Municipal Service Benefit Unit Program
The Municipal Service Benefit Unit program (also known as Special Assessments) provides residents with a funding mechanism for specific infrastructure improvements including road resurfacing, water, and sanitary sewer line installation.
In short, residents can finance these improvements (at a generally low interest rate) through a cooperative relationship with the County.
How are MSBU Projects Created?
Petition by property owners - A request in writing submitted by the property owners of lands involved in a proposed MSBU area, requesting that the Board of provide improvements or services in their area.
Form of petition - The petition shall contain the following information:
Signatures as they appear on the ownership documents of the owners of the lands involved in the proposed benefit area. Legal descriptions or property addresses as they appear on the tax roll or legal ownership documents of the lots or land shall be opposite the names of the signed petitioners, along with a phone number.
General description of improvement(s) requested by the property owners. A designated individual, including his/her address and Submitting the petition - The petition shall be submitted to the Road & Bridge Department/MSBU Program for administrative evaluation and review and for recommendations to the Board. The administrative evaluation shall include a determination of the adequacy or availability of funds and the estimated total cost of the proposed improvements. The Road & Bridge Department/MSBU Program shall verify all signatures on the petition as affected property owners.
Preliminary cost estimate - The preliminary cost of the project shall include all costs related to the administration, engineering/design, construction, labor and materials, interest costs prior to and during construction, consultant services and all other costs attributable to the project. The Road & Bridge Department/MSBU Program shall request preparation of the preliminary cost of the proposed project to be used in the property owner survey.
Property owner survey - At the time the administrative evaluation is completed, a survey letter will be prepared and mailed to each affected property owner of record as listed on the tax rolls. The results will be tabulated on the survey closing date. Each property owner within the proposed MSBU boundaries will receive one vote. In addition, any property under joint or multiple ownership or any person owning more than one lot will receive one vote. If, within the survey period, positive responses have been received from at least (66 2/3%) of the affected property owners, then significant interest in the creation of the MSBU will be deemed present. All affected property owners shall be notified in writing that the proposed project will be initiated.
If significant interest in the creation of the MSBU is not demonstrated within the specified time frame, the property owners within the proposed benefit unit will be precluded from initiating another MSBU creation process for one year from the closing date. All affected property owners shall be notified in writing that the proposed project will not be initiated.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a MSBU?
A Municipal Service Benefit Unit or MSBU is a mechanism for property owners within unincorporated areas of the County to receive services for which they currently do not have. Examples of these: Water, sewer, re-use line, and paved roads.
Who pays for the construction?
All costs are paid by all the affected property owners within the affected benefit area.
Will my taxes go up?
No, this is not a tax. Only the property owners within the benefit area pay for the improvement through a special assessment.
How much will this cost?
Each project is created individually; therefore a specific cost cannot be set, however every effort is made by staff to ensure that the cost is the lowest possible through a bidding process.
How do I pay?
Payment of the MSBU special assessment charge can be made in two different ways. The special assessment charge can be paid in full at the beginning of the assessment or it may be paid in annual installments over a 10-year period. Which will reflect on your yearly tax bill.
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