A Special Assessment is a fee collected by the City for improvements or services the City provides that benefit your property. City ordinance also allows special assessments to be used to recover the cost of services, unpaid charges, and fines.
Special assessments appear as a line item on your Hennepin County Property Tax Statement. If not prepaid, the special assessments are collected along with property taxes.
Uses of Special Assessments
Special assessments can be used to finance many different types of local improvements, including:
- Street and sidewalk improvements
- Sanitary sewer systems
- Street lighting systems
- Water works systems
- Planting maintenance and trimming of street trees
- Retaining walls and areaways
- Pedestrian skyway systems
- Underground pedestrian concourses
- Public malls, plazas and courtyards
- Parking facilities
Notices for Special Assessments
Whether it is an improvement project, a fine, or unpaid bill—you’ve likely received one or more notices from the City before the charge ended up on your tax statement as a special assessment. Don’t recall? To learn more about a special assessment on your tax statement, please call the number below or email [email protected]. Please have your Property Tax ID available.
Transportation Engineering and Design
Several departments in the City handle special assessments. If you’ve received a letter about a special assessment, please contact the person or department on the letter.
The following is a list of City Departments and some of the assessments they generate.
Transportation Engineering and Design, (612) 673-2401
- Street and Alley Paving
- Street Lighting
- Special Service Districts
- Water and Sewer Service Line Repairs
Housing Inspections, (612) 673-3000
- Nuisance abatement fees (brush, branch, weed, tree, and rubbish removal)
- Unpaid administration citations
- Unpaid re-inspection fees
- Emergency boarding fees
- Vacant Building Registration fees
- Chapter 249 Demolitions
Minneapolis Park Board, (612) 230-6400
- Tree removal
Sidewalks, (612) 673-2420
- Snow and ice removal
- Sidewalk replacement
Utility Billing, (612) 673-1114
- Delinquent water and sewer bills
If you need more information or help determining who to contact about a special assessment, please call 311.
For questions on pending or levied special assessments, please have your property tax ID available.
Pending and Levied Special Assessments
Pending and Levied Special Assessments apply to capital improvement projects.
"Pending" means that the project has been approved by City Council and construction can start. Payment is not accepted at this point.
"Levied" means the project is complete, the assessments have had their final calculation, and we can accept payment. Levied also means the assessments are certified and will be collected on your Hennepin County property tax statement.
Types of Special Assessments
The following are types of Special Assessments, or reasons that you may be assessed.
Typical Capital Improvements include street reconstruction, renovation, rehabilitation or resurfacing; alley construction or resurfacing; new water main; new sanitary sewer; sidewalk installation or street lighting installation.
Related to a Service, Unpaid Bill or Unpaid Fine
A special assessment can be levied for an unpaid fine related to a property violation. Special Assessments levied by the Regulatory Services Department are for the following services/fines:
- Nuisance Abatement
- Weed elimination from streets/private property
- Removal of rubbish from private property
- Trimming and removal of unsound trees
- Removal of vegetation hanging over or into the public alley and/or sidewalk
- Unpaid Administrative Citations
- Securing of buildings by boarding
- Administrative Fees for Removal of inoperable vehicles
- Vacant Building Registration
- City Ordered Demolitions
- Tenant Remedy Actions
Whether it is nuisance abatement, a fine, unpaid bill, etc., you will likely receive one or more notices from the City before an assessment is charged.
Street Lighting and Street Maintenance Assessments on Nongovernmental Tax-Exempt Property
These are annual assessments, meaning they are assessed every year.
The assessments are authorized by State Law.
The assessments were first levied on payable 1974 taxes. Rates were updated in 1978. Rates and methodology were updated in 2009.
There is a separate assessment for street lighting and street maintenance.
Assessed properties include:
- Charitable Institutions
- Private Schools and Colleges
- Other nongovernmental, property tax exempt parcels
Assessments pay for a portion of the following activities.
- Street Lighting
- This assessment pays for a portion of electricity costs and light bulb replacement for the street light system.
- Street Maintenance
- This work includes pothole repair, seal coating, and snow plowing on the city’s 1,500 miles of streets and alleys.
Assessment totals for individual properties are based on the assessment rate and the assessable area for each property.
The assessment rate is determined by dividing the street maintenance and street lighting budget by the citywide assessable square footage. The same rate is applied to all eligible properties.
Assessable area for each property is determined via the uniform influence area assessment policy (property area calculation). All property areas are calculated in the same manner.
The updating of rates and methodology in 2009 included mailed notice to property owners, two community meetings, and a public hearing at the City Council.
Minneapolis City Council adopted updated rates and methodology on November 13, 2009. Street Maintenance assessment was adopted at 1/3 the proposed rate with direction to phase in the assessment to the full proposed rate for payable 2011 taxes. Any increase in the assessment will require notification of property owners and a public hearing process.
Special Service Districts
The City collects special assessments from non-residential property owners within Special Service Districts. The assessment covers the cost of services, like cleaning or maintaining pedestrian areas, which are not ordinarily provided elsewhere in the City.
Park Board Property
Assessments for improvements to park property are handled by the Minneapolis Park Board.
Last updated May 6, 2019