About Assessments

What are special assessments?

Special Assessments are one-time charges to property owners when their property (including vacant property) is serviced for potable (drinking) water, sewer or irrigation water. Once any of these services are available, hookup to water and sewer lines is mandatory for all developed properties. Irrigation line hook-up is optional. 


Are there better homesites or lots, than others? 

Yes! Corner lots are charged the highest costs when the lot has a lot of street frontage. If your corner lot has a lot of land frontage, it can be the most affordable of options. Triple lots cost more as well. Basically, the pipe must run along your street line, and the more street frontage you have, the more it will cost you. 


What if my lot is vacant?

You will still be charged the same assessments that you would if you had a home there. 

Do I have to participate?

Connection to City utilities for water and sewer is mandatory if the utilities are available to the property. Connection to irrigation water is optional. However, the irrigation assessment is due whether or not you use the service. 


How do I know if there is a balance owed on any Cape Coral property? Click here to do your search!


What if I am about to start building in a zone that is planned for assessments? 

You have three choices. 

  1. You may build your home with septic and well installations. Once the utility project in your zone is complete, they will assess your property and ask you to collape your septic tank. The well may be used for irrigation only.
  2. You may ask you builder to build up until landscaping and stop. The builder needs water to keep the sod and landscaping alive so your home will have to wait until the entire zone is complete and activated to continue constructio. You will need to get permission from your builder and lender to do this. be sure it does not affect your permanent home loan rate.
  3. Wait to begin your build until you see that the construction in yur zone is almost complete and do not install septic and well. The city will require you sign an affidavit to cover them on this. 

Understanding Today's Assessments

Utilities, in the early days of Cape Coral

Assessments were issued on a parcel, with no utility impact fees.

You had the option to pay off, defer, or have a 20-year payout on the assessment fees.


Existing Home

If a home was on the property already, the city had a hard time collecting the impact fees. They tried billing for the impact fees but had no authority. The city cannot take a property from an owner; only the Lee County Tax Collector can. And they were not able to put impact fees onto the tax bill. This caused the city to lose money and spend much time trying to collect.


Vacant Land

If the land was vacant during the assessment installation, there was an option to defer assessments and impact fees until you “bettered” the property. This created too much debt for the city with so much vacant land. The Betterment fee would all be due when you apply for the home permit. The builder would have to pay the assessments and impact fees in full, upon picking up the home permit. There are still properties in older sections that are in this status.


Pre-Permitting

*Much of the land you see that is sold via tax auction today has these betterments attached to them. Be sure to use the Cape Coral IMS system to look them up. You may see this next to water and sewer: B or B* means betterment is paid or due. Contact (239) 242-3851 to be sure of its status.

If you currently own land with a betterment clause attached to it, the betterment fee will be due at issuance of building permit. Be sure to tell your contractor.

Utilities, leading up to 2017 in Cape Coral

No more deferring assessments or impact fees (which accrued interest daily) – this became problematic, especially when properties started foreclosing. The tax bills were twice the value of the land.


Existing Home with Septic

2 options: Payment plan (with interest) or payoff of utility assessments

Owner has 6 months to comply

Owner hires plumber on their own to hook up (roughly $700)

Plumber gets a septic abandonment permit to sewer connection of septic and well to home.

Your well can be used for irrigation, instead of the City's water

However, no new wells can be drilled or redrilled after this point.

Must pay irrigation assessment fee either way.


Vacant Land & Permitting

When you go to build, there will be a utility impact fees (like we’re used to seeing), along with new meter fee, school, road, etc impact fees. These permits will still cost roughly $16,000 - $17,000.

Utilities today, in North 2 and all upcoming assessed properties

Capital Expansion Fees Water and Sewer or Capital Facility Amount

All properties in North 2 get the same fee of $6,750, no matter how big or small the parcel is. This is also known as the impact fees for utilities.


This fee had a 20% ($5,400) if paid by July 21, 2018. If you have property in North 1, you will have this same opportunity if paid by July 21, 2020.


Capital Facility Amount

$6,750

This is a 6-year loan at 4.08% interest

This will be charged to all newly assessed properties moving forward, vacant or not. If you own 2 neighboring properties and want to avoid this charge, you may strap them together but ONLY if it occurs early enough (prior to the assessing of the property). This cannot be done in North 2 now. If you do strap them together, there will be one Capital Facility Amount, and the “line fees (assessments) will still be charged on both properties. The line fees are based on the amount of line needed on a property’s frontage.

North 1 will be next regarding these fees. It could be higher or lower than $6,750. The amount is unknown currently.


Utility Assessments

$12,000 - $13,000 on standard 10,000 sf lots (standard sized corner lots are usually $14,000)

20-year loan at 5% interest for “line fees” (utility assessments)

You cannot over pay these assessments on your tax bill.

If you want to pay them off early, it has to be in full, or in full – per category

There is no prepayment penalty if you pay it off at any time.

Interest rates are only added each year. You will only pay for interest through the years of the loan itself.

You can incorporate all of these fees into your mortgage if mentioned to the loan officer and appraiser.


Permitting in North 2 and future assessed locations:

At this time, you can still pull septic & well permits

There will be a time that you cannot

When you start a build, there will be a new meter fee and other non-related impact fees due on the permit (schools, roads, etc).


Existing Homes in North 2, on Septic

6 months to comply, after system is running

Owner hires plumber on their own to hook up (roughly $700)

Plumber gets a septic abandonment permit to sewer connection of septic and well to home.

Your well can be used for irrigation, instead of the City's water

However, no new wells can be drilled or redrilled after this point.

Must pay irrigation assessment fee either way.

Steps followed for installation

North 2 is broken into 12 sections

Work done by 12 separate subcontracting firms. 


In Each Section:

  • Dig up easements
  • Install piping
  • Cover up piping and pave driveway

All 12 Sections

  • Connect the 12 sections together
  • Test
  • Bacterial testing
  • Complete