Volusia County's Special Assessment Program is designed to assist citizens in unincorporated Volusia County to make neighborhood improvements such as street paving, sewer/water lines and sidewalks. Through the Special Assessment Program, the county performs the desired improvements to the neighborhood and the property owners are assessed for the cost of these improvements.
Preparing the petition
The first step is to develop a special petition and collect the signatures of a majority (at least 51 percent) of the property owners in the area involved or the owners of the majority (51 percent) of the total lands within the proposed district. Property owners along private roads may be subject to 100 percent participation on the petition.
The petition must contain:
Submitting the petition
Once the petition is in order, it is presented to the Volusia County Public Works Director. The administrative staff will evaluate it, assist in further completion, prepare an estimated cost and present staff recommendations to the Volusia County Council.
Ordinance and preliminary assessment roll prepared
The Public Works Director will review the request, determine the area to be included in the special assessment district, and direct County staff to prepare an ordinance and preliminary assessment roll. The ordinance will include the nature of the proposed improvements, the total estimated costs and the method of payment. The roll will spell out how to pay for the entire project based on each tax parcel owned in the benefited area.
Adoption of ordinance and assessment roll - public hearing
After proper notification, the County Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed ordinance and assessment roll.
Before the hearing, each affected property owner is notified about the nature of the proposed improvements, the total amount scheduled to be paid on each lot or parcel owned and the date, time and place of the public hearing. At the hearing, each property owner will have a chance to comment about the project and assessment. The County Council then will adopt or reject the project by majority vote on the proposed ordinance and preliminary assessment roll. If the County Council adopts the assessment roll, a lien will be placed on your property for the preliminary amount.
The County Council may create necessary special assessment districts on its own initiative without petitions from affected residents. All other actions regarding the creation of a special assessment district would apply.
Improvement project scheduled
After adoption of the ordinance, the improvement project is included on the Annual Work Program and scheduled for the work to begin. The work will be done by the County's Public Works Services or on a contract basis. When the actual work is started depends on two factors -- the availability of funds and the position the project has on the work program.
What about money?
You pay for improvements you receive by a special assessment on your property. The amount you pay depends on the cost of improvements. The amount you pay in relation to your neighbors depends on how much benefit you receive from the improvement and may be determined by such factors as front footage, the distance of your property from the improvement, the area benefited by the improvement or a combination of these.
Final assessment roll
Immediately after improvements are completed, the final actual cost will be determined. If the final assessment exceeds the preliminary assessment on each lot or parcel in the benefited area by more than 10 percent, a public hearing will be held following notification of all property owners. At this hearing the County Council will adopt a final assessment roll including any changes relating to the benefit each parcel, lot or unit receives from the improvements. If the final assessment is less than 10 percent over the preliminary assessment, the increase will become effective upon the recording of the final assessment roll.
All bills are due within 30 days after the final assessment roll is approved. Bills not paid within that period become payable in annual installments over a 10 year period, at an interest rate set by the County Council (usually 10 percent). The property owners paying on installment may pay the entire bill at any time, with interest accrued to the date of payment.
Before submitting your petition for special assessment district to the County Manager's Office, please be sure you have satisfied these requirements:
1. Do you have the signatures of 51 percent of the total land owners or owners of 51 percent of the total lands within the proposed district?
2. Do you have a copy of the recorded plat for the subdivision with the benefited area outlined?
3. If the area is not within a subdivision, do you have a legal description of the boundaries described by metes and bounds and plotted as a property ownership map?
4. Have you supplied all the information requested on the petition?
5. Have you included the name, address and telephone number(s) of the official representative?
If you have questions about the County's Special Assessment Program, please contact Volusia County's Right of Way Manager, Joette Enfinger, at 386-736-5967, ext. 12455.