Under Proposition 13, the property tax rate is fixed at 1% of assessed value plus any voter approved bonds. These bonds appear on annual property tax bills as “direct levies”. Some common direct levies are:
Neighborhood park maintenance
Delinquent county utility billings
Weed and hazard abatement charges
Landscape and Lighting
None of these items are defined as property taxes under the law because they are not based upon the assessed value of the property. However, the revenues for direct levies are collected via the County's property tax bills.
Inquiries about the special assessments (direct levies) should be directed to the appropriate District. The telephone number is shown on your property tax bill. A complete listing of contact information may also be found on the Department of Finance, Auditor-Controller's Reports web page under Direct Levy District Listings (scroll down to find Direct Levy District Listings by Fiscal Year).
Neither the County nor the Assessor has any control over the direct levies or the agencies issuing them. Disputes over the amounts or the tax levies must be resolved with the entity issuing the levy, not with the Assessor.
Direct Levies and Government Agencies: While properties owned by government entities are almost always excluded from ad valorem property taxes, they are not excluded from direct levies, benefit assessments or special taxes. The California Constitution, Article XIII D, Section 4, and Government Code Section 53317.3 contain language authorizing the issuance of direct levy bills on government-owned parcels. For more information or to dispute a special assessment levied against a government-owned property, the appropriate levying district should be contacted.