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Homeowners at Del Webb pay proportionately more in city taxes

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POSTED June 10, 2011 1:32 a.m.

It isn’t a myth that Del Webb residents contribute more to Manteca’s municipal bottom line than a typical household.

But at the same time they may not quite cover 100 percent of “their share” of the tab either.

The premise that Del Webb homeowners pay more per capita in taxes than most other Manteca residents came up during a discussion at Tuesday’s Manteca council meeting on fire services and the pending layoff of six firefighters.

If you look at comparable housing prices for square footage and the age of homes, Del Webb homes on the resale market are fetching between $55 and $62 a square foot more that others homes in Manteca. The added value, of course, is the unique lifestyle for the age-restricted community.

The best way for comparisons, though, is to take new home sales. Valley Blossom - a Florsheim Homes development in southwest Manteca - sold in the past few months a 1,613-square-foot model dubbed The Jasmine starting at $194,900. That compares to a 1,615-square-foot Del Webb home called the Chesterfield that is available starting at $281,000. Keep in mind Florsheim has been the most aggressive new Manteca home builder in terms of price point and keeping square footage down to make them affordable so it is comparing two extremes in the new home sales spectrum for today’s Manteca market.

The Valley Blossom homeowner is paying $1,940 a year in straight property taxes compared to the Del Webb buyer at $2,810.  Of that, the city’s share of the property taxes is $232 from the Valley Blossom homeowner and $337 from the Del Webb homeowner. The city’s fund this year comes to $346 per capita based on $29.3 million divided by 69,000 residents. A typical Del Webb has an average of just under two people per household. Using a 1.8 person per household yield, it comes to $623 for the cost of city services.  The yield rate for homes with young families is much larger coming in at around 2.6 meaning that Valley Blossom home - on average - generates an $899 a year demand for municipal services.

Those municipal services are police, fire, streets and parks. Garbage, water, and sewer are paid through users fees.

The bottom line in terms of averages the Del Webb homeowner covers all but $177 of their “fair share” while  the Valley Blossom homeowner covers all except $667 of their “fair share.”

Both developments pay for their own park maintenance. Del Webb buyers don’t pay a school mitigation fee as they yield no children but then again they don’t impact schools. Besides building classrooms is a school district function and not a city service.

What the Del Webb buyers did do - up until it was suspended as part of the bonus buck fees on sewer allocations - was pay into the public safety endowment fund as did the buyers of an Atherton Homes neighborhood. The end result is that the bulk of the cost of two police officers now on the street can be credited in part to the interest earned on the endowment that Del Webb buyers helped put in place. Of course, interest rates are getting weaker which may put the squeeze on that funding source for police officers.

Factor in sales tax on local expenditures and Del Webb homeowners do something that other homeowners don’t do in most cases which is coming close to paying for their “fair share.”

Of course, there are arguments that they access fire services for medical emergencies at a higher rate but on the flip side they have covered the cost of at least one police officer.

So, without a doubt, Del Webb residents pull their weight much better, on average, than many other households in Manteca.

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