Special Assessments

What Are Special Assessments?

As part of your annual property taxes, you may be paying special assessments. Special assessments are one of the ways a local government may collect money to pay for local improvements.

A special assessment is a charge imposed on real property to help pay for a local improvement project that benefits the property. It is not based on the value of the property, rather it is based on how much the property benefits from the improvement and the cost of doing the project.

Cities, townships, and the county can levy special assessments for improvements and projects, for example:
  • Streets and roads, curbs and gutters
  • Storm sewers
  • Street lights
  • Parks
  • Sidewalks
  • Ditches in rural areas
  • Recycling and water management
Special assessments can also be levied to collect for utility bills that are not paid or for other expenses owed to the city, township, or county.

About the Decision Process

In most cases, Blue Earth County’s role in the special assessment process is that of the tax collector. The decision to levy a special assessment and how to collect it is a decision made by the local unit of government. There are laws and requirements that dictate how and when a special assessment can be levied.

Once a project is certified to the county, we become involved to collect the assessments. The assessments are collected on the annual property tax statement. Special assessments may be paid in full before they become a part of the property tax statement.

The special assessment amount shows up as a separate item on the tax statement. The county’s property tax information system is available online and shows the total tax amounts, including special assessments.

For More Information

If you have questions regarding a specific special assessment project, you should first contact the local unit of government that levied it. Questions related to the tax statement and a special assessment may be directed to (507) 304-4251 or you may send an email.