City of Port Huron, MI
St. Clair County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Authority for special assessments — See Charter, Ch. 8.
Buildings and building regulations — See Ch. 10.
Streets, sidewalks and other public places — See Ch. 42.
[Code 1975, § 28-1; Code 1992, § 24-1]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
COST
When referring to the cost of any public improvement, includes the cost of services, plans, condemnation, spreading of rolls, notices, advertising, financing, construction and legal fees and all other costs incident to the making of such improvement, the special assessments therefor and the financing thereof.
PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT
Any public work or public improvement for which any part of the cost is to be assessed against one or more lots or parcels to be specially benefited thereby.
[Code 1975, § 28-2; Code 1992, § 24-2; 6-26-2017 by Ord. No. 17-005]
(a) 
Pursuant to § C8-1 of the City Charter, the City Council shall have the power to make special assessments for public improvements and other public purposes in accordance with the law. The whole or any part of the expense of any public improvement may be defrayed by special assessment upon the property especially benefitted in proportion to the benefits derived or to be derived.
(b) 
Pursuant to § C8-2(a)(2) of the City Charter, no special assessment district or districts shall be created by the City Council for any one public improvement which includes property having an area in excess of 25% of the total area of the City. No public improvement project shall be divided geographically for the purpose of circumventing this provision.
(c) 
Pursuant to § C8-2(a)(3) of the City Charter, no special assessment roll shall be finally confirmed until after a meeting of the City Council has been held for the purpose of reviewing such roll, which meeting shall be held not less than 10 days after notice thereof has been sent by first class mail to all owners of property affected by the special assessment as shown by the current assessment roll of the City.
(d) 
Pursuant to § C8-2(a)(4) of the City Charter, no public improvement to be financed in whole or in part by special assessment shall be made before the confirmation of the special assessment for such improvement.
[Code 1975, § 28-3; Code 1992, § 24-3; 6-26-2017 by Ord. No. 17-005]
(a) 
Initiation of public improvements may be by petition to the City Council, signed by property owners whose property is subject to being benefited. Such petition shall be printed on forms approved by the City's Attorney and shall set forth the location, extent and character of the desired public improvement.
(b) 
All petitions for public improvements shall be referred to the City Manager for report and recommendation. After receiving the Manager's report and recommendation, the City Council shall proceed in the same manner as provided in this chapter for public improvements initiated by the City Council.
[Code 1975, § 28-4; Code 1992, § 24-4]
Proceedings for making public improvements and defraying the entire cost or any part thereof by special assessment may be initiated by resolution of the City Council.
[Code 1975, § 28-5; Code 1992, § 24-5]
(a) 
Whenever the City Council shall determine to make any public improvement and defray the entire cost and expense thereof or any part thereof by special assessment, the Council shall, by resolution, direct the City Manager to make an investigation of the proposed public improvement and report his or her findings to the Council.
(b) 
The City Manager's report referred to in Subsection (a) of this section shall include an analysis of the estimated cost of the proposed public improvement and plans and specifications for the public improvement. There shall also be included recommendations as to the following:
(1) 
The portion of the cost to be borne by the special assessment district and the portion, if any, to be borne by the City at large;
(2) 
The extent of the improvement and boundaries of the district;
(3) 
The number of installments in which assessments may be paid; and
(4) 
Any other facts or recommendations which will aid the Council in determining whether the improvement shall be made and how the improvement shall be financed.
[Code 1975, § 28-6; Code 1992, § 24-6]
Upon receipt of the report of the City Manager referred to in § 40-5, if the Council shall determine to proceed with the improvement, it shall, by resolution, order the City Manager's report to be filed with the City Clerk. In addition, by such resolution, the Council shall tentatively determine to proceed with the public improvement, tentatively determine the necessity thereof and set forth the nature thereof, tentatively designate the limits of the special assessment district to be affected and describe the lands to be assessed, tentatively determine the part or proportion of the cost of the public improvements to be paid by the lands specially benefited thereby and the part or proportion, if any, to be paid by the City at large for benefit to the City at large, and shall direct the City Assessor to make a special assessment roll of the part or proportion of the cost to be borne by the lands specially benefited according to the benefits received and to report such to the Council.
[Code 1975, § 28-7; Code 1992, § 24-7; 6-26-2017 by Ord. No. 17-005]
(a) 
When the special assessment roll has been reported to the Council as provided in § 40-6, the Council shall order the special assessment roll filed in the office of the City Clerk for public examination along with the report of the City Manager required to be made pursuant to this chapter and shall fix a date, time and place when the Council shall meet to finally determine the necessity of the improvement, to determine the composition of the district, to review the special assessment roll and to hear objections. The City Manager’s report and the assessment roll shall be open to public inspection for a period of not less than 10 days before the hearing required by this section.
(b) 
The City Clerk shall give notice of the hearing by the Council to determine the necessity for the improvement, to determine the composition of the district, to review the special assessment roll and to hear objections. Said notice shall also include the following:
(1) 
A statement that the plans, estimates of cost and special assessment roll is on file with the City Clerk.
(2) 
A statement advising all persons having objections to the special assessment that personal appearance at the hearing is not required; however, pursuant to § C8-2(a)(1) of the City Charter, objections to the special assessment roll must be filed with the City Clerk in writing at or prior to the meeting of the Council. Written objection shall also be necessary in order to appeal the amount of the special assessment to the State Tax Tribunal if any appeal should be desired.
(c) 
The City Clerk shall publish and mail notice of the hearing by the Council not less than 10 days prior to the time of the meeting as follows:
(1) 
By publication at least once in a newspaper printed and circulated in the City; and
(2) 
By first class mail to each property owner or party in interest in property in the special assessment district, as shown by the current assessment rolls of the City.
[Code 1975, § 28-8; Code 1992, § 24-8]
The City Council shall meet and hear objections to a proposed public improvement to the special assessment district and the special assessment roll therefor at the time and place appointed or at an adjourned meeting thereof and shall consider any objections thereto. The Council may revise, correct or amend the plans, estimates of cost, special assessment district and special assessment roll. If any changes are made which result in additions to the special assessment district or increases in the special assessment roll, a second hearing shall be held with respect to the changes, and notice of such hearing shall be given in the same manner as required for the first hearing.
[Code 1975, § 28-9; Code 1992, § 24-9]
After the hearing or second hearing if required, as provided for in § 40-8, the Council may, by resolution, determine to proceed with the public improvement, determine the necessity thereof and set forth the nature thereof, designate the limits of the special assessment district to be affected and describe the lands to be assessed, finally determine the part or proportion of the cost of the public improvement to be paid by the lands specially benefited thereby and the part or portion, if any, to be paid by the City at large for benefit to the City at large. The Council may also confirm the special assessment roll with such corrections as it may have made, if any, or may refer it back to the City Assessor for revision or may annul it or any proceedings in connection therewith. The City Clerk shall endorse the date of confirmation upon each special assessment roll. Such roll shall be, upon ratification and confirmation, final and conclusive.
[Code 1975, § 28-10; Code 1992, § 24-10]
If, at or prior to the hearing by the City Council, the owners of more than 1/2 of the property to be assessed pursuant to this chapter shall object in writing to the improvement, the assessment shall not be made without an affirmative vote of five members of the Council.
[Code 1975, § 28-11; Code 1992, § 24-11]
(a) 
All special assessments contained in any special assessment roll, including any part thereof to be paid in installments, shall, from the date of confirmation of such roll, constitute a lien upon the respective lots or parcels of land assessed and until paid shall be a charge against the respective owners of the several lots and parcels of land and a debt to the City from the persons to whom they are assessed. Such lien shall be of the same character and effect as the lien created by the Charter for City taxes and shall include accrued interest and fees. No judgment or decree nor act of the Council vacating a special assessment shall destroy or impair the lien of the City upon the premises assessed for such amount of the assessment as may be equitably charged against the premises or as, by a regular mode of proceeding, might be lawfully assessed thereon.
(b) 
All special assessments shall become due upon confirmation of the special assessment roll or in annual installments, not to exceed 20 in number, as the Council may determine at the time of confirmation. If in annual installments, the Council may determine the first installment to be due upon confirmation or upon any other date the Council may prescribe and the subsequent installments annually thereafter. Deferred installments shall bear interest at such rate as the Council may prescribe.
[Code 1975, § 28-12; Code 1992, § 24-12]
Whenever any special assessment roll shall be confirmed and be payable, the Council shall direct the City Clerk to transmit the assessment roll to the City Treasurer for collection. The City Treasurer shall mail statements of the several assessments to the respective owners of the several lots and parcels of land assessed, as indicated by the records of the City Assessor, stating the amount of the assessment and the manner in which it may be paid; provided, however, failure to mail any such statement shall not invalidate the assessment or entitle the owner to an extension of time within which to pay the assessment. The whole or any part of such assessment may be paid in full at any time after the date of confirmation of the special assessment roll until such time as the Council shall prescribe, without interest or penalty. Each special assessment shall be collected by the City Treasurer with the same rights and remedies as provided in the Charter for the collection of taxes, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. All collection fees shall belong to the City and shall be collectible in the same manner as the collection fee for City taxes.
[Code 1975, § 28-13; Code 1992, § 24-13]
After the expiration of the period provided for in § 40-12 for payment without interest or fees, any installment may be discharged by paying the face amount thereof together with fees and interest thereon from the date of confirmation to the date of payment.
[Code 1975, § 28-14; Code 1992, § 24-14]
Should the assessments on any special assessment roll, including the amount assessed to the City at large, prove insufficient for any reason to pay the cost of the improvement for which they were made, the Council may make additional pro rata assessments to supply the deficiency against the City and the several lots and parcels of land in the same ratio as the original assessments, but the total amount assessed against any lot or parcel of land shall not exceed the value of the benefits received from the improvement.
[Code 1975, § 28-15; Code 1992, § 24-15; 6-26-2017 by Ord. No. 17-005]
Pursuant to § C8-3 of the City Charter, the excess by which any special assessment proves larger than the actual cost of the improvement and expenses incidental thereto may be placed in the general fund of the City if such excess is 5% or less of the assessment. Should the assessment prove larger than necessary by more than 5%, the entire excess shall be refunded on a pro rata basis to the owners of the property assessed. Such refund shall be made by credit against future unpaid installments to the extent such installments then exist, and the balance of such refund shall be in cash. No refunds may be made which contravene the provisions of any outstanding evidence of indebtedness secured in whole or in part by such special assessment.
[Code 1975, § 28-16; Code 1992, § 24-16]
Should any lots or lands be divided after a special assessment thereon has been confirmed and divided into installments, the City Assessor shall apportion the uncollected amounts upon the several lots and lands so divided and shall enter the several amounts as amendments upon the special assessment roll. The City Treasurer shall, within 10 days after such apportionment, send notice of such action to the persons concerned, at their last known address, by first class mail. Such apportionment shall be final and conclusive on all parties unless protest in writing is received by the City Treasurer within 20 days of the mailing of such notice.
[Code 1975, § 28-17; Code 1992, § 24-17]
Whenever the Council deems any special assessment invalid or defective or whenever a court adjudges an assessment to be illegal, in whole or in part, the Council may cause a new assessment to be levied for the same purpose, whether or not the improvement or any part thereof has been completed, or any part of the special assessment collected. All proceedings on such reassessment and for the collection thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as provided for the original assessment. If any portion of the original special assessment is collected and not refunded, it shall be applied upon the reassessment, and the reassessment shall, to that extent, be deemed satisfied. If more than the amount reassessed is collected, the balance shall be refunded to the person making such payment. If in any action it shall appear that, by reason of any irregularities or informalities the assessment has not been properly made against the person assessed or upon the lot or premises sought to be charged, the court may nevertheless, on satisfactory proof that expense has been incurred by the City which is a proper charge against the person assessed or the lot or premises in question, render judgment for the amount properly chargeable against such person or upon such lot or premises.
[Code 1975, § 28-18; Code 1992, § 24-18]
When the sections of this chapter may prove to be insufficient to carry into full effect the making of any improvement or the special assessment therefor, the City Council shall provide any additional steps or procedure required to effect the improvement by special assessment in the resolution declaring the determination of the City Council to make such improvement in the first instance.
[Code 1975, § 28-19; Code 1992, § 24-19]
(a) 
When any expense shall be incurred by the City upon or in respect to any separate or single lot, parcel of land or premises which, by this Code, the Council is authorized to charge and collect as a single lot special assessment against the lot, parcel of land or premises and which is not of that class of special assessments required to be made pro rata upon several lots or parcels of land in a special assessment district, an account of the labor or services for which such expense was incurred, verified by the officer or person performing the labor or services or causing the labor or services to be done, shall be reported to the City Council in a manner it prescribes. The accounting reported to the Council shall include a description of the lot or premises on or in respect to which the expense was incurred, the name of the owner or person chargeable therewith, and the cost of labor or services performed. The preceding sections of this chapter with reference to pro rata special assessments generally and the proceedings necessary to be had before making the improvement shall not apply to single lot assessments contemplated in this section.
(b) 
The City Council, after review of the single lot assessment account, shall determine what amount or part of every such reported expense shall be charged, and the premises upon which the expense shall be levied as a single lot special assessment. As often as the City Council may deem it expedient, it shall require all of the several amounts so reported and determined and the several lots or premises chargeable therewith respectively to be reported by the City Clerk to the City Assessor, who shall spread such amounts against the real property chargeable therewith on the next tax roll for the collection of general City taxes. An owner or party in interest or his or her agent may request a hearing before the City Council to protest the single lot assessment or shall be permitted to file his or her appearance or protest by letter, and his or her personal appearance shall not be required. The hearing date shall be scheduled no later than 45 days from the City Council action on the particular single lot assessment.
[Code 1975, § 28-20; Code 1992, § 24-20]
When any lot, building or structure, because of accumulation of solid waste, the uncontrolled growing of weeds, age or dilapidation, or because of any other condition or happening, becomes a public hazard or nuisance which is detrimental to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the City or of those residing or habitually going near such lot, building or structure, the Council may order such hazard or nuisance abated and the cost of such abatement assessed against the lot, premises or description of real property upon which such hazard or nuisance was located as a single lot assessment.
[7-23-1990 by Ord. No. 988; Code 1992, § 24-21]
(a) 
The City may assess all or a part of the cost of operating parking improvements and any other public improvement assessment of the operating expenses of which are provided for by law. If such an assessment is made, the proceedings shall be as provided for assessment of the cost of acquiring a public improvement except as otherwise provided in this section. When the Council determines to assess the cost of operating a public improvement, it shall, by resolution, designate the improvement, the operating expenses of which are to be assessed, the district against which the improvements shall be assessed and shall direct the City Manager to prepare a proposed budget for operation of the improvement during the first fiscal year for which operating expenses are to be specially assessed. Upon receipt of the proposed budget, the Council shall direct the Assessor to prepare an assessment roll assessing the cost of operating to the proposed district for that fiscal year. The Assessor shall file the assessment roll with the Council when it has been completed, and the Council shall then call a hearing on the necessity for assessing operating expenses, the boundaries of the proposed district, the budget for the first fiscal year and the proposed assessment roll. Notice of the hearing shall be given in the manner provided in § 40-7. Following the hearing, the Council shall, by resolution, determine whether to proceed with the assessment of the operating expenses, finally designate the district for the assessment and may affirm or modify the proposed assessment roll or return it to the Assessor for revision.
(b) 
The assessments made pursuant to this section shall be due and payable at the same time as City taxes unless otherwise ordered by the Council and shall bear the same interest and penalties as City taxes unless otherwise ordered by the Council.
(c) 
After the initial establishment of a district for assessing the operating expenses of a public improvement, prior to the commencement of subsequent fiscal years, the City Manager shall prepare a budget for operation of the improvement and present it to the City Council. The Council shall direct the Assessor to prepare an assessment roll and upon receipt of the assessment roll shall conduct a public hearing on the budget and the assessment roll for the then ensuing fiscal year. The hearing shall be conducted in the same manner as the original hearing on assessment of the operating costs, and the assessment roll shall be confirmed and collected in the same manner.