Special Assessments is a complicated issue. There are a number of taxing mechanisms that the City, School District, Parks, County and State have on your property. West Fargo utilizes Special Assessments for Infrastructure and other Capital Improvement Projects. I've always had an interest in Special Assessments since the time I was house shopping. I saw an opportunity to become involved and was appointed to the Special Assessment Commission (SAC). I didn't know what they were and I started learning about them. My time on the SAC has been educational on many levels.
As someone that has strengths in being Deliberative, Context and being Analytical, I like having a background, including all sides and data available when making a decision. I have a series of posts about Special Assessments, where I do my best to explain some of the complexities, including background information that I find helpful. I also share what alternatives I would like to work on to reduce or remove Specials. If anything is unclear, or you have other questions, please reach out. You can use my Contact Me Form, or you can e-mail me at email@example.com
In the end, my approach to Special Assessments is like trying to bring down a mountain. You can lob what you want at the surface, but that will only get you so far and you will be met with fierce resistance. If you penetrate the mountain, plant your stuff within the mountain, you can bring down the whole mountain. The money for infrastructure needs to come from somewhere. I believe that this can be done without specials. Having a low rate that can be levied to a property would be ideal, in my opinion. It is predictable and can be sustainable. This would come through the Infrastructure Property Tax in lieu of special assessments. There needs to be work done to figure out how to transition away from special assessments and into this structure so it's the most fair for everyone. This is something I want to work on, and get started on day one. To date, there has only been discussion on exploring the topic, with nothing to show for it, at least that is in the public view.
The City of West Fargo conducted some Community Forums on Special Assessments in the Winter of 2019. The presentation that they shared can be viewed here: https://www.westfargond.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2267/Community-Forum-Education-Presentation?bidId=