In a general sense, the process of ascertaining and adjusting the shares respectively to be contributed by several persons towards a common beneficial object according to the benefit received. A valuation or a determination as to value of property. It is often used in connection with assessing property taxes or levying of property taxes. Also the amount assessed.
See also assess
Installments of the money subscribed for shares of stock, called for from the subscribers by the directors, from time to time as the company requires money, are called "assessments," or, in England, "calls." While the terms "call" and "assessment" are generally used synonymously, the latter term applies with peculiar aptness to contributions above the par value of stock or the subscription liability of the stockholders; whereas "call" or "installments" means action of the board of directors demanding payment of all or portion of unpaid subscriptions.
Fixing the amount of damages to which the successful party in a suit is entitled after judgment has been taken; also the name given to the determination of the sum which a corporation proposing to take lands for a public use must pay in satisfaction of the demand proved or the value taken.
An apportionment made in general average upon the various articles and interests at risk, according to their value at the time and place of being in safety, for contribution for damage and sacrifices purposely made, and expenses incurred for escape from impending common peril. A sum specially levied in mutual benefit insurance upon a fixed and definite plan within the limit of the company's or society's fundamental law of organization to pay losses, or losses and expenses incurred, being to a certain degree substantially the equivalent of premiums. The periodical demands made by a mutual insurance company, under its charter and by-laws, upon the makers of premium notes, are also denominated "assessments." Meaning "premiums," Ancient Order of United Workmen of Kansas v. Hobbs, 136 Kan. 708, 18 P.2d 561, 562; and being the consideration for the insurance contracts.
Special assessment
An assessment in the nature of a tax levied upon property according to benefits conferred on the property. Davies v. City of Lawrence, 218 Kan. 551, 545 P.2d 1115, 1120.
A levy upon the owners of property adjacent to a public improvement (e.g., sidewalks) to defray the capital cost thereof. A tax, intended to offset cost of local improvements such as sewer, water and streets, which is selectively imposed upon beneficiaries. Dosedel v. City of Ham Lake, Minn.App., 414 N.W.2d 751, 755.
It differs from a general tax in that it is levied for a specific purpose and in an amount proportioned to the direct benefit of the property assessed. City of Plymouth v. Eisner, 28 Wis.2d 102, 135 N.W.2d 799, 803.
Persons convicted of federal crimes are required to pay special assessments under 18 U.S.C.A. No. 3013.
The listing and valuation of property for the purpose of apportioning a tax upon it, either according to value alone or in proportion to benefit received. Simikins v. City of Spartanburg, 269 S.C. 243, 237 S.E.2d 69, 70.
Also determining the share of a tax to be paid by each of many persons; or apportioning the entire tax to be levied among the different taxable persons, establishing the proportion due from each. Northwestern Imp. Co. v. Henneford, 184 Wash. 502, 51 P.2d 1083, 1085.
It fixes the liability of the taxpayer and ascertains the facts and furnishes the data for the proper preparation of the tax rolls. Dallas Joint Stock Land Bank of Dallas v. State, Tex.Civ.App., 118 S.W.2d 941, 942.
The process whereby the Internal Revenue Service imposes an additional tax liability. If, for example, the IRS audits a taxpayer's income tax return and finds gross income understated or deductions overstated, it will assess a deficiency in the amount of the tax that should have been paid in light of the adjustments made.
See also deficiency
- deficiency assessment
- jeopardy assessment

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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