(a) A self-help business improvement district ordinance shall provide that all costs of the supplemental services provided in a business improvement district will be financed through the levy of a special assessment on the owners of the real property located within the geographical area of the district and shall designate the method set forth in the plan as the method which will be used to determine the amount of such special assessment in a manner which fairly and equitably distributes the burden of financing the supplemental services among the real property owners in the district. Such ordinance shall list and describe, by metes and bounds, by lot and block numbers, or by street addresses, all real properties against which the special assessment will be made to fund such supplemental services.
(b) The board of directors of the district management corporation, in its sole discretion, may assess classes of real property within the self-help business improvement district at different rates and may provide exemptions from assessment for the owners of one or more classes of real property within the self-help business improvement district. The following classes of real property shall be utilized in setting the rates and making exemptions:
(1) Property owned and occupied by an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
(2) Property, any portion of which is used for residential purposes.
(3) All other property.
(c) The board of directors of the district management corporation, in its sole discretion and at any time, may create additional classes of real property, whether based on use or location, for purposes of subsection (b); however, any additional class of property must include, at a minimum, at least ten different owners of real property and each owner of real property within the class shall be assessed at the same rate.
(d) All real property located within the geographical area of the self-help business improvement district which is owned by the federal government, the State of Alabama, or a political subdivision, agency, instrumentality, or authority of any of the foregoing shall be exempt from the special assessment imposed by the district management corporation, provided the right to occupy or possess such property is not held by a person or entity other than such owner. The district management corporation may require such owner to certify, from time to time, the person or entity who has the right to occupy or possess such property.
(e) Notwithstanding anything provided herein to the contrary, no owner of real property located within the geographical area of the self-help business district shall be required to pay a special assessment in excess of 17 1/2 percent of the total amount of special assessments on all owners of real property in the self-help business district for any year.