The City of St. Petersburg has established a Special Assessment Lien Modification Program. The program’s goal is to assist property owners with various settlement options related to only Non-Capital Special Assessment Liens which are lot clearings, demolitions, and securing. All other types of Special Assessment Liens are not eligible for this program.
This program has four (4) options which will allow property owners an opportunity to settle those liens.
The options are as follows:
OPTION A : Interest Waiver upon payment of all Special Assessment Lien Principal
- Waiver of interest and release of Special Assessment Liens shall occur upon the completion of substantive rehab or new construction on the Property as evidenced by final inspection or certificate of occupancy and the payment of all Special Assessment Lien principal amounts, subject to the following criteria:
- Only interest accrued on Special Assessment Liens levied on the property prior to Applicant’s acquisition of the property shall be waived. Any additional Special Assessment Liens levied under the current ownership must be paid in full (principal and interest) prior to or contemporaneous with making application.
- Property must be currently maintained in accordance with the City Code.
OPTION B: Offer of Deed in Lieu of Paying Special Assessment Liens
- The owner may offer to convey the property to the City, and the City may accept conveyance of the property in lieu of paying the Special Assessment Liens where:
- There is clear unencumbered title as demonstrated by the Applicant.
- The property meets the City Real Estate policy, including but not limited to investigation of items that would disqualify the property from being conveyed to the City, including but not limited to substantive real estate taxes owed, title concerns, contamination, property in litigation or bankruptcy proceeding.
The City may accept a property with real estate taxes owed in certain situations.
OPTION C: Principal Reduction when the Just/Market Value is less than the Special Assessment Lien principal amount
- The current Pinellas County Property Appraiser's market value of a vacant parcel of land must be less than the Special Assessment Lien amount.
- Applicant must have planned new construction, substantive rehab, or development that will increase the tax base, result in job creation, or have other significant economic benefit to the City to support the request to waive any principal.
- Applicant shall pay the principal amount of the Special Assessment Lien or the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's market value or a state certified independent real estate appraiser's market value of the property, whichever is less, in full settlement of the Special Assessment Lien with interest and any principal released upon completion of substantive rehab or new construction and compliance with all terms of an agreement to release said Special Assessment Liens, subject to any such appraisals being reviewed by Real Estate prior to acceptance.
- Reduction or release of principal and interest shall occur upon completion of aforementioned as evidenced by a final inspection, certificate of occupancy or similar documentation.
- Release of any principal amount greater than $10,000 shall require approval of City Council.
OPTION D: Removal of Principal and Interest on Special Assessment Liens and Recommendation of Release of Code Enforcement Board Liens.
- Applicant shall construct a new single-family home on the property within one (1) year from the date of a required Development Agreement.
- If an application under Option D is approved, the Development Agreement shall require an administrative fee of $1,000 payable at the time of execution of the Development Agreement.
- Only Special Assessment Liens levied on the property prior to Applicant’S acquisition of the property shall be considered. Any additional Special Assessment Liens levied under the current ownership must be paid in full (principal and interest) prior to or contemporaneous with making application.
- The Development Agreement shall require Applicant to make the subject property the Applicant’s homestead principal residence and Applicant shall occupy the property prior to the release of the Special Assessment Liens or Code Enforcement Liens on the property. If the Applicant does not intend to make the subject property Applicant’s homesteaded residence, the property must be conveyed to a New Owner who will make the property the New Owner’s homestead principal residence.
The City liens and assessments will not be released if the subject property will be used as rental property.