County Service Areas

A County Service Area (CSA) can be formed by residents who wish to pay for extra services that are not provided by their local government agency. For example, Santa Cruz County manages 36 Road CSA’s for those communities that want increased maintenance of their local roads. The CSA residents fund the services through an annual Benefit Assessment.

A “Benefit Assessment” is a fee charged to the property tax bill that is based upon the cost of the extra service. Residents in County Road CSA’s currently pay between $10 and $2,300 annually.

CSAs are unique because residents choose to form a CSA and they determine the benefit assessment rate that they wish to assess themselves to finance the desired services. The annual benefit assessment appears on each parcel's property tax bill.  One of the major reasons to form a CSA is that it provides an effective mechanism through property taxes to collect funding from all CSA property owners benefiting from the special services.

NOTE: Road CSAs may not install barriers or gates on any roads designated for public use.