Types of special assessments

A special assessment is a fee the City charges you when we make improvements or services that benefit your property.

Special assessment definition

A special assessment is a fee collected by the City for improvements or services the City provides that benefit your property. 

  • City ordinance also allows special assessments to be used to recover the cost of services, unpaid charges, and fines.
  • Special assessments appear as a line item on your Hennepin County Property Tax Statement. 
  • If not prepaid, the special assessments are collected along with property taxes.

Pending and levied special assessments

If an assessment is pending

  • The capital improvement project has been approved by City Council and the Mayor. Construction activities can begin.
  • Pre-payments are accepted at this time. Payment must be the full amount and received by November 15th of the year before it is levied.
  • Contact the Special Assessments office to request a pre-pay invoice or with any questions.   PWspecialassessments@minneapolismn.gov

If an assessment is levied

  • The project is complete or substantially complete.
  • The amount assessed is final and certified to the Hennepin County taxes.
  • The City can accept payment for the remaining balance less the amount certified to the current year’s taxes until November 15th.
  • The certified portion of the assessment will be collected by the County on your Hennepin County property tax statement.
  • Contact the Special Assessments office to get the payoff amount (remaining balance) PWspecialassessments@minneapolismn.gov

Special assessment types

Types of assessments

Special assessments can be used to finance many different types of local improvements and capital projects, including:

  • Street and sidewalk improvements
  • Sanitary sewer systems
  • Street lighting systems
  • Water works systems
  • Planting maintenance and trimming of street trees
  • Retaining walls and areaways
  • Pedestrian skyway systems
  • Underground pedestrian concourses
  • Public malls, plazas and courtyards
  • Parking facilities

Types of special assessments (details)

The following are types of Special Assessments, or reasons that you may be assessed.

  • Capital improvements
  • Related to a service, unpaid bill or unpaid fine
  • Street lighting and street maintenance assessments (on nongovernmental tax-exempt property)
  • Special service districts
  • Park Board property

Capital Improvements

Typical Capital Improvements include

  • Street reconstruction
  • Renovation
  • Rehabilitation or resurfacing
  • Alley construction or resurfacing
  • New water main
  • New sanitary sewer
  • Sidewalk installation
  • Street lighting installation

Related to a service, unpaid bill or unpaid fine

A special assessment can be levied for an unpaid fine related to a property violation.

Special Assessments levied by the Regulatory Services Department are for the following services/fines:

  • Nuisance Abatement
    • Weed elimination from streets/private property
    • Removal of rubbish from private property
    • Trimming and removal of unsound trees
    • Removal of vegetation hanging over or into the public alley and/or sidewalk
  • Unpaid Administrative Citations
  • Securing of buildings by boarding
  • Administrative Fees for Removal of inoperable vehicles
  • Vacant Building Registration
  • City Ordered Demolitions
  • Tenant Remedy Actions

Whether it is nuisance abatement, a fine, unpaid bill, etc., you will likely receive one or more notices from the City before an assessment is charged.

Street lighting and street maintenance assessments (on nongovernmental tax-exempt property)

These are annual assessments, meaning they are assessed every year.

  • The assessments are authorized by State Law.
  • The assessments were first levied on payable 1974 taxes. Rates were updated in 1978. Rates and methodology were updated in 2009.
  • There is a separate assessment for street lighting and street maintenance.

Assessed properties include:

  • Charitable Institutions
  • Private Schools and Colleges
  • Churches
  • Other nongovernmental, property tax exempt parcels

Assessments pay for a portion of the following activities:

  • Street lighting
    • This assessment pays for a portion of electricity costs and light bulb replacement for the street light system.
  • Street Maintenance
    • This work includes pothole repair, seal coating, and snow plowing on the city’s 1,500 miles of streets and alleys.

Assessment totals for individual properties are based on the assessment rate and the assessable area for each property.

The assessment rate is determined by dividing the street maintenance and street lighting budget by the citywide assessable square footage. The same rate is applied to all eligible properties.

Assessable area for each property is determined via the uniform influence area assessment policy (property area calculation). All property areas are calculated in the same manner.

The updating of rates and methodology in 2009 included mailed notice to property owners, two community meetings, and a public hearing at the City Council.

Minneapolis City Council adopted updated rates and methodology on November 13, 2009. Street Maintenance assessment was adopted at 1/3 the proposed rate with direction to phase in the assessment to the full proposed rate for payable 2011 taxes. Any increase in the assessment will require notification of property owners and a public hearing process.

Special service districts

The City collects special assessments from non-residential property owners within Special Service Districts.

The assessment covers the cost of services, like cleaning or maintaining pedestrian areas, which are not ordinarily provided elsewhere in the City.

Park Board property

Assessments for improvements to park property are handled by the Minneapolis Park Board.

Special assessment contacts

Whether it is an improvement project, a fine, or unpaid bill—you’ve likely received one or more notices from the City before the charge ended up on your tax statement as a special assessment. If you do not recall, contact us.

To learn more about a special assessment on your tax statement:

Contact the Special Assessments Office

Special assessments by department

Several departments in the City handle special assessments.  If you’ve received a letter about a special assessment, please contact the person or department on the letter.

The following is a list of City Departments and some of the assessments they generate.

Housing Inspections

  • Nuisance abatement fees (brush, branch, weed, tree, and rubbish removal)
  • Unpaid administration citations
  • Unpaid re-inspection fees
  • Emergency boarding fees
  • Vacant Building Registration fees
  • Chapter 249 Demolitions

Contact the Housing Inspections office

Minneapolis Park Board

  • Tree removal
  • Snow and ice removal
  • Sidewalk replacement

Search for Minneapolis Park Board property information

Contact the Minneapolis Park Board


  • Snow and ice removal
  • Sidewalk replacement

Contact Sidewalk Inspections 

Transportation Engineering and Design 

  • Street and alley paving
  • Street lighting
  • Special Service Districts 
  • Water and sewer service line repairs (for regular bills, see Utility Billing below)

Contact the Special Assessments Office

Utility Billing

  • Water and sewer bills, final or delinquent
  • Graffiti

Contact Utility Billing

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Contact us

Special Assessments Office

Public Works

(For improvement projects)



505 4th Ave. S. Room 410B
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Special Assessments Office

Inspection Services

For fees and fines



Mailing Address

Inspections Services - Special Assessments/Fees
505 4th Avenue S. Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board







2117 West River Road

Minneapolis, MN 55411 



Sidewalk Inspections

Public Works


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S, Room 410
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Utility Billing






Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave S., Room 620B
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Monday - Friday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.