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A non-ad valorem special assessment is a charge (or assessment) against a specific parcel of property based on a specific benefit which the property has or will receive.
The assessment normally is billed annually as a separate line item on the property tax (or ad valorem tax) bill. For collection purposes, it is considered a part of the tax bill and carries the same penalties for failure to pay as do the property taxes on the tax bill. However, unlike the ad valorem tax which is based on the assessed value of the property, the non-ad valorem special assessment is based solely on the benefit received by the property for the service received.
Non-ad valorem special assessments typically are authorized and regulated by state statute and contain several provisions which must be strictly followed to ensure the validity of the assessment.
There are two major areas of concern when designing and implementing a special assessment program. First, the assessment for each parcel must be based on the benefit received by that parcel. Properties receiving like benefits should be assessed equally, and properties receiving unequal benefits should be assessed on that basis.
Second, the “assessment role” (the list of all properties to be assessed), should be complete and accurate. The best source of data for compiling the assessment roll is the records of the county or city official responsible for property appraisal and valuation. However, limitations may exist with the data because these records are maintained for the purpose of determining property valuations, not for performing solid waste assessments. Additional information must be developed in order to convert the initial records into a complete and accurate assessment role.
Since non-ad valorem special assessments are billed annually on the property tax bill, there are many benefits:
Non-ad valorem special assessment systems are flexible. They can be designed to support any or all aspects of a solid waste management system. SCS Management Services™ can design and implement a non-ad valorem special assessment program tailored to a local government’s system, (mandatory service, voluntary service, franchised service, or free-market service). For example, a system could:
The variations are limited only by the needs of your system.
It is critical that the individuals developing the solid waste assessment database be knowledgeable and experienced in designing and implementing solid waste special assessment systems and that they understand the limitations of the base data.
SCS Management Services is a division of SCS Engineers, an independent, employee-owned environmental consulting firm specializing in solid waste management. SCS has offices nationwide providing services to clients across the country.