Genesee County Property Owner,
is a basic explanation of the Drain Special Assessment process that pays for
maintaining the storm drain systems in Genesee County under my jurisdiction.
properly maintained drainage system is important to county residents and
businesses for everything from crop production to keeping streets passable and
minimizing flood damage. A
routinely maintained system is more cost effective, avoiding the need for large,
expensive drain projects often required to rebuild a system that has been
neglected for years.
Drain Special Assessment process begins with the Day of Review of Apportionments
in which you as a property owner are invited to review the records of
maintenance efforts and costs for providing your land with storm drainage, and
to discuss your proposed share of those costs.
This Day of Review also provides the opportunity for you to inform my
staff and I of additional maintenance issues, helping us do a better job for you
in the future.
work was done that benefits you property, those costs are assessed
on the winter property tax bill as a special assessment and are paid with your
property taxes. Drain assessments may be assessed over multiple years to help
spread out the cost.
Genesee County Drain
(winter taxes due 2020)
of MI Treasury-Special Assessment
What is A Drain Special Assessment?
County drainage districts are separate public corporations with
their own financial records. Each
drainage district is supported by a Drain Special Assessment that covers the
cost of maintaining the drainage system. County
drains are not maintained by Genesee general fund taxes.
2. What is a Drainage
A drainage district is a legally established area of land that drains to a
common outlet. Drainage district
boundaries are determined by natural topography of the land and rarely
correspond to political boundaries such as townships or counties.
Common words for drainage district include watershed and drainage basin.
3. Where Is The Storm Drain
For Which I Am Being Assessed?
The Genesee County Drain Office has maps that can show the location of
your property and the county drains within the drainage district.
These documents will be available on the day of Review.
Even if your property does not touch the county drain, storm water flows
toward this county drain as an outlet regardless of the land’s elevation.
4. Why Did I Receive More
Than One Special Assessment Notice?
Each notice informs you of a Drain Special Assessment for a different drainage
district. Your property can be in
multiple drainage districts because stormwater moves from smaller watersheds
through larger watersheds, ultimately discharging to the Great lakes.
For example, if your property were located in a small watershed that is
“nested” inside a larger watershed, you would receive an assessment for each
district, should they both be assessed in the same year.
5. Is This The Only Way I
Would Receive Multiple Drain Assessments In One Year?
No. Water may flow off your
property in more than one direction of different drains and drainage districts
and all of those drains may be assessed in one year.
How Are Assessments Determined?
The law requires that assessments be based on benefit derived as determined by
the Drain Commissioner. All properties within the drainage district are assessed
based on size of the parcel and the land use that is assigned by the
municipality. Distances from the
drain or the location of the property within the drainage district are not
factors. Drainage is considered as
an interdependent system with the entire system benefiting from maintenance of
the common outlet.
7. Do All Property Owners
Pay Drain Assessments?
All property owners within a drainage district receive an assessment, unless
specifically exempted by law. In addition, the Municipality, Genesee County, and the
Michigan Department of Transportation (as appropriate) also receive an
assessment for a portion of the maintenance costs.
The Drain Code does not exempt most non-profit or religious properties
8. I Recently Purchased My
Property, Why Am I Being Billed For Work Done Prior To My Ownership?
Although the work for which you are being assessed may have been completed prior
to your purchase of the land, the Drain Code requires that assessments be levied
to the property, and assessed to the current owner of record.
In most cases, the work performed will benefit the property for years to
9. What If I Cannot Attend
The Day Of Review?
If you are unable to attend the Day of Review, and have questions regarding your
assessment or the assessment process, please call the Genesee County Drain
Office; 810-732-1590. It is
possible to make an appoint at times other than the Day Of Review, although the
appeal period begins after the date of the Day of Review.
10. What Happens If I
Disagree With the Proposed Assessment For My Property?
Appeal of Drain Special Assessments may be made to the Genesee County Probate
Court within 10 days after the Day of Review.