Special Assessments

Special Assessments


Special Assessments for Chapter Four Drains

The Drain Code Act 40 of 1956 gives the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner powers and responsibilities to govern legally established drainage systems within the county. One of the many duties of the water resources commissioner includes maintaining existing drains and establishing or constructing new drains. To fund this work, the Drain Code provides for the enacting of a special assessment roll for county-established drains for the residents and each township, city and village affected by the drain.

Below are the dates for the day of review for new special assessment rolls. The day of review will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Water Resources Commissioner's Office, One Public Works Drive, Building 95 West, Waterford, MI 48328.

No day of review scheduled at this time


Special Assessments FAQs

What is a drain assessment?

County drainage districts are separate public entities. Each drainage district is supported by a drain special assessment that covers the cost of maintenance for drainage system.

What is a county drain?
A county drain may be an open ditch, stream or underground pipe. It also could be a detention pond or swale that conveys storm water. These drains can be designated as county drains, but that doesn't happen automatically. It starts with a process where a local city, village or township petitions the water resources commissioner to establish a county drain. In some cases, property owners also may file petitions to establish drains under Oakland County's jurisdiction. That process is spelled out in the Michigan Drain Code, the state law that establishes the guidelines for the water resources commissioner.

Where is the storm drain for which I am being assessed?
The WRC office has maps (see above) and aerial photos 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 county drains regardless of the land's elevation.

How are assessments determined?
All properties within a drainage district are assessed according to a number of factors. These factors include, size of the parcel, land use, proximity of the parcel to the drain and location of the parcel within the drainage district. 

Do all property owners pay drain assessments?
All property owners within a drainage district receive an assessment, unless exempted by law. Also, the municipality, Oakland County, the Road Commission of Oakland County and the Michigan Department of Transportation may receive an assessment for a portion of the costs.

What is the day of review?
The day of review is when residents are able to review the maintenance efforts and cost of the drainage assessment. During this day of review residents will be given the opportunity to inform the water resources commissioner's office of any other maintenance issues. Attendance is not required. Information, including the cost and apportionment, will be mailed to residents.

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 process, please call 248-858-0958. A WRC representative would be happy to set up a time to speak with you about your assessment.

What happens if I disagree with the proposed assessment for my property?
An appeal of a drain special assessment can be made to the Oakland County Probate Court within 10 days after the day of review.

How do I pay my assessment bill?
Drain assessments appear on your 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.