Who sets and approves our per parcel fee?

There are two types of fees that can be levied in the zone program, a special tax or a benefit assessment.

Special Tax

A special tax requires a two-thirds majority approval of the registered voters voting within the zone boundaries. A special tax can be set at a maximum and levied each year at any amount up to the maximum; it can be established with an escalator; it can also be established with a "sunset clause". Any proposed increase exceeding the approved maximum amount would require a two-thirds majority approval in another election.

Applicants should be aware of the following conditions for special taxes:

  1. Special tax elections can only be held on the following dates:
    1. The First Tuesday after the First Monday in May. (Board of Supervisors must call for elections at least 88 days ( no more than 103 days) prior to the election date, i.e., January 26.
    2. The First Tuesday after the First Monday in June of each even-numbered year.
    3. The Last Tuesday in August.
  2. Applicants are responsible for mail-out election costs. (Estimated $1,000, depending on the number of ballots.)
  3. Appropriation limits must be established and reaffirmed every four years by a mail-out election.

Benefit Assessment

In the case of a proposed benefit assessment, a report prepared by a registered engineer explaining the benefit received by each parcel is submitted. Parcel owners within the zone boundaries will then receive a ballot to return expressing their approval or objection to the proposed assessment. If a majority of the weighted ballots received protest the assessment, it cannot be levied.

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1. I live on a private road that needs to be maintained. The neighbors don't agree on what needs to be done or how much each of us should pay; what can be done?
2. What is a zone of benefit?
3. What are the costs associated with forming a road zone of benefit? Are there other fees required once the zone is established?
4. If some people don't support the formation, can they prevent the zone forming?
5. Who sets and approves our per parcel fee?
6. If a vote is conducted for a benefit assessment and an individual has four contiguous parcels, are they entitled to four votes?
7. If a benefit zone is formed, will the road in the zone be subject to the same regulations that the Streets and Highways Code provides for County-maintained roads?
8. If there are two components to the assessments, capital improvements and maintenance, and the assessment for maintenance is dependent upon whether the parcel is developed?
9. How is approval calculated in a benefit assessment election?
10. Who determines what work needs to be done? Who pays for these services?
11. Are we required to bring our road up to any particular standards? Is there a requirement as to the level of maintenance and/or improvements we must provide?
12. What happens to the money collected from a zone of benefit?
13. What happens to our money if we don't use it all during the year?
14. Can an existing Road Association still levy charges for private road maintenance after a zone of benefit is formed for road maintenance purposes?
15. What about back assessments owed to a Homeowners Association?
16. Are there any restrictions on what can be done on our road?
17. Once a road zone of benefit is established, can it be dissolved?
18. Will an existing Homeowners Association be eliminated when a zone of benefit for road maintenance is formed?
19. Is one of the benefits of being included in a zone of benefit being included in the County self-insurance program?
20. If the design of a road is alleged or proven as casual or contributory to an accident will this type of liability be covered by the County's self-insurance program?
21. Are there any programs available for senior citizens where they can defer their annual payments associated with the CSA?
22. Why were some private roads built to County standards and others were not and since we are already paying taxes for roads, why do we need to pay another tax to maintain our road?