Counties are often involved in the creation of or other interactions with a variety of local districts, including both those which are part of county government and others which are completely independent from the county. Local districts are limited in their scope and authority – often only providing a single government service, such as mosquito abatement, water or sewer, fire protection, or sanitation.
Most often local districts are created to address some sort of unique need in a specific geographic area, where greater or more intense levels of government service is warranted. For example, there may be a specific residential area that for the sake of quality of life requires mosquito abatement to keep citizens healthy. Rather than tax the entire population for the needs of one unique area, a special service district will be created to define the need and who pays for it.
Local districts have limited property tax authority, meaning there is a limit to how much they can raise their portion of the property tax to cover their existence. They are classified as either dependent (connected directly to a county or city) or independent and have no ties to any governmental entity – thus the county may have no control over the local district.
The laws for creating and governing local districts are quite lengthy and complex, and all found within the Utah Code for further reference.
Districts, Assessment Areas, and Inter-Local Entities with Kerri Nakamura