Objections & Appeals
To formally object to or appeal the amount of an assessment, the property owner must sign a written objection,and file it with the City Clerk prior to the assessment hearing - or present it to the presiding officer at the hearing.
Any objections not received at or before the public hearing in the manner prescribed above are waived, unless the failure to object is due to a “reasonable cause.” (Reasonable cause is not defined in statute and has not received in-depth judicial analysis.)
Appeals to the District Court
Within 30 days after the assessment roll is adopted, any property owner who has properly objected to the assessment may appeal to the district court.
How to Appeal
- The property owner must have formally objected following the process above to be eligible for appeal
- If eligible, the property owner must serve a formal notice to appeal to the Mayor or City Clerk
- The property owner then has 10 days to serve notice with the District Court
The City Clerk is required to provide the person appealing a certified copy of objections filed in the assessment proceedings, the assessment roll or part complained of, and all papers necessary to present the appeal.
- If a city’s assessment is challenged in district court, the assessment roll constitutes initial proof that an assessment does not exceed the special benefit.
- The party contesting the assessment must introduce evidence sufficient to overcome that presumption.
- If the evidence is conflicting, it is the District Court's responsibility to determine whether the assessment exceeds the market value increase and, if so, by what amount.
- The appeal is placed on the calendar for the next general term of the District Court, (more than five days after the date of serving the notice)
- If the person appealing does not win his/her case, the court must award the City its costs of the appeal (other than attorney fees).
- All objections to the assessment are waived, unless presented on such appeal except the defense of payment or exemption of the property from assessment.
- On appeal the district court must either affirm the assessment or set it aside and order a reassessment.