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