Local Improvements and Works Generally

ORS 223.389
Procedure in making local assessments for local improvements


The governing body of a local government may prescribe by ordinance or resolution the procedure to be followed in making estimated assessments and final assessments for benefits from a local improvement upon the lots that have been benefited by all or part of the local improvement, to the extent that the charter of the local government does not prescribe the method of procedure. In addition, in any case where the charter of a local government specifies a method of procedure that does not comply or is not consistent with the requirements of the Oregon Constitution, the governing body of the local government may prescribe by ordinance or resolution the procedure that shall comply and be consistent with the requirements of the Oregon Constitution, and the provisions of the ordinance or resolution shall apply in lieu of the charter provisions.


(a) The ordinance or resolution prescribing the procedure shall provide for adoption or enactment of an ordinance or resolution designating the local improvement as to which an assessment is contemplated, describing the boundaries of the district to be assessed. Provision shall be made for at least 10 days’ notice to owners of property within the proposed district in which the local improvement is contemplated. The notice may be made by posting, by newspaper publication or by mail, or by any combination of such methods. The notice shall specify the time and place where the governing body will hear and consider objections or remonstrances to the proposed local improvement by any parties aggrieved thereby.


If the governing body determines that the local improvement shall be made, when the estimated cost thereof is ascertained on the basis of the contract award or the departmental cost of the local government, the governing body shall determine whether the property benefited shall bear all or a portion of the cost. The recorder or other person designated by the governing body shall prepare the estimated assessment to the respective lots within the assessment district and file it in the appropriate office of the local government. Notice of the estimated assessment shall be mailed or personally delivered to the owner of each lot proposed to be assessed. The notice shall state the amounts of the estimated assessment proposed on that property and shall fix a date by which time objections shall be filed with the recorder. Any objection shall state the grounds for the objection. The governing body shall consider the objections and grounds and may adopt, correct, modify or revise the estimated assessments.


The governing body shall determine the amount of estimated assessment to be charged against each lot within the district, according to the special and peculiar benefits accruing to the lot from the local improvement, and shall by ordinance or resolution spread the estimated assessments. [1959 c.219 §2; 1991 c.902 §37; 2003 c.802 §28]

Notes of Decisions

The property owner's allegation that the street for which it was assessed provided only an alternate circuitous access to the main street for which it already had direct access did not overcome the presumption of validity of the assessment. Western Amusement v. Springfield, 21 Or App 7, 533 P2d 825 (1975), aff'd274 Or 37, 545 P2d 592 (1976)

"Special and peculiar benefits" mentioned in this section are those that accrue to real property, not to its current owner. Kerr v. Hallett, 67 Or App 324, 677 P2d 1098 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Assessment levied according to amount paid by assessing body to property owner for easement was invalid because levied amount was not based on benefit provided to property. Hutchinson v. City of Corvallis, 134 Or App 519, 895 P2d 797 (1995), Sup Ct review denied

§§ 223.387 to 223.399

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Application of Ballot Measure 47 (Oregon Constitution Article XI, section 11g) to issuance of bonds for specific local improvements, (1996) Vol 48, p 67

Chapter 223

Notes of Decisions

Fact that ordinance, which charged fee to property owners taking advantage of privilege of making connection to city water system, specified that payment would be secured by liens which would be "enforced" in matter provided by this chapter did not, of itself, show that such charges were "assessments." Montgomery Brothers v. City of Corvallis, 34 Or App 785, 580 P2d 190 (1978)

Circuit court has jurisdiction to determine merits of assessment, but cannot address whether assessment is subject to constitutional limits on property taxes. Martin v. City of Tigard, 14 OTR 517 (1999), aff'd 335 Or 444, 72 P3d 619 (2003)

State statutory procedures for financing local improvements are not exclusive and do not displace consistent local procedures. Baker v. City of Woodburn, 190 Or App 445, 79 P3d 901 (2003), Sup Ct review denied


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Jun. 26, 2021