How do we know that the assessment funds will be spent properly?

State law requires that any assessment funds be deposited into a special account, and they can only be spent on costs incurred in maintaining the assessment districts as permitted under the assessment district’s original formation.  In addition, the properties cannot be assessed for any more than what it costs to perform such maintenance.  As noted above, each year an independent report must be generated that verifies the assessment is aligned with the costs and each year the City Council must approve the assessment at a noticed public meeting.  In addition, the City is required to put the maintenance contract out for competitive bidding and by State law, must award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.  No funds from these assessments can go into the City’s General fund, and they are subject to annual audits.

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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?