will not accrue as it would if paid off in due course.