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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

Benefit Assessment Districts Fire Protection

05 Nov 2015 2:28 PM | Anonymous
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) believes that the use of a benefit assessment, rather then a special tax, to fund fire suppression services constitutes a violation of article XIII D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218).
  • The California Supreme Court has explained “An assessment can be imposed only for a ‘special benefit’ conferred on a particular property.” i.e. not a general benefit.
  • The California Supreme Court has further explained “No assessment shall be imposed on any parcel which exceeds the reasonable cost of the proportional special benefit conferred on that parcel.”
  • During the Proposition 218 election the Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in the Official Voter Guide “Typical assessments that provide general benefits include fire, park, ambulance, and mosquito control assessments.”
  • HJTA says as drafters of Proposition 218 they agree that fire suppression services for assessment financing but must be funded through property taxes or other general and special taxes.

*Reference: Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association letter, June 10, 2015 to Chief Dale Skiles and Board of Directors, Salida Fire Protection District

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