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|From the Reporter|
|Strapped for cash, the city of San Diego has increasingly relied on special tax zones to collect money from residents to fund tree trimming and graffiti removal in their own neighborhoods.|
|A Legal Challenge|
|Property owners within the zone have to approve the extra tax. But last week, a court ruled that one of those zones was illegal because the city gave its own votes more weight than others without saying why.|
|The Bigger Picture|
|The ruling was a major victory for some Greater Golden Hill residents, who argued the zone gave the city a free pass not to fund the basic services it’s responsible for.|