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What is a Special District?

State law defines a special district as “any agency of the state for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries.” In plain language, a special district is a separate local government that delivers a limited number of public services to a geographically limited area.
Special districts have four distinguishing characteristics. Special districts:

  • Are a form of government.
  • Have a governing boards.
  • Provide services and facilities.
  • Has defined boundaries.

More About Special Districts

Excerpt from “What’s So Special About Special Districts? A Citizen’s Guide to Special Districts in California,” Fourth Edition, October 2010.