The Clarksburg Lighting Assessment District levies an annual street lighting assessment to provide street lighting services in Clarksburg pursuant to the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972 (Streets & Highways Code sections 22500 et seq.).
The current Clarksburg street lighting annual assessment of $22 per parcel was set in 1994 and has not been increased since. The 1994 rates are no longer sufficient to support the program and maintain service levels. The financial summary through fiscal year 2021-22 (Attachment C) shows that expenditures and costs to provide the street lighting services are in excess of revenues. The attached Engineer's Report for fiscal year 2022-23 provides updated information on anticipated expenses and shows that an increase of $13 per parcel to the annual assessment is necessary to meet the estimated costs to operate and maintain the street lights within the District (Attachment B). As such, the County will need to increase the total annual assessment to $35 per parcel, reduce the street lighting services, or consider dissolving the District due to insufficient funds to maintain the service at its present level. To meet ongoing operating and maintenance expenses, the Engineer's Report recommends the implementation of an annual inflationary adjustment of up to 5% per year.
A letter (Attachment A) was sent to all property owners notifying them of this recommended action and next steps. With the initiation of Proposition 218 proceedings, by October 8, 2021, a mailing will go to all property owners of record outlining the new assessment and providing the process and timeline for property owners to submit ballots to support or oppose the new assessment, along with a ballot and return envelope. The mailing will also include a ballot and notice of the public hearing on the matter which is currently scheduled to be held at the Board of Supervisors meeting on November 23, 2021, at 9:00 am. If the Proposition 218 proceedings are successful (i.e. less than a majority of returned ballots protest the assessment) the increased annual assessment of $35 per parcel will be collected on the property tax bill beginning in the 2022-2023 tax year.
Although the District was formed prior to Proposition 218 passage in November 1996, to increase the annual assessment and establish the inflationary adjustment, the County must comply with Proposition 218's notice, protest, and hearing requirements set forth in Government Code section 53753. A notice must be mailed to property owners at least 45 days prior to the public hearing. A Resolution of Intent to levy the assessment and approve the Engineer's Report is attached to commence this process (Attachment D). A Notice was mailed with ballots to each property owner of record inviting property owners to attend the public hearing to voice their opinion about the proposed assessment. After the close of the public input portion of the public hearing, the Board will be able to close the balloting period and will be asked to order the Tabulator to tabulate the ballots. The results of the tabulation are expected to be announced at a later time during the Board of Supervisors meeting.