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Under Chapter 94 of the Pasco County of Ordinances, an assessment project can either be initiated through a citizen petition OR by the action of the Board of County Commissioners. Even if a petition fails to achieve the passage requirements set forth in the Ordinance, the Board has the ultimate authority to adopt an assessment where it believes it would be in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents within the boundaries of the proposed project.
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1. The number of residential dwelling units in existence on your property and the number of residential dwelling units allowed to be placed on the property under its current zoning or the predominant zoning in the project area.
Prior to the public hearing, all potentially affected property owners are notified by registered mail of the date, time and place of the proposed public hearing along with the maximum amount of assessment they may be required to pay if the project is approved. Citizens interested in an assessment are provided an opportunity to share their opinion on the matter during the public comment portion of the public hearing.
After a minimum of 2 years of non-payment of the annual assessment installments due, a tax deed for the property can be issued. If the tax deed is sold to a third party without the property owner paying off the amount due, the property owner could lose title to their property. According to the Tax Collector’s Office though, the loss of title under such circumstances occurs very infrequently since there are multiple opportunities in the tax certificate process for the property owner to address and pay any arrearages due before a tax deed is issued.
Should you ever declare bankruptcy, transfer or sell the property and an assessment amount is still due, the County at that point will seek to be paid for the full assessment amount of any proceeds available.
At your expense, you may choose to Down Zone your parcel to a different zoning classification that would allow for fewer residential units on your parcel or have a Deed Restriction limiting the amount of development allowed on the parcel before the final assessment is adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. All costs involved in either of these processes are the sole responsibility of the property owner. If you wish to pursue either of the two options, please understand that the resale value of your property may be affected. It is important you let the County know in advance of the public hearing at which the preliminary assessment will be considered so that any necessary adjustments in the final roll can be made.