Why are property owners being asked to vote?

When the assessment district was formed, it was intended to be self-supporting, and the City Council had the authority to increase assessments each year to keep up with rising costs.  However, Proposition 218 (1996) stripped that authority away and put it in the hands of property owners through a ballot process.  As a result, assessment rates have not been increased for over 25 years even though cost of maintenance has. For more than a decade the City has subsidized the maintenance of the neighborhood districts by contributing money from its General Fund.  The subsidy has grown to a point where it is becoming a significant drain on the City’s finances and the City has determined it can no longer sustain that subsidy level.   The purpose of the vote is to once again make the assessment districts self-supporting as originally intended by increasing the assessments to property owners to align with the costs of maintenance.

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1. What are landscape assessment districts?
2. Where is District 41 located?
3. Why are property owners being asked to vote?
4. Why haven’t our assessments been increased over the years to keep up with rising costs?
5. What work does the City perform in our neighborhood?
6. How much is the new assessment?
7. How was the new assessment determined?
8. If this assessment is approved, could it be increased in future years?
9. How do we know that the assessment funds will be spent properly?
10. What happens if this assessment increase is not approved?
11. Who gets to vote on this measure and how are votes tabulated?
12. How do I complete my ballot?
13. How can I return my ballot?
14. How will ballots be tabulated?
15. How can I replace a lost or damaged ballot?
16. What if ballot information is incorrect?
17. May I withdraw my ballot after it is submitted?
18. May I change my vote after my ballot has been submitted?
19. Why in some cases are there fees for both a Homeowners Association and the assessment districts?
20. Why don’t my property taxes pay for this work?
21. There are other areas in the City with nice landscaping and property owners don’t pay an assessment to the City. Why is that?
22. Are there exemptions or discounts for seniors or low income?