Work crews have completed improvements on less than half of the 42-miles of levees surrounding Natomas. SAFCA officials say they need to raise $40 million to finish the job. They say costs have gone up because of policy changes by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
John Shiels heads SAFCA's board of directors. He says the proposed assessment would be a lot less expensive than the higher flood insurance rates that would result if the levee work is stopped.
"$60 annually - that's opposed to over $1,000 that we would have to pay in flood insurance if FEMA puts us at an at-risk situation."
Even though the tough economy has a lot of people on tight budgets, Shiels says he expects most Natomas homeowners to approve the tax.
"There are 80,000 people in this basin whose lives are at stake until we get these levees fixed."
The ballots must be returned by April 28th.