There are two types of fees that can be levied in the zone program, a special tax or a benefit assessment.
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:
- Special tax elections can only be held on the following dates:
- 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.
- The First Tuesday after the First Monday in June of each even-numbered year.
- The Last Tuesday in August.
- Applicants are responsible for mail-out election costs. (Estimated $1,000, depending on the number of ballots.)
- Appropriation limits must be established and reaffirmed every four years by a mail-out election.
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.