5540.031 Special assessments for improvements.

(A) The board of trustees of a transportation improvement district may provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any road, highway, public place, building, or other infrastructure and levy special assessments, if the board determines that the public improvement will benefit the area where it will be constructed, reconstructed, improved, altered, or repaired. However, if the improvement is proposed for territory in a political subdivision located outside the district's territory, the legislative authority of that political subdivision shall approve the undertaking of the improvement within the political subdivision.

(B) If any improvements are made under this section, contracts for the improvement may provide that the improvement may be owned by the district or by the person or corporation supplying it to the district under a lease.

(C) If the board of trustees of a district proposes an improvement described in division (A) of this section, the board shall conduct a hearing on the proposed improvement. The board shall indicate by metes and bounds the area in which the public improvement will be made and the area that will benefit from the improvement.

(D) The board of trustees shall fix a day for a hearing on the proposed improvement. The secretary-treasurer of the board shall deliver, to each owner of a parcel of land or a lot that the board identifies as benefiting from the proposed improvement, a notice that sets forth the substance of the proposed improvement and the time and place of the hearing on it. At least fifteen days before the date set for the hearing, a copy of the notice shall be served upon the owner or left at the owner's usual place of residence, or, if the owner is a corporation, upon an officer or agent of the corporation. On or before the day of the hearing, the person serving notice of the hearing shall make return thereon, under oath, of the time and manner of service, and shall file the notice with the secretary-treasurer of the board.

At least fifteen days before the day set for the hearing on the proposed improvement, the secretary-treasurer shall give notice to each nonresident owner of a lot or parcel of land in the area to be benefited by the improvement, by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation in the one or more counties in which this area is located. The publication of the notice shall be verified by affidavit of the printer or other person having knowledge of the publication and shall be filed with the secretary-treasurer of the district on or before the date of the hearing.

(E) At the time and place specified in the notice for a hearing on the proposed improvement, the board of trustees of the district shall meet and hear any and all testimony provided by any of the parties affected by the proposed improvement and by any other persons competent to testify. The board or its representatives shall inspect, by an actual viewing, the area to be benefited by the proposed improvement. The board shall determine the necessity of the proposed improvement and may find that the proposed improvement will result in general as well as special benefits. The board may adjourn from time to time and to such places as it considers necessary.

(F)

(1) The board may award contracts or enter into a lease agreement for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any improvement described in division (A) of this section and may issue notes, bonds, revenue anticipatory instruments, or other obligations, as authorized by this chapter, to finance the improvements.

(2) All or a part of the costs and expenses of providing for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any improvement described in division (F)(1) of this section may be paid from a fund into which may be paid special assessments levied under this section against the lots and parcels of land in the area to be benefited by the improvement, if the board finds that the improvement will result in general or special benefits to the benefited area. These special assessments shall be levied not more than one time on the same lot or parcel of land. Such costs and expenses may also be paid from the treasury of the district or from other available sources in amounts the board finds appropriate.

(3) The board shall levy special assessments at an amount not to exceed ten per cent of the assessable value of the lot or parcel of land being assessed. The board shall determine the assessable value of a lot or parcel of land in the following manner: the board shall first determine the fair market value of the lot or parcel being assessed in the calendar year in which the area to be benefited by the public improvement is first designated and then multiply this amount by the average rate of appreciation in value of the lot or parcel since that calendar year. The assessable value of the lot or parcel is the current fair market value of the lot or parcel minus the amount calculated in the manner described in the immediately preceding sentence. The board may adjust the assessable value of a lot or parcel of land to reflect a sale of the lot or parcel that indicates an appreciation in its value that exceeds its average rate of appreciation in value.

(4) Special assessments levied by the board may be paid in full in a lump sum or may be paid and collected in equal semiannual installments, equal in number to twice the number of years for which the lease of the improvement is made or twice the number of years that the note, bond, instrument, or obligation that the assessments are pledged to pay requires. The assessments shall be paid and collected in the same manner and at the same time as real property taxes are paid and collected, and assessments in the amount of fifty dollars or less shall be paid in full, and not in installments, at the time the first or next installment would otherwise become due and payable. Complaints regarding assessments may be made to the county board of revision in the same manner as complaints relating to the valuation and assessment of real property.

Credits against assessments shall be granted equal to the value of any construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair that an owner of a parcel of land or lot makes to an improvement pursuant to an agreement between the owner and the district.

(5) After the levy of a special assessment, the board, at any time during any year in which an installment of the assessment becomes due, may pay out of other available funds of the district, including any state or federal funds available to the district, the full amount of the price of the contract that the special assessments are pledged to pay for that year or any other portion of the remaining obligation. The board shall be the sole determiner of the definition, extent, and allocation of the benefit resulting from an improvement that the board authorizes under this section.

(G)

(1) The board shall certify to the appropriate county auditor the boundaries of the area that is benefited by any public improvement the board authorizes under this section and, when the board so requests, the auditor shall apportion the valuation of any lot or parcel of land lying partly within and partly outside the area so benefited.

(2) The board by resolution shall assess against the lots and parcels of land located in the area that is benefited by a public improvement such portion of the costs of completing the public improvement as the board determines, for the period that may be necessary to pay the note, bond, instrument, or obligation issued to pay for the improvement and the proceedings in relation to it, and shall certify these costs to the appropriate county auditor.

(3) Except for assessments that have been paid in full in a lump sum, the county auditor shall annually place upon the tax duplicate, for collection in semiannual installments, the two installments of the assessment for that year, which shall be paid and collected at the same time and in the same manner as real property taxes. The collected assessments shall be paid to the treasury of the district and the board of the district shall use the assessments for any purpose authorized by this chapter.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-12-1994