FAQs

What is an Assessment District?

Assessment Districts are used by various public agencies as alternative financing method for various public improvements.

What does an Assessment District pay for?

Authorized improvements and services include but not limited to water infrastructure, electrical, gas and lighting infrastructure, public transit facilities, and other basic infrastructure needs.

When do I pay these special assessments?

Special assessments are typically included in your general property tax bill and and if not paid, are subject to the same penalties that apply to your regular property taxes.

How long would I have to pay the special assessment?

It widely varies. We recommend you contact us to obtain information on the term of the assessment.

What if I can’t pay my taxes?

Because special assessments are typically collected along with your general property tax bills, the same fees and penalties apply. In addition, a judicial foreclosure may commence (if applicable).

What happens when I sell my property?

Special assessments are levied against the land, not the owner and it remains with the property if a sale occurs.

What happens when my property’s value increase or decrease?

Special assessments may increase annually (for example, by 2% or based on an index such as the Consumer Price Index), however, it is not affected by the possible increase or decrease of your property’s value.

What is a Benefit Assessment District?

Benefit Assessment District is a financing tool used by various local governments to pay for various infrastructure and services. The assessments are based on the concept of assessing only those properties that directly or indirectly benefit from the improvements and/or services financed by the Benefit Assessment District.

What does a Benefit Assessment District pay for?

Authorized improvements and services includes but is not limited to: water assessments, sewer and sanitation assessments, fire suppression, flood control, and storm drain.

When do I pay these assessments?

Special assessments are typically included in your general property tax bill and are subject to the same penalties that apply to your regular property taxes.

How long would I have to pay the special assessment?

It widely varies. We recommend you contact us to obtain information on the term of the special assessment.

What if I can’t pay my taxes?

Because special assessments are typically collected along with your general property tax bills, the same fees and penalties apply. In addition, a judicial foreclosure may commence (if applicable).

What happens when I sell my property?

Special Assessments for a Benefit Assessment are levied against the land and it remains with the property if a sale occurs.

What happens when my property’s value increase or decrease?

Special Assessments for a Benefit Assessment District may increase annually (for example, by 2% or based on an index such as the Consumer Price Index), however, it is not affected by the possible increase or decrease of your property’s value.

What is a Community Facilities District?

A Community Facilities District (“CFD”), most commonly known as the Mello-Roos, comes from Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Mike Roos who ushered the passage of the “Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982” (“the Act”). A Community Facilities District provides counties, cities, school districts, joint powers authority and other special districts and/or local agencies a way to finance certain public improvements and services.

What does a Community Facilities District pay for?

Authorized improvements and services include but not limited to:

SERVICES

-Fire Protection
-Ambulance Services
-Police Protection
-Parks & Recreation Maintenance Programs and Services

FACILITIES 
-Streets, sewer systems
-Fire Structures
-Schools
-Parks
-Libraries
-Museums and other cultural facilities

When do I pay the special tax?

Special taxes are typically included in your general property tax bill with the same due dates and if not paid, are subject to the same penalties that apply to your regular property tax.

How long would I have to pay the special tax?

It widely varies. We recommend you contact us to obtain information on the term of the special tax.

What if I can’t pay my taxes?

Because special taxes are typically collected along with your general property tax bills, the same fees and penalties apply. In addition, a judicial foreclosure may commence (if applicable).

What happens when my property’s value increase or decrease?

CFD special taxes may increase annually (for example, by 2% or based on an index such as the Consumer Price Index), however, it is not affected by the possible increase or decrease of your property’s value.

What happens when I sell my property?

The CFD special tax is assessed against the land, not the owner and it remains with the property if a sale occurs.

What happens when I sell my property?

Special assessments for a Landscaping and Lighting District are levied against the land, not the owner and remains with the property if a sale occurs.

What happens when my property’s value increase or decrease?

Special assessments for a Landscaping and Lighting District may increase annually (for example, by 2% or based on an index such as the Consumer Price Index), however, it is not affected by the possible increase or decrease of your property’s value.

What if I can’t pay my taxes?

Because special assessments are typically collected along with your general property tax bills, the same fees and penalties apply.

How long would I have to pay the assessment?

It widely varies. We recommend you contact us to obtain information on the term of the special tax.

When do I pay these assessments?

Special assessments are typically included in your general property tax bill with the same due dates and if not paid, are subject to the same penalties that apply to your regular property taxes.

What does a Landscaping and Lighting District pay for?

Authorized improvements and services include but are not limited to: installation and maintenance of lighting (general lighting and/or traffic lights), landscaping, recreational playgrounds including courts and park equipments, public restrooms as well as community centers, auditoriums, or community halls. For larger improvements, notes or bonds may be issued for financing.

What is a Landscaping and Lighting District?

The Landscaping and Lighting District Act of 1972 is a financing tool used by various local governments to pays for the maintenance of landscaping, lighting and other improvements in public areas. Only the properties that benefit directly or indirectly from these improvements are assessed.

What is Proposition 218?

California voters passed Proposition 218 (Right to Vote on Taxes Act) in November of 1996 which ensures taxpayers vote on approving charges and increases on existing charges. Therefore, public agencies in need to increase special assessments and/or charges to remain fiscally sound must comply with the noticing requirements (or voting requirements) of Proposition 218.

Furthermore, in July 2006, the California Supreme Court decided the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency v. Beringson and held that service fees available to the public at large (such as water, sewer and trash) cannot be increased without complying with the noticing requirements of Proposition 218.

For more information, visit http://www.lao.ca.gov/1996/120196_prop_218/understanding_prop218_1296.html