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Big cut coming for Lathrop Mello-Roos
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The homeowner in Lathrop that pays the maximum amount of Mello-Roos fees to Manteca Unified could end up paying $500-a-year less next year once the dust settles.
On Tuesday the Manteca Board of Education voted unanimously to overhaul the way fees are collected in Community Facilities District 4 – which encompasses the new homes that are being constructed on the west side of I-5 – to bring it online with the way that they’re collected in Community Facilities District 3 that encompasses new home construction inside of Manteca.
As part of that decision, the cap for the largest homes (the assessment is based on square footage) will shrink from $1,800-a-year down to $1,300-a-year.
And depending on whether the board actually issues any bonds in the near future will determine whether that annual assessment will remain in place.
According to Superintendent Jason Messer, while CFD 4 has the highest bond total ratio on file at roughly $400 million, there hasn’t been a single bond issued since the fund was approved almost a decade ago.
Part of the reason for that, he said, is attributed to changing development trends – chiefly the collapse of a major housing project that would built a significant number of homes around Lathrop High School and forced the district to likely finally build Ethel Allen Elementary School to serve the growing number of students.
When plans for that development collapsed spectacularly – leaving the district’s newest high school without working sewer lines for a number of years – so did the need to issue bonds to pay for schools or any other improvements.
The move was part of a number of items that the board discussed on Tuesday dealing with the assessment districts that were allowed after California voters approved Proposition 13 to give individual districts a funding mechanism to pay for things like new schools and facilities.
While the crux of Tuesday’s discussion – which included a 3-plus hour study session about CFDs – focused on Weston Ranch and CFD 1, they also discussed the future of the assessments in Lathrop and ways in which they could bring it more inline with what people in Manteca are currently paying.
The board will also discuss issuing bonds in order to make sure that the fund can stay open, but has yet to discuss any projects in Lathrop that will qualify for that money. Currently, Messer said, new home construction in Lathrop is primarily centered in River Islands which uses a different funding mechanism to pay for the school construction for students that are a part of Banta Elementary District.
While the amount of money that homeowners in Lathrop can expect to save on their taxes in 2017 will vary depending on the size of the home, the flat-rate reduction will be universally applied and has now been sent to experts that will bring back the actual taxable rate that will be voted on again by the board before its send to the County of San Joaquin for final approval.