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The Challenges of Providing Services in Unincorporated Areas Best Understood in the context of which services are provided John Benoit, LAFCO Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "The Challenges of Providing Services in Unincorporated Areas Best Understood in the context of which services are provided John Benoit, LAFCO Executive."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Challenges of Providing Services in Unincorporated Areas Best Understood in the context of which services are provided John Benoit, LAFCO Executive Officer CALAFCO Conference 2010

2 Methods by which services are provided  County Service Areas – miscellaneous extended services provided by Counties  Different LAFCo’s have different ways - Know your alphabet: CSD’s,PUD’s, RID’s, MUD’s  County Water or Waterworks Districts, County Sanitary Districts, Park and Recreation Districts  PRD’s, Road CSD’s, HOA’s, County Goat Trail (CGT) Districts.  Benefit Zones, CFA’s, RDA’s – Funding Schemes

3 Not All Districts are Districts, or are subject to LAFCO  Government Code says what is, is not or might be a District.  Those that are: i.e. Formed pursuant to General Law or special act performing functions within finite boundaries.  Those that are not: i.e. The State, a County, a City, School district, a PRD or JPA, a maintenance district, a CFD, a RDA, a transit district, a metropolitan water district, for example  Those that could or might be: i.e. A flood control district, a water conservation district, a water agency, a water authority

4 Governance Structure  Who is the Legislative Body? – The Board of Supervisors, the District Board of Directors, the City Council, a joint powers authority board.  Dependent vs. Independent  Appointed vs. Elected Body- Accountability  How will the Governing Board be constituted?

5 Policy Issues and Considerations In addition to Governance  Land Planning issues i.e. urban densities  Who is the best service provider for the cost?  Funding considerations - How are you going to pay for the service?  Community Desire to have the service (s)  Accountability Structure

6 Do you need a district to perform services?  It depends…………………….Absolutely! or Absolutely NOT!  How many houses or people are involved?  Do you want to deal with all those regulations or not?  Do we have to have another level of Government?  Do you desire consistency in the level of services provided or to be provided?  How about accountability for the services being provided?  How willing are ALL the residents to pay to fix that road or serve on the Board of Directors?  Isn’t the purpose of government to provide services that individuals cannot or choose not to provide for themselves?

7 The Funding Setting Prior to Proposition 13  Property Taxes were the major source of revenue for local government  Cities, Districts and Counties had property taxes layered one upon another. If you lived in the City you paid the City and County taxes or in a special district the County and Special District taxes. Not to mention all the other tax assessments, such as schools.  Cities, Districts and Counties each established property taxes.  Districts used property taxes to subsidize enterprises, i.e. water & sewer.  Annexations could occur without having voters approve tax levees.  Many rural residents did not want to live in cities because taxes were normally higher.  There was plenty of money to go around so competition for revenue producing territory was not as significant.

8 Funding Scenario post Prop 13 and later Prop 218  The local property tax became the state property tax  The Legislature enacted AB-8  The State bailed out counties and cities until the funds dried up over the years and later began to take larger portions of property tax at the expense of local service delivery.  As property tax revenues declined, districts increased special taxes and fees to pay for local services until…  Voters were increasingly inundated with special taxes and fees and passed proposition 218, which required voters or landowners to vote on special taxes, property-related fees and (or) assessments.

9 Are LAFCO’s to regulate RDA’s or CFD’s or Maintenance Districts?  Back to LAFCO Basics: LAFCo’s are supposed to control sprawl and encourage efficient delivery of services through the regulation of Districts and Cities?  CFD’s and RDA’s provide services outside LAFCo’s purview and after all are service providers.  Why do LAFCo’s regulate some and not all entities that affect the provision of services and consumption of open space?....and the answer is………  CFD’s are normally funded with a landowner vote by a developer prior to development.  RDA’s have a unique funding mechanism making them more attractive than having to run through a Proposition 218 process, albeit at the expense of others.  Can or should an unincorporated area be developed using HOA’s, CFD’s, or Volunteer associations for the provision of services?  Is there a fundamental difference between the service provided by a maintenance district and a service provided by a CSA, PUD or CSA? Why is there a different regulatory scheme for Maintenance Districts?  Do we need to create more government or would existing government suffice?


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