In 1978 Californians enacted Proposition 13, which limited the ability of local public agencies to increase property taxes based on a property’s assessed value. Since that time, assessment districts, which have been in existence since the early 1900’s, have been used on a widespread basis as an alternative method for financing public improvements when other sources of money are unavailable. Currently, about one in three properties in California is part of an assessment district.
What is a Landscape Maintenance District (LMD)?
A Landscape Maintenance District is a special assessment district formed to provide benefitting property owners the opportunity to pay for enhanced landscaping and appurtenant improvements, maintenance and services beyond those generally provided by the City.
My property is in a Landscape Maintenance District. How much am I paying?
Since each district’s costs are based on the area and number of lots within the district, you will need to review the Engineer's Report for your district to determine your assessment. A link to the Engineer’s Reports are found below.
What is an Engineer’s Report?
An Engineer’s report is a document prepared annually by the City under the requirements of the Lighting and Landscape Act of 1972 of the California Streets and Highways Code. In order to levy and collect special assessments within the districts, the City must prepare an Engineer’s Report which provides details on the improvements that are maintained and the estimated budgets for each district.
How are assessments established?
Every district has a maximum allowable assessment which is established at the time of district formation. The maximum assessment is based on maintenance cost projections to cover the cost of maintaining the landscaping and related amenities within each district. Annual adjustments to each district’s assessment are made (up or down) in an effort to balance district maintenance costs with district revenue. The level of assessment cannot exceed the district approved maximum allowable assessment.
Information about Proposition 218
Passed by voters in November 1996, Proposition 218 requires voter approval for assessment increases that exceed the district's approved maximum assessment. In the event that maintenance costs exceed the maximum allowable assessment revenue, special balloting procedures may be implemented to give district participants the opportunity to raise the maximum allowable assessment to cover the district's maintenance needs.
If you have questions, or would like to receive updates and information about your district, please contact the City of Novato Public Works Department.
City of Novato Assessment Districts:
Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts (CFDs) are formed to finance the construction, or acquisition of certain designated capital facilities (infrastructure) and/or to finance public services by levying special taxes included on the CFD. There are several CFDs in the City of Novato. CFD taxes are collected as direct levies on property tax bills of included parcels. For additional CFD information, click "Community Facilities Districts" link above or contact Finance Manager, Brian Cochran, at 415-899-8912.