What about assessment districts?

20 Sep

Word Press provides statistics about my readers, my favorite of which is the search terms by which people arrive at this site.

This week’s prize goes to the individual who punched in “bullshit district assessments”

Because assessment districts are bullshit.   A district that is formed to take your money based on some service that you most likely would not have asked for and will very likely never receive. 

Take the Butte County Mosquito and Vector District. These guys just put a bond on all our homes a couple of years ago, through a process by which people who own more properties get more votes, and your assessment is based on acreage. Here’s the thing – homeowners who live on a quarter acre pay more than rice farmers who flood thousands of acres of mosquito habitat a year. 

Chico pays – I pay for 11 houses because that’s what the city of Chico has planned for my two acres. But I keep up with the spray notices – they only spray South Chico. My complaint is not that I want spraying – I haven’t seen a mosquito all Summer. So, why am I paying $20 a year for mosquito fogging? 

Where do they spray? Mostly the rice fields and towns like Biggs and Gridley. Why do they need the money? Mostly for management – see here:


They have a Taj Majal HQ  over at Otterson Park where they have a manager, assistant manager, and office manager who take over $300,000 in salary just between them, and another $100,000+ in benefits and pension. District Manager Matt Ball told me they only paid 3% of their benefits and pension – he was glad to say that had been raised from 1%. 

Notice how salaries go down rapidly for the people who actually do the service. A pilot who spray toxins all over Butte County makes less than a guy with soft hands who sits at the office, in Chico, all day?

And then there’s CARD, who has cut their lower-paid, unbenefitted staffers, in favor of raising management salaries over $100,000 a year. CARD management pay nothing toward their benefits and pension, which are about the same as Butte Vectors.


CARD will put a bond measure on the ballot in 2016.

Yes, assessment districts are bullshit. See how many assessment districts run out of Butte County:


This adds to the cost of housing and everything else in our town and county, not only through assessments on our homes but because these outrageous salaries raise the cost of everything from housing to daycare to healthcare to groceries and gas. 

You might have seen the “ratesucker” commercial run by some auto insurer. It’s funny as hell, and it’s true – bad drivers add to your insurance costs no matter how good a driver you are. Well, bad voters, asleep-at-the-wheel rate and taxpayers, and corrupt politicians and public employees do the same thing to your cost of living. 


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