County Service Areas and Permanent Road Divisions
A County Service Area (CSA) or Permanent Road Division (PRD) is a type of dependent special district governed by the Board of Supervisors. CSAs and PRDs are established as a mechanism for counties to furnish municipal-type services to unincorporated areas beyond those uniformly provided countywide. Only residents who benefit from services provided by the CSA or PRD pay for the services received. In Butte County, CSAs and PRDs are typically formed to provide services to defined areas such as a subdivision, although some CSAs provide services countywide. Several of the CSAs within Butte County are divided into zones of benefit. A zone of benefit is a geographic area within a CSA that provides a particular service or services to the parcels within that area.
Special Districts Funding Sources
CSA/PRD operations are funded by two primary sources of revenue.
CSAs formed prior to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 receive a portion of the 1% levy determined by AB 8 tax allocation factors. The formulas contained in AB 8 were designed to allocate property taxes in proportion to the share of property taxes received by a local entity prior to Proposition 13. In general, each local government that provided services within a community was awarded a share of the total property taxes collected within that community. Over time, as assessed values grow, the amount of property taxes received by a local government also grows.
CSAs and PRDs formed after the passage of Proposition 13 have a direct assessment service charge per parcel set by the Board of Supervisors. The Board can increase the annual service charge up to the maximum authorized amount. If an increase over the maximum charge is needed to maintain services, the property owners of record must vote to increase the maximum charge pursuant to the requirements of Proposition 218, or discontinue some or all of the services.
Proposition 218, also known as the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act”, was adopted by California voters in 1996. This proposition added voter approval requirements to all local government taxes. Any increases to fees beyond a pre-established maximum require a successful voter election.
Unfortunately, assessments established in 1996 (or prior) have not kept pace with inflation. Proposition 218 did not include an allowance for inflationary adjustments. As such, many special districts have struggled to remain financially solvent in recent years. The Department of Public Works is currently navigating a number of Proposition 218 elections to increase revenues for special districts under its management and return them to fiscal health.
Proposition 218 Elections
CSA 141 Mountain Oaks – IN PROGRESS (FY 2023-24)
CSA 095 Copley Acres – IN PROGRESS (FY 2023-24)
CSA 098 Oro Monte Estates – IN PROGRESS (FY 2023-24)
For more information about County Service Areas and Permanent Road Divisions, please contact Butte County Public Works CSA Coordinator Susie Akins at (530) 538-7681 or [email protected].