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County gets taxes while Manteca gets stuck with bill

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POSTED September 29, 2017 1:21 a.m.

City Manager Tim Ogden believes Manteca is getting a raw deal on a revenue sharing split for property taxes the city negotiated more than a decade ago to appease San Joaquin County to allow cities to grow via annexations.
The deal — which five of the county’s seven cities agreed to — may end up costing the city millions of dollars annually, according to Councilman Mark Morowit.
“I’ve never seen such a deal in any other county,” Ogden said will addressing the Manteca Rotary Thursday during their noon meeting at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room.
The county at one point refused to allow annexations to move forward unless cities agreed to share revenue. The master deal that the city extended before Morowit and Richard Silverman were elected to the council three years ago, gives the county 80 percent of the city’s share of property tax that would gave legally been Manteca’s in areas annexed into the city under the agreement.
Typically cities receive 15 cents or so of every dollar paid in property taxes. That means Manteca and the other cities that agreed to the deal would only receive 20 percent of the 15 percent of every $1 collected in property taxes from annexed land covered by the agreement.
The only annexation of consequence annexed so far under the agreement to Manteca is the 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park.  The City Council on Tuesday will be considering a request to seek annexation of 333.6 acres for the proposed 1,532-home Griffin Park project.
The project borders the west side of Main Street/Manteca Road from a point just south of Atherton Drive where SaveMart plans to anchor a shopping center to Sedan Avenue in the south. Part of Griffin Park reaches the west side of Tinnin Road with a fairly large chunk at one point crossing Tinnin Road.
County leaders at the time the original 80-20 split was being negotiated threatened not just to block annexation to cities but to pursue city-like urbanization adjacent to cities of Tracy, Lodi, Stockton, Ripon, Manteca, and Escalon didn’t agree to their terms.
So far, San Joaquin County urbanization efforts in the Manteca area have been dismal failures in terms of basic services such as wastewater. Nearly three  decades ago after they allowed the city-like Raymus Village neighborhood to be built in the county on Manteca’s northern border, the wastewater treatment plant failed. The city allowed the existing homes to be connected to the municipal wastewater system.
A similar situation is now developing with Oakwood Shores in southwest Manteca.
In addition, it isn’t unusual in an emergency for Manteca Police to respond first to a mutual aid call to an incident in Raymus Village given the sheriff’s department units often aren’t in  close proximity.
The agreement as it exists penalizes the city as well as reduces the level of service for future residents.
 “The city will provide police services, not the county,” noted Councilman Richard Silverman.
Silverman’s remarks reflected the point that Ogden made to Rotarians — the county will be getting money but won’t be on the hook for services such as police. fire, street maintenance, park upkeep, and even general government to service the new development.
Morowit said the goal is to renegotiate the agreement at the very least and do so ahead of the next renewal date in 2022.
Ogden said the city intends to mount an education campaign to elicit support of Manteca-based concerns — citizens, service clubs, businesses and so forth — as well as to drum up support from other cities in the county in the same situation.
The goal would be to press county leaders to rethink the implications of the revenue sharing agreement that gives the county money without providing services while hamstringing the cities’ ability to provide services that growth demands.
Part of an effort would include pressing the county to delineate exactly  what the new growth — residents and businesses — in  the effected annexation areas are getting from the county in terms of services for their tax dollars.
Silverman said the arrangement as it now stands will ultimately cheat Manteca out of additional police officers and firefighters moong other things.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.con

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