City won’t appeal special assessment court rulings

By Seth Schmidt

Meeting in closed session Monday night, the Tracy City Council decided not to appeal two recent court rulings on special assessments.
“The council has decided not to appeal,” City Attorney Matt Gross told the Headlight-Herald Tuesday afternoon. Instead, Gross said that the council had decided to “focus on the future” by creating a new special assessment policy for upcoming city projects.
On Jan. 4 Lyon County District Court  Judge Leland Bush ruled against the City of Tracy in a case involving nine appellants and 12 parcels of property.  The ruling wiped out just over $145,000 of special assessments levied against the real estate parcels from a 2015 infrastructure project involving 10 blocks of Morgan and Fourth streets.
In a separate ruling on Feb. 8, Redwood County District Judge Patrick Rohland set aside $12,744 of city assessments on a 13th parcel.  In that  case, the judge remanded the case back to the City of Tracy for a reassessment at a lesser amount.
In both cases, judges found that the City of Tracy had failed to present evidence showing that property values had improved as much as the city’s assessments, which was contrary to statute.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.