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Special Districts

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 1997
On July 23, The Times ran a story regarding the Camarillo Health Care District. That story has generated a number of phone calls and general interest. First, let me make it clear that I have no business or personal relationship with the Camarillo Health Care District or its personnel. The Alliance of Taxpayers has reviewed the operation of several special districts as well as the county, cities and school districts over the past four years. After reviewing the district's budget, board of directors' minutes for the past year and their checkbook register, we came to the conclusion that the district has outlived its original purpose, which was to build and maintain a hospital in Camarillo.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1997 | SHELBY GRAD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Gov. Pete Wilson's much-ballyhooed proposal to return $100 million in property tax revenue to counties, cities and special districts would probably bring less than $7 million to Orange County governments, according to an estimate by the legislative analyst's office. The sum falls short of some local officials' expectations and marks a fraction of the amount of property tax revenue the state diverted from cities and counties in the early 1990s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1997 | SHELBY GRAD
Gov. Pete Wilson on Wednesday signed a bill that enables Orange County's 11 sanitation districts to merge into a single political unit. Supporters said the consolidation will make the county's sanitation agencies more efficient and provide for more balanced representation from the various cities. Right now, 11 separate sewer boards oversee the Sanitation Districts of Orange County, which provides service to more than 1 million people north of the El Toro Y.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 1997 | JOHN CANALIS
The results from a mail-in ballot that asks property owners whether they will support a special tax will be released at tonight's City Council meeting. The assessments that have helped to pay for the city's highly regarded public maintenance program were halted by the November passage of Proposition 218, a statewide measure that requires cities to obtain permission from property owners to continue such collections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 1997
Regarding Assemblyman Curt Pringle's June 1 letter, "Special Districts Bill Misjudged": Pringle does not have the facts right about the important role of special districts. If the citizens of a city or a special district are satisfied, why is he forcing his bill down their throats? The Government Improvement Study referenced by Pringle suggested consolidation only for those districts paying for the study and when it was cost effective. If a special district is efficient why eliminate it?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 1997 | SYLVIA L. OLIANDE
As a result of the passage of Proposition 218 last November, residents have a chance to vote on whether to continue paying into landscape maintenance districts that care for some common planted areas. Ballots went out last month to about 60% of the city's property owners who pay into the districts annually. They have until July 2 to vote on the future of four landscape districts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 1997 | LORI HAYCOX
The city has sent ballots to property owners asking whether they would be willing to continue to pay a special tax for public maintenance. Irvine has relied on a special assessment district since 1983 to pay for public services such as street sweeping and lighting, parking and landscaping. But with the passage of Proposition 218 last November, the city must get property owners' permission to continue to collect the money.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 1997 | CATHY WERBLIN
The Garden Grove Unified School District's Board of Education has cast its ballots in favor of the city's proposed park maintenance district, a move expected to push the passage of the controversial assessments. As the largest property owner in the city and a government agency currently exempt from park maintenance assessments, the school board is voting to impose an estimated $40,000 yearly tax on its facilities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1997
Passage of Propositions 13 and 218 is surely thus far the fraud of the century foisted on the public by archconservative, reactionary property rights advocates and the real estate industry. Never mind the resulting grotesque unfair property taxes, the huge benefits to the development interests, to established businesses that never sell, and the shameless elevation of property rights to that of civil liberties. They have the public loving it! This same public doesn't comprehend that their local homeowners' association dues are actually real property taxes but exempt from limitations of Proposition 13 or 218. And, although the local homeowners' association relieves the local city or county of substantial maintenance costs from what was the obligation of local government, no tax credit is given to the homeowner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1997
In his column ("The County Doesn't Need State's 'Help' on Consolidations," May 18), Supervisor Charles Smith correctly describes the role of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) as "trying to right over 100 years of illogical city and special district boundaries in Orange County." I would further agree with Smith that the most important function of LAFCO in Orange County today is to encourage and promote the consolidation of special districts. Independent studies going back to the early 1980s have recommended reducing the number of independent special districts as a means of providing water and sanitation services in a more cost-efficient and accountable manner.
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