Special Assessments

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645.Summarizes recent court of appeals' decision concluding that corner lot already served by city water and sewer received special benefits from extension of water and sewer utility along other street that property abutted and therefore special assessment levied by the city for water and sewer extension was valid. Chaudoir v. City of Sturgeon Bay, No. 99-0055-FT (Wis. Ct. App. June 15, 1999) (not recommended for publication in the official reports). 6/30/99.

646. Discusses changes made to sec. 66.60(16), Stats., by 1999 Wisconsin Act 150. Concludes that Act 150's deletion of the phrase "without limitation because of enumeration" in sec. 66.60(16), now sec. 66.0627(1), was not intended to be and does not constitute a narrowing of the types of services for which property owners can be specially charged by a municipality. Rather, the deletion was a non-substantive, editorial change to eliminate unnecessary language and reflect modern drafting style. 8/22/00.

647. Reaffirms Special Assessments 635 and 645 which explain that a municipality may not specially assess a corner lot served by existing sewer and water for extension of sewer and water in the other street abutting the property unless the extension confers special benefits which give an uncommon advantage to the corner lot. Summarizes cases discussing treatment of corner lots. 6/30/01.

648. Where a business generates extensive traffic on a local street, a municipality can build the street to a higher standard necessitated by the traffic and specially assess the business under sec. 66.0703, Stats., for the difference in building to the higher standard. 2/25/02

649. Special assessment that affects condominium project on a per-unit basis like single-family parcels but treats mobile home park as a whole is "clearly reasonable" since "condominium units created by the recording of the condominium declaration and plat become individual parcels of record" and "are comparable to other single-family parcels of record." Steinbach v. Green Lake Sanitary District, Case No. 03-2245 (Ct. App., September 15, 2004). 9/30/04.

650. An "availability charge" levied against eighteen condominium owners by a town sanitary district as part of a special assessment to finance a sanitary sewer system was unreasonable because it was not levied uniformly and imposed an inequitable cost burden on the condominium owners as compared with the benefit accruing to them and to all benefited properties. There was no nexus between the availability charge assessed against the condominium owners and the district's recovery of the capital cost to provide sanitary sewer service to individual lots; other lots with multiple habitable units that were provided the same sewer service through a single four-inch stub like the condominium owners were assessed only one availability charge; and the district did not show that the condominium owners received a greater benefit than was provided to other lots that were affected by the sewer extension. Steinbach v. Green Lake Sanitary District, 2006 WI 63. 8/31/06.
651. Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0703 does not preclude a municipality from completing the special assessment process after the improvements have already been constructed so where the City had demonstrated an intent to specially assess the work and had followed each of the statutory steps required by sec. 66.0703, its assessment was not invalid because it was levied after the improvements were constructed. Park Avenue Plaza v. City of Mequon, 2008 WI App 39, 308 Wis.2d 439, 747 N.W.2d 703. 2/29/08.

652. Special assessment against abutting property for costs of recreational trail that is intended to benefit community and did not confer benefit different in kind to property from benefit conferred upon general public is not valid exercise of municipal police power. Hildebrand v. Town of Menasha, 2010AP897 (Ct. App. May 11, 2011) (publication recommended). 5/31/11.