Special Assessments are comprised of any charges assessed for improvements or installation of City services for a specific group of property owners and could include such items as street paving, curbs, sidewalks, sewer or water lines, and storm drainage. These special assessment charges are based on the actual cost of construction and are typically charged to the property owner over twenty years. The amount billed to the property owner includes the actual cost of the improvement plus interest. The interest rate assessed is the rate received by the City on the debt that was issued to pay for the assessed improvements and is typically a lower rate than what the individual property owner could obtain on their own. When special assessments are levied, the property owner has the choice to pay the assessment in full or have it amortized on their tax bill. Once the decision is made to allow the charge to be placed on the tax bill, the resident may choose to pay the charge off early, but all interest included with the original assessment charge must be paid in full as well.
Special Assessments are not part of the real estate tax, but are included as a separate item on the real estate tax bill. The Cuyahoga County Auditor is required by law to keep an accounting of these special assessments, to place them on the tax duplicate as separate items, and to return the money collected to the City.
In addition to true “special assessments” certain fees are levied by the City and combined by Cuyahoga County into one line on the property tax statement called “Plus Special Assessments”. The City of Brecksville currently charges two maintenance and improvement fees. The first is a storm drainage maintenance fee which is charged to all properties in the city. The rate for 2015 is $.60 per property front footage. The second is charged to all homes connected to the sanitary sewer system. For 2015, the rate is $2.50 per property front footage. The actual fee amount calculation is performed by the Cuyahoga County Engineers office. Questions related to the footage amounts used for their calculation should be directed to their office at (216) 443-8242.
The dollars collected from these two fees is not forwarded to the City of Brecksville. Instead the collections are forwarded to a Cuyahoga County maintenance account designated for the City of Brecksville. Cuyahoga County uses these funds to perform maintenance and improvements on the storm and sanitary sewer infrastructure within Brecksville.