Special assessments may be levied by the mayor and city council or chairperson and board of trustees, as the case may be, for the purpose of paying the cost of constructing extension water mains or sanitary service connections, as provided in sections 19-2402 to 19-2407. Such assessments shall be levied on the real property lying and being within the utility main district in which such extension mains may be situated to the extent of benefits to such property by reason of such improvement. The benefits to such property shall be determined by the mayor and council, or chairperson and board of trustees, as the case may be, sitting as a board of equalization after notice to property owners, as provided in other cases of special assessment. After the mayor and council, or chairperson and board of trustees, sitting as such board of equalization, shall find such benefits to be equal and uniform, such levy may be made according to the front footage of the lots or real estate within such utility district, or according to such other rule as the board of equalization may adopt for the distribution or adjustment of such cost upon the lots or real estate in such district benefited by such improvement. All such special assessments shall be collected in the same manner as general municipal taxes and shall be subject to the same penalty.