2014-03-27 / Front Page

County ballots go to property owners

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 4:30 p.m. - The county today mailed close to 7,200 special-assessment-fee ballots to property owners. If re-approved by voters, the $80 annual fee will continue to fund 15 county firefighting vehicles. 

The special election is costing the county $26,500. The fee has also helped the county build several new fire stations for the Mariposa County Fire Department.

Property owners first approved the fee in 2008. The fee, however, has since been challenged by a lawsuit filed by county auditor Bill Davis in Mariposa County Superior Court in November. The suit contends that the fee violates California's state constitution.

Asked about the suit this week, Auditor Davis said the key issue is "proportionality." The fee, called the Mariposa County Service Area No. 3, or CSA No. 3, levies a flat $80 annual fee on property owners. California's Proposition 218, passed by voters in 1996, mandates higher fees for expensive properties and lower fees for less-pricey properties, Davis said.

The county contends that the flat-rate fee is legal and constitutional. 

The election ballots are due at county offices by Tuesday, May 13.

Read the Thursday, April 3 MARIPOSA GAZETTE for more on the special-assessment fee, lawsuit and ongoing poll.

Mariposa County Fire Department / ContributedMariposa County Fire Department / Contributed

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There is also a public

There is also a public meeting to discuss this. The meeting is scheduled to occur after the ballots are due. Why is the county not having this meeting before the ballots are due so the voters can make a more informed decision?

Why are we re-voting if this

Why are we re-voting if this doesn't settle this lawsuit? Were there other items the CAO did that were unlawful with the first vote?

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