Local Assessment Law and Legal Definition

Local Assessment is a tax to pay for improvements (such as sewers and sidewalks) in a designated area, levied on property owners who will benefit from the improvements. It is also termed local-improvement assessment.

"Since there is an important and fundamental distinction between the tax in the more limited sense and the local assessment, the question often arises whether provisions in constitutions and statutes which refer by name to taxes, include also local assessments. This is primarily a question of legislative intention. In the absence of anything to show the specific intention of the legislature, the general rule is that the local assessment possesses such marked peculiarities differentiating it from the tax in the more limited sense of the term, that the use of the term 'tax' does not prima facie show an intention to include local assessments." [A Treatise on the Law of Taxation by Local and Special Assessments]