The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District is a California Independent Special District. California Independent Special Districts are funded by a small annual service charge assessed on all non-exempt land parcels in the service area. Like other forms of local government, the districts are audited and subject to state and local oversight.
Marin and Sonoma county homeowners are typically assessed between $10 and $20 per year for mosquito and vector control services. Prior to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, the Health and Safety code allowed mosquito control districts to set a tax rate sufficient to fund their proposed budget. Since Proposition 13, the District, like other public entities, has received only a very small share of the 1% general county property tax, equivalent to its share prior to 1978.
In 1996, the District's Board of Trustees formed a Benefit Assessment District in order to provide sufficient funding to protect the public health of those we serve. In 2004 the District expanded its services to cover the entirety of Marin and Sonoma counties.
During this process the District formed a second Benefit Assessment District in the annexed areas in order to fund the provision of program services to the newly expanded service area.
The laws governing Benefit Assessments do not provide for any exemptions such as the senior, disability, low income or veterans property tax exemptions. Benefit Assessments are fundamentally different from property taxes as they reflect the provision of a direct benefit to the property and its residents, as opposed to a general tax assessed according to the property’s value (ad valorem tax).