Benefits of Special Districts

Special districts tailor services to meet local needs.  Counties and cities must protect their residents' health, safety, and welfare and, thus, must provide many services, regardless of citizen demand.  Special districts, however, only provide the services that their communities desire.

Special districts link costs to benefits.  General purpose local governments – counties and cities – levy general taxes to pay for public services.  The services that taxpayers receive are not directly related to the amount of taxes they pay.  In a special district, only those who benefit from the district's services pay for them.  Those who do not benefit do not pay.

Special districts respond to their constituents.  Because most special districts are geographically smaller and have fewer residents than counties and cities, they're more responsive to their constituents.  Small groups of citizens can be quite effective in influencing special districts' decisions.


A Citizen's Guide to Special Districts in California – Fourth Edition

(Download PDF)








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