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Mello-Roos Law Allows Vote Of One To Decide On New Taxes

Evening Edition

Aired 6/17/13 on KPBS News.

inewsource breaks down the Mello-Ross tax law and explains how one person, sometimes a developer, can be the sole voter deciding on new taxes.

— On Nov. 21, 2000, Harlan Friedman marked an "X” on a ballot giving the city of San Diego the power to issue $25 million in bonds and charge hundreds of homeowners thousands more in property taxes.

Aired 6/17/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS

Joanne Faryon, Reporter, inewsource

Kevin Crowe, former inewsource Reporter

Transcript

Friedman was the sole voter in that election. At the time, he was a consultant for Black Mountain Ranch, a developer in north San Diego. A state law, the Community Facilities Act, commonly called Mello-Roos, gave Friedman the power to solely decide whether the city could levy the new tax.

Friedman’s vote has so far impacted 346 property owners in Del Sur, an upscale development in Community Facilities District (CFD) 4. Mello-Roos adds an average of $3,545 in extra property taxes a year to each home in this Mello-Roos district. The city began reviewing those bills after an inewsource investigation found two homeowners were being overcharged.

Copy of Official Ballot that formed Community Facilities District 4 in San Diego.

The vote was not a momentous moment in Friedman’s life. He said he’s helped create as many as 10 Mello-Roos districts in San Diego and Riverside counties.

“I don’t remember voting or not voting,” he said.

A landowner vote versus a public vote is standard in forming Mello-Roos districts, according to an inewsource analysis of county voter registration records. It’s a typical -- and legal -- sidestep around Proposition 13, the tax-limiting law passed by the voters in 1978 that mandated all new local taxes designated for specific purposes, like schools, are subject to a public vote.

Here’s how Mello-Roos works:

Let’s say a developer owns vacant land somewhere in San Diego and wants to build 1,000 new homes. The city requires the developer to pay for the roads, water and sewer lines and other infrastructure needs. The school district in the area can also ask the developer to help build a school.

California's Legislative Analyst Office lists what type of vote is required to raise taxes.

Mello-Roos allows the developer to form a CFD with either the city or the school district or both. A CFD can issue bonds and collect special taxes that will pay for the new roads and schools. And it requires a vote.

But most proposed developments don’t have residents, and the Mello-Roos law says if there are fewer than 12 registered voters in a district, then only the landowners vote. Sometimes it’s a single landowner, or the landowner's agent, like Harlan Friedman, who casts the only vote.

When residents eventually move into the neighborhood, the Mello-Roos tax is disclosed.

“When you buy the house, you take on the obligation [of Mello-Roos],” said SDSU real estate lecturer Mark Goldman. He added, “It's not like people in the neighborhood can get together and vote not to have Mello-Roos. It’s already in place.”

inewsource examined CFD records provided by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters dating back to 1994.

“When a CFD is being formed, the local government body or one of their representatives comes to our office to determine how many individuals, how many registered voters live in that proposed area,” registrar Michael Vu said.

In total, there were 244 requests mostly from cities and school districts for voter information for new or expanded CFDs. Of those, 209 had no registered voters in the district. Only 10 had more than 12 voters.

If the CFD is formed with only a landowner vote, the registrar is no longer involved and keeps no further record of the CFD process.

There are currently 232 CFDs collecting taxes in San Diego County. inewsource was able to trace voting records to at least 120 of them. Of those, 113 had no registered voters when the request for voting information was made.

According to a summary of the Mello-Roos law, if a proposed CFD has fewer than 12 registered voters in the 90 days preceding its formation, the landowners are the only voters.

CFDs collected nearly $200 million in Mello-Roos taxes in San Diego County last year -- $80 million went to three school districts: Poway Unified School, Sweetwater High and Chula Vista Elementary.

The highest concentration of properties paying into Mello-Roos are found in areas of expansion, such as North County and Chula Vista. Many of those neighborhoods pay into more than one CFD or Mello-Roos district.

For example, in Del Sur, the neighborhood where Friedman’s vote led to the taxation of hundreds of homes, homeowners also pay into a Poway Unified School District CFD.

Poll

Is the Mello-Roos Tax Worth It?

  • Yes

    41%
  • No

    58%

48 total votes. (This poll is now closed.)

Friedman says Mello-Roos is a fair tax because the developer is “saddled putting (in) all this infrastructure.”

“The homebuyer gets all the infrastructure on day one and they should pay for it,” he said.

Find out if you’re in a Mello-Roos district and whether you’re paying this extra tax by going to our interactive map at www.kpbs.org/taxes

Data journalist Kevin Crowe contributed to this story

Comments

Avatar for user 'Getreal'

Getreal | June 17, 2013 at 10:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Taxation without representation. Read the companion piece on homeowners being overcharged on these "special property taxes." I would never buy property in one of these "districts."

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 17, 2013 at 11:13 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks for taking the time to write more about these Mello-Roos taxes. However, I think that many of us already know these types of issues were murky to begin with. It doesn't sound like there is anything at all taxpayers can do once CFD's are established. So it would be great to focus on topics that taxpayers CAN do something about before it's too late.

If you plan any more follow up stories, I'd love to read about these sorts of things.

1) When is the original expected/planned pay off date of these Mello-Roos taxes in each district?

2) In what specific circumstances can these CFD taxes be extended out from their original targeted/planned pay off dates?

3) Which CFD areas have refinanced the bonds at today's record low interest rates? To note the CFD's that HAVE refinanced at today's record low interest rates? And list specifically why the ones that haven't refinanced at today's record low interest rates haven't done so already? If they haven't, is there any legal reason why they can't refinance at today's record low rates?

4) I'd love to see the original balance of each CFD tax along with a year by year balance of how much has been paid down each year and what the current balance is?

5) Are there any CFD areas where they can already project out that they will need to be extended past their ORIGINAL pay off dates?

I'm sure there are other interesting topics but many of us would appreciate if you did stories on these topics above. Thanks in advance and looking forward to reading your stories on these Mello Roos issues.

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 17, 2013 at 11:35 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Getreal and Earl-Lee,

Thanks for your comments and following our coverage. We plan to do more reporting. Earl_Lee, I think we'll be able to address some of your questions. I'll also be on the radio at 12:20 today - Midday Edition - to talk more about this. Hope you'll be listening!

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 17, 2013 at 12:47 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Great Joanne! Looking forward to reading more about this. I think it's so wonderful of you to cover this topic. I missed the radio but hopefully it's somewhere online where I hear a re-broadcast of it. Thanks again.

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Avatar for user 'Grammie1991'

Grammie1991 | June 17, 2013 at 11:14 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

We moved here from Washington State - never heard of MR. Bought a new home in the Sacramento area. We wanted to move within walking distance to my son and his family. He knew of MelloRoos, but never thought of telling us about them, because he had purchased his home in 2000, and his was so small he never gave it a thought. Less than $1,800 total. I bought my new home in the same city - Lincoln. After a year, and taking a look at our taxes I found out the Mello Roos were really high. I was told a story after a story....well the short end of it, our Mello Roos are $46,000.00 AND we are charged 5% interest per year, AND it gets upped by 2% per year AND its for 30 years. My yearly payments are about $4,000 extra on top of all the other taxes!!! no one sat us down to tell us the "terms" of this. NO ONE. And we are stuck. This was suppose to be our retirement home. I have no idea what we are going to do. If I add up all the payments over the 30 years - it will come out to OVER $130,000.00 This is on a home that is valued right now at $280,000.00

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Avatar for user 'Grammie1991'

Grammie1991 | June 17, 2013 at 11:18 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Oh, and I should add, that on top of paying ALL this "extra", we are not getting anything for it. The Parks that should have been built in my community, and the "school" the land sits vacant. There is no money in the city to build them. Weeds sit where parks should be. Our "extra" money was used on other things. It's truley bend over time. And no way out.

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 18, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Grammie1991,

I'm sorry to hear this. But didn't your realtor talk to you about this? As well, didn't you look at any of the listing agreements or paperwork? Here in San Diego this is all disclosed.

I think your realtor sounds like he/she was HORRIBLE but you have to take responsibility as well for not noticing about this ahead of time before you bought the property.

I'm not fan of Mello Roos taxes but people can choose not to buy in a Mello-Roos area and buy somewhere else.

I know you probably don't want to hear this but you are also to blame for not noticing this ahead of time.

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Avatar for user 'deprotinator'

deprotinator | June 18, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Good report, but I was hoping for more. I hope there will be follow up pieces to discuss some of the issues brought up by Earl_Lee. So far, the report feels kind of one sided. It should be noted that many of the "nicer areas" in San Diego are CFDs - Carmel Valley, Rancho Bernardo, Chula Vista, etc. Some of these areas have built new parks, schools, roads, modernized utilities, and other conveniences. So Mello-Roos isn't all that bad considering these benefits. Is it worth it? No one knows. There is a definite a lack of regulation and oversight from a consumer point of view. Very little disclosure besides the yearly fee when a house goes on the market. It's clearly spelled out but overwhelmed by hundreds of pages of other closing documents. The consumer should know more about how the developers are managing this money. From many of the areas I've been to, the money is going toward making some very nice neighborhoods. So if we, the consumers, are aware of how this money is distributed, then perhaps we would feel more at ease with this tax. There's also a definite aversion among the San Diego house hunters. Houses with MR are not as valuable as houses without these fees, but is that really warranted? Are some CFD's more efficient than others? It's hard to judge with so little disclosure. Each buyer has to judge for themselves. Not an ideal situation for both consumer and developers alike.

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 18, 2013 at 1:25 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hello deprotinator,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. We are continuing to report on Mello-Roos and plan to address some of these issues. Stay tuned....

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Avatar for user 'SteveJ'

SteveJ | June 18, 2013 at 4:22 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Joanne, very nice article. As a resident of Del Sur I don't have a huge problem paying the extra tax to pay for the excellent schools we have in our community, after all we all knew what we were getting into. What I am less comfortable about is the quality of the infrastructure that is being constructed by the developer. We pay a lot yet after only a few years the road are falling apart that were only just laid and I assume (correct me if I am wrong) that the local San Diego authority has to then repair them. Do you know what checks are made by the local authority to make sure the developer is actually doing a quality job. I feel that a lot of our non-Mello-Roos tax money could be saved down the road if the local government just enforced a higher quality of building standard (something that would cost very little to enforce).

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 18, 2013 at 5:07 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi SteveJ,

Are you in a gated community with a homeowner's association? I think there may be different rules with regard to who maintains roads in "private" communities. You're asking good questions with regard to oversight and accountability. The local government which entered into the Mello-Roos or Community Facilities District (CFD) is ultimately responsible for the decisions made. Check to see which CFD's you're paying into. You might be paying into two Poway Unified CFD's - one that is paying for the school, the other that is paying for the "improvement" area which could include roads. In that case, the school district is accountable. CFD's are governing bodies - check your address on our map and it will tell you which CFD's you are paying.
www.kpbs.org/taxes

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 18, 2013 at 5:29 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with deprotinator and SteveJ.

I posted a TON of comments in the comments section of Joanne's other story.

I won't repeat all of it but I will say that I definitely find paying the Mello-Roos taxes well worth it. While NOT thrilled about paying CFD taxes, I knew going in about it and made a conscious effort to buy in a CFD area, just like most owners that ultimately bought in a CFD area.

I do appreciate the origins of CFD and while a bit disturbing that "one vote" could decide on having CFD taxes....ultimately that is a totally moot point. The facts remain it is what it is. There is a true need why they have to have CFD taxes in newer areas that lacked the infrastructure in the first place.

So a more important point is that there is accountability on what is being done with the annual taxes, what the interest rates are on the CFD taxes and if they have been refinanced at today's lower rates.

The MOST important point I think is under what circumstances can the CFD's have their bonds extended out further past their original target dates. It makes NO sense to tell the CFD property owners that they will have to pay it for 30 years only to have 30 years come and then have it extended out.

I'm not sure how anyone can in good conscience try to argue they didn't know about Mello Roos taxes before buying. That seems a bit absurd to me. Again, not to be harsh on anyone that didn't know about it but there is a bit of "shame on you" type thing if you bought in a CFD area and you didn't know about it.

I equate it to the home buyers during the bubble years that bought houses they clearly couldn't afford and then tried to blame the lenders for telling them that they really couldn't afford an $800,000 house on a $100,000 salary.

People need to take some personal and financial responsibility.

CFD's are not a bad thing if their stated goals and purposes are adhered to as originally planned. As well, if they are truly paid off and the homeowner's true obligation ends when they were told it would when they first purposed their home.

I'm looking forward to more of your stories Joanne.

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Avatar for user 'tloc'

tloc | June 18, 2013 at 5:40 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

CFDs are formed to pay for new public improvements, like streets, water, sewer, parks, schools, etc. Those public goodies have to be paid for by someone, and the CFD, just like all assessment districts, place the payment burden on the landowner(s). Like other assessments, the costs are linked to the land, because the improvements make the land worth more. Look on your property tax bill and you will no doubt see several assessments for things like street lights.

The improvements make the land worth more than it was before. Land without access (roads) is generally worth very little. Land without water, pretty much worthless. Homes without nearby schools are worth a lot less than homes with schools nearby. So the property is assessed to pay off the money that was borrowed (bonds) to build the improvements.

The other choices are 1) have all of the taxpayers pay to build the new improvements that benefit the newly developed property (we used to do this back in the 1970s and before, but the taxpayers got tired of paying for the streets, etc. near them as well as the streets way out in the suburbs, and so the City adopted Growth Management, which required that new development pay for itself). By spreading the cost over all the taxpayers in the City, the cost per taxpayer is lower, but there is a constant shifting of wealth from long-term owners to new owners--the new owners are being subsidized. A lot of folk thought that was unfair.

Under option 2) you can have the developer pay for it out of pocket and then recover the costs via higher prices for the homes, shopping centers, etc. The people who buy property in the new development pay regardless, but it is in their mortgage instead of their tax and assessment bill. Interestingly, this also results in much higher prices for property, which has the effect of artificially pulling up prices of property NOT in the CFD. So, the new owners, by paying for new improvements in their neighborhood via higher home prices, create unearned wealth for owners in older areas not within the CFD.

Under option 2) the school districts, and other public agencies also have to pay more for the land they need to build schools, parks, libraries, fire stations, etc. (The developer doesn't give that land away, she gets paid from the CFD that buys the land and builds the public improvements.) So the general taxpayer ends up paying more taxes for the improvements that the CFD would have paid for.

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Avatar for user 'tloc'

tloc | June 18, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Mello-Roos CFDs were a response to Prop. 13, and are really only feasible in newly developing areas. And they don't always work. If the record is investigated, it will be found that the City of San Diego had to step in and take over CFDs where the development did not successfully generate enough in assessment income to cover the bond debt payments. Like all financing, there is risk.

If property owners in an established community wanted to develop some additional public improvements, e.g., a new park and recreation center, then an assessment district would be a good way to pay for that. But the voters within the are that would benefit from the facilities would have to vote in favor of that.

All taxes and assessments, for whatever purpose, should be fairly and equitably assigned to whatever it being taxed, whether it is income, property or sales. These articles indicate that there have been some serious errors in that process, and that needs to get corrected. But the underlying concept of making new development pay for itself, and using assessment districts to spread the cost over time at low interest rates (CFD bonds generally get tax exempt interest rates, which are lower than mortgage interest rates) is sound. And, no one has to buy property within a CFD assessment area. Like Homeowner Association fees, they are optional, and buyers can choose to avoid them by living in areas that don't have them.

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 18, 2013 at 8:52 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Great points tloc and I agree with you. No one has the obligation to buy in a CFD area.

Also, I do NOT think it would be fair for people not living in CFD areas and not taking advantage of things in those areas to collectively be taxed for these improvements in CFD areas.

If KPBS did a survey I'm sure they would have MANY homeowners saying it was worth it to pay CFD taxes.

If KPBS does follow up stories, I'd also love to find out why the city and various districts contract this out to third party agencies. For example, for CFD #4 PUSD uses Dolinka LLC. For CFD #2 they use David Taussig & Associates.

I was just curious, why isn't this all done "in house"? And how are these third party entities paid? Is it a flat fee or are they paid some other method?

If you do more follow up stories, I'd also love to see all of the third party agencies the various CFD districts use and how they are paid? And also what they have been paid to date since they started managing these CFD payments. Heck, I'd also love to read what all they do as well?

It wasn't a good feeling being charged $500 just to get a pay off quote for CFD #2. I'm not sure why in this day and age you can't have all of this organized so you can access it online? This can easily be accomplished very cheaply and affordably with software. Why make it so difficult and cumbersome to pay off your CFD obligation ahead of time?

Almost anyone I speak with that I tell them I pre-paid off my Mello-Roos they say they didn't even know that was a possibility. Obviously that isn't on purpose.

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Avatar for user 'sean_sd'

sean_sd | June 19, 2013 at 8:20 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Joanne, Thanks for your investigation.

I agree with Earl_Lee that we would like to know in what kind of situtation CFD could be extended. Info from CFD about is murky and misleading.

I did some study on PUSD CFD #6 IAA.

seems mello roos is not only used for paying the issued bonds which has clear maximum amount, it also pays for some accounts which I consider as an open ended fund. you may think in 25 years, you can pay off the original bond, but actually every year, there are quite certain amount is allocated for other purpose than paying off original bond.

i.e CFD #6 IAA original intention is to pay off $18,000,000 bond issued in 2002.

but from CFD #6 IAA annual report, page 11/12 of
http://www.californiataxdata.us/docs/AdmRpt_6%20IA%20A_Fn11-12.pdf

a large portion of annual mello roos collected is not only used to pay for interests and principles of the 2002 bond. it also pays for Improvement Area Surplus Account, Lease Revenue Bond Account etc.

Here is open statement for CFD #6 IAA
http://www.californiataxdata.us/DisplayTaxDetails.aspx?fundno=612217

========
Summary:
Community Facilities District No. 6, Improvement Area A was established pursuant to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982. Qualified electors authorized the district in 2002 along with the issuance of up to $18,000,000.00 in bonded indebtedness. Bonds were issued to pay for certain public facilities and/or services that benefit the district. A special tax is levied on properties in the district to pay the interest and principal on the bonds as well as administrative expenses.
=========

So original principle is $18,000,000. after 8 years, the unpaid principle is $17,790,000. only $210,000 is paid down to principles. (annual mello roos collected for CFD #6 IAA is about $1,400,000).

check page 10 of the annual report for unpaid principle by 2010.
http://www.californiataxdata.us/docs/Poway6IAA_ContDisc_0910_10600-1309_Fn.pdf

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 19, 2013 at 10:59 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Sean,

Good points. I noticed the same type of thing when I was doing my due diligence. It just got me wondering where exactly is all the funds going and if anyone is auditing where the money is spent each year? Or if there is any oversight or accountability. That was my biggest worry.

I didn't look at CDF #6 so I can't speak intelligently about that one but I'll take you at your only $210,000 paid off from principle after 8 years.

My CFD #2 tax did go down actually the last two years due to refinancing at lower interest rates. I was happy to see that responsible action. But it got me wondering how many other CFD's are refinancing at today's insanely low rates.

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | June 19, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Earl_Lee had a great suggestion of surveying the KPBS audience on this topic. Here's a poll on the Mello-Roos tax. Please vote and let us know what you think!

http://www.kpbs.org/polls/2013/jun/mello-roos-tax-worth-it/

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 19, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks Tammy! I just voted. I think if people vote either yes or no it would be super helpful if they provided comments on where they live/development as well as which CFD taxes they pay.

That way the information will actually be super informative.

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Avatar for user 'sdnewsreader'

sdnewsreader | June 20, 2013 at 8:44 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Most often outside consultants are used to administer the CFD's. This is a highly specialized niche industry, and the consultants specialize in this work, therefore they can achieve economies of scale to efficiently administer a CFD.

As for developing a Prepayment Amount, take a look at the Rate and Method of Apportionment of Special Tax, and you will see there are often 10-20 steps (2-3 pages) of instructions on how to process a prepayment. It's a complex calculation, that is done manually for each property, as every property could have a different prepayment amount. As for the disparity of the prepayment quote fees, you would have to refer to the consultants contract that dictates these fees.

The fees for these consultants services do vary, however most often they are contracted through a competitive bid/ Request For Proposal process where they are competing for the work and are selected on experience/capability/cost/value to the agency. There are only a handle full of these folks out there (Dolinka, Taussig, Willdan, Webb, Koppel & Gruber, and NBS and a few others) that do this kind of work.

Part of your CFD Tax pays these consultants. The Special Tax Requirement (your annual mello-roos charge) is often defined as the Principal and Interest on the Bonds, costs of administering the district (city, county, legal, and consulting fees), and the costs of improvements and services (if applicable).

Earlier, someone discussed the quality of construction. As for the quality of work of the improvements, the City must go through a formal acceptance procedure for the improvements that the developer constructs, and the are supposed to be constructed to the Citywide standards before they are accepted. Maintenance, well that's another issue. Some CFD's provide for the maintenance of improvements and some do not. Those that do not are subject to the City maintenance just like any other street in the city. You can make your own judgement regarding they city's maintenance standards.

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | June 20, 2013 at 2:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks sdnewsreader. That was helpful. Do you know what these outside consultants get paid? And what their pay structure is like? Is it a set fee or is it a % of what they collect?

I get their fees will vary but what is the general formula of how they are getting paid? And does it change year to year or is it fixed?

Sure, I can appreciate there are only a handful of them out there. I can't imagine you'd need too many of these types of companies out there.

I still don't think it can be as complicated as you are making it sound. It doesn't matter if there are "10 to 20 steps 2-3 pages" of instructions. I mean, I could write a 10 to 20 step 3 page guide for my 3 year old to flush the toilet. LOL. What what I mean? It's all relative.

Because maybe when this started it was "very complex" but with the software out there these days I doubt that much of what they do can't be easily streamlined. (10-20 steps and all).

I'm not saying they are doing something wrong. Not at all. I am just curious how much they make and how they get paid. I don't care that there are only a limited number of companies out there.

Ultimately what John Doe taxpayer wants to know is are my tax obligations going to end when I was told they would end, is there any way my tax obligation can go down via refinancing and if so why hasn't it been done, where are our tax payments going and what is it being spent on and is there any oversight or accountability, and am I going to get screwed paying more taxes for longer than I was initially told????

I don't think those kinds of answers should be difficult for a taxpayer to get answered but unfortunately they are these days. So fortunately we have investigative reporters asking the tough questions.

I think moving forward taxpayers want to get answers to these questions. We already know we're stuck with CFD and we CHOSE to buy in a CFD area.... but we want to know about future debt obligations and where our money is being spent and is it being spent wisely?

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Avatar for user 'sean_sd'

sean_sd | June 20, 2013 at 3:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago


Hi Sdnewsreader,

thanks for your explaination about the usage on the collected mello roos.

For the costs of improvements and services outside of original bonds, how this part is administered?

In CFD #6 IAA case, seems to me the portion allocated for Improvement Area Surplus Account and Lease Revenue Bond Account etc. is large, almost comparative to original bonds.

do you know normally if the costs have explicit terms for maxium cap, or the residents can participate in approving the funds? i see it could be posibilly an open ended fund if without proper terms.

They can simply move all of the annually collected mello roos to these funds without paying original bond principles, and at the end of 25 years, they say we still owe $18,000,000 bond principle, and they need to extend another 20 years.

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Avatar for user 'sdnewsreader'

sdnewsreader | June 21, 2013 at 8:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

The structure of the administration can vary depending on the complexity of the tax and the physical size of the district. Some CFDs are only a few parcels of land, some are thousands of parcels.

Therefore some charge a flat rate, some charge flat rate + a per parcel fee.

Some admin expenses are capped (as defined in the Rate and Method)

Even within a city or school district admin fees can vary.

the admin fees are usually a very small portion of the total charge of the district.

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