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(a) The municipality may not make an assessment under this subchapter against any benefitted property until it has given notice and provided an opportunity for a hearing as provided by this section. The municipality may not make an assessment against any benefitted property or the owners of the property in excess of the enhancement of value of the property caused by the improvements as determined by the hearing.
(b) The municipality shall deliver the notice required under this section in writing by mailing the notice to the address of the owner of the property or to the person who last paid taxes on the property as determined by the municipal tax rolls. The municipality must mail the notice before the 10th day before the date set for the hearing and must publish the notice at least three times in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality in which the special assessment tax is to be imposed. The municipality shall publish the first notice before the 10th day before the date set for the hearing. Proof of the mailing and publication constitutes proof that all the notice requirements of this section have been met.
(c) A notice is sufficient, valid, and binding on all persons who own or claim benefitted property or an interest in that property if the notice:
(1) generally describes the nature of the improvements for which the municipality proposes to make assessments and to which the notice relates;
(2) describes the water or sanitary sewer system to be improved or the portions of that system to which the improvements relate;
(3) states the estimated amount per front foot proposed to be assessed against benefitted property or the owners of the property;
(4) describes the property benefitted by each system or portion of system with reference to which the required hearing is to be held;
(5) states the estimated total cost of the improvements on each system or portion of a system; and
(6) states the time and place of the hearing.
(d) The governing body of the municipality shall conduct the hearing. Each person who owns or claims benefitted property or an interest in that property is entitled to be heard on any matter to which a hearing is a constitutional prerequisite to the validity of an assessment authorized by this subchapter. Such a person may contest the amount of the proposed assessment, the lien and liability for the lien, the special benefits claimed for the property to be improved and its owner by means of improvements for which assessments are to be levied, and the accuracy, sufficiency, regularity, and validity of the proceedings and any contract in connection with the improvements and proposed assessments. The governing body may correct any deficiencies and may determine the amounts of the assessments and other necessary matters. By ordinance, the municipality may close the hearing and may levy the assessment for improvements before, during, or after the construction of those improvements. The municipality may not make any part of such an assessment mature before the acceptance by the municipality of the improvements for which the assessment is levied.
(e) A person who owns or claims assessed property or an interest in that property may appeal the assessment based on the amount of the assessment; on any inaccuracy, irregularity, invalidity, or insufficiency of the proceedings or contract relating to the assessment; or on anything that is not within the discretion of the governing body of the municipality, by bringing suit in a court of competent jurisdiction within 15 days after the date the assessment is levied. A claimant who does not bring suit within that time waives the right to contest any matter that might have been presented at the hearing and is barred and estopped from contesting the assessment or the proceedings and contract relating to the assessment in any manner. The only defense to an assessment in a suit brought to enforce the assessment is failure to publish notice as required by this section or that the assessment exceeds the amount of the estimate. The words or acts of any municipal officer or employee, including a member of the governing body, do not affect the force and effect of this subchapter, except for official actions of the governing body as shown in its written proceedings and records.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Local Government Code - LOC GOV'T § 552.069. Notice and Hearing Requirements; Appeal - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/local-government-code/loc-gov-t-sect-552-069/
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