No. Special assessments can only be used for the services or facilities for which they have been imposed.
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A special assessment is a charge placed on a property because that property receives a special benefit from the services or facilities that are funded by the special assessment. A street light special benefit is based on the provision that street lights specially benefit all of the improved parcels, whether residential or commercial, by protecting and enhancing their value, use and enjoyment. The provision of street lights provides better identification and recognition and can enhance safety and access to property. A special assessment is not a tax and is not based on the value of your property.
The streetlights are owned by either Duke Energy Corporation, Florida Power and Light, Orlando Utility Commission and The City of Oviedo.
Each parcel being assessed must receive a special benefit that equals or exceeds the amount of the special assessment actually imposed on the parcel. All developed parcels within the City benefit from street lighting services. Parcel apportionment is accomplished through the development of a base billing unit, called an Equivalent Benefit Unit (EBU).
One (1) EBU equals one (1) Single Family Residence, multifamily 10 units or 0.26 acres for General Service Parcels.
The proposed Non-Commercial assessment per residential unit is $78.13 per year.
General Service Parcels which include commercial and multi-family parcels with more than 10 units will be charged per 0.26 acres of property, or one Equivalent Benefit Unit(EBU), with a cap of 50 EBU’s
Assessments will be initiated in the fall of 2018 and will appear as a line item on your property tax bill. If you make monthly mortgage payments, it is likely that this amount will be escrowed by your mortgage and your monthly mortgage payment will include this assessment.
Street light services are currently paid by a gas tax revenue called the Local Option Gas Tax (LOGT) and the City’s general fund. As automobiles continue to become more efficient and in some cases 100% electric, the LOGT fund will decline to the point where it could only cover construction costs for required transportation projects (i.e., new roadways, turn lanes, traffic signals, sidewalks, etc.).
Additionally, LOGT funds are allocated to municipalities based on the proportional share of transportation expenditures made by each municipality. Street light expenditures are an allowable expense from LOGT funds, but reduce the City’s ability to maintain and construct new roadways. By utilizing the street light assessment funding source, the ongoing costs of street lights can be covered and, at the same time, the City’s LOGT and general fund can be maximized.
The majority of municipalities fund their street lighting cost from their General Fund, Local Option Gas Tax (LOGT), or through special assessments. However, special assessments are becoming more common as they are seen as a more equitable way to pay for the service.
The assessment will fund energy costs associated with operating current street lighting in public rights of way city wide, maintenance of street lighting in public rights of way city wide, upgrading of existing street lighting to energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and expanded lighting in non-lighted areas such as Mitchell Hammock Road.
Yes. However, as required by law, the assessment implementation documentation requires that assessments cannot be increased without first conducting a public hearing on the matter in front of the City Council.
Yes. There are a few areas within the City that have deficient street lighting. However, the street light assessment includes a small capital component to fund the installation of street lights in these deficient areas. Staff is proactively identifying these areas and will arrange for the installation of street lights.
Private communities are not exempt from the Streetlight Assessment. While many private/gated communities pay for their internal street lighting the City’s Street Lighting Assessment encompasses all public rights of way within the City. All residential and commercial property owners benefit from the City’s public road network and the lighting contained thereon. Additionally the Street Lighting Assessment will provide for the expansion of street lighting in currently unlit areas throughout the public road network and the upgrade of the existing street lighting system to new (LED) technology. Furthermore the City’s street lighting network enhances both the Police and Fire Department’s response times for all City properties and enhances nighttime pedestrian safety.
If you have a question regarding the street lighting assessment, you may contact the City of Oviedo at (407) 971-5681, Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.