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Manteca City Council looks at possible community-wide Mello-Roos district to pay for more police & fire services
Manteca City Council is exploring a citywide tax to generate more money for police and fire services. - photo by Bulletin file photo

The Manteca City Council is pondering the creation of a mega Mello-Roos district to pay for additional public safety expenses on top of the $6.9 million annually the city’s half cent sales tax is now generating to pay for 15 police officers and 15 firefighters.

Unlike existing Mello Roos of community facilities districts in Manteca that encumber new development — primarily residential subdivisions prior to homes being built — to pay for school facilities, neighborhood park upkeep, common landscaping, and even ongoing street lighting costs, the proposed CFD is being proposed as a community wide tax.

That means all property — whether it is in a current CFD or not — would be assessed with the new tax if it is advanced for consideration. To be implemented it would require a two-thirds approval of all property owners within the city given the CFD would blanket the entire city.

The request to look at pushing for a new CFD tax to generate additional funds for police and fire services was advanced by Mayor Ben Cantu at a meeting earlier this month. The rest of the council concurred that they wanted staff to provide more information on forming such a CFD.

 Representatives of the NBS consulting firm will make a presentation at Tuesday’s 7 p.m. council meeting. It will take place at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

City Council also may be

looking for $84 million

for recreation facilities

The proposal comes at the same time the council will be looking at ways of funding upwards of $84 million in new recreational facilities as well as trying to general more funds for street work.

It is legal for those three needs — parks and recreation services, public safety, and street maintenance — to be paid for through a CFD district.

That would be on top of the $17.8 million the city current receives as its roughly 15 percent share of all property taxes property owners pay in Manteca. Half goes to the Manteca Unified School District, almost 20 percent to the county, and the rest split between seven different local taxing agencies ranging from Delta College to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.

The council’s possible push for a CFD election would not be tied to existing election dates. That’s because only impacted property owners would vote and do so by primarily by mail although ballots can also be returned to a specific location by an established deadline.

And unlike new subdivisions where developers that own the property are required to form such a district as a condition of approval of a new neighborhood making passing of a CFD a slam dunk as they hold all of the lots before homes are built and sold, the city proposal will require two thirds of the owners of 28,000 residential parcels in addition to commercial and industrial parcels as well as raw land to agree to imposing the tax

Manteca Unified looking

at possible school bond

in November 2020 election

The city’s interest in a CFD comes just as the Manteca Unified School District is gearing up for a possible November 2020 bond issue to address school facility needs.

Unlike the city the MUSD is first working to identify specific needs, quantify the costs, and decide what the priorities are before deciding what exactly they are asking for, the council has talked in general terms about needs.

There has been no mention so far of how much money the council hopes to generate. They also have not weighed wants and needs against each other to come up with a list of spending priorities.

A list of possible items that funds are needed for that can be compiled based on public comments so far by elected leaders include Cantu’s wish to add funding for between 8 and 20 police officers, including a new city hall that is likely to include a new police station, an aquatics center, a community center/recreation gym, nine soccer fields, and street maintenance. That doesn’t include other large expenditures individual members said they want to purse that they will need to increase growth fees as well as likely secure new tax sources to fund such as the Roth Road/Highway 00 interchange and Raymus Expressway/Highway 99 interchange at a cost of $159 million. Also the Public Facilities Improvement Plan for major new road work as well as the city’s share of work on other interchange projects was pegged at $306 million but did not include work for upgrading the Airport Way and Main Street interchanges on the 120 Bypass.

Of that $306 million price tag growth can legally only pay for about 60 percent of the cost. That means the city would have to come up with $120 million plus from other sources including a possible local tax to cover the costs.

The $306 million price tag was slashed by $159 million by the previous council that decided that the city could have a decent traffic circulation without Roth Road and Raymus Expressway interchanges given the work Caltrans has already done at French Camp Road and the state’s vision for the new Austin Road interchange

Cantu following thru

on campaign promise

Mayor Cantu is leading the push to restore those two interchanges meaning the city will also have to come up with a way to pay for at least 40 percent of the cost.

Tuesday’s CFD presentation follows up on Cantu’s campaign promise to look for new revenue sources to help fund additional municipal services that he noted people have told him repeatedly they would like to see.

The current half cent sales tax is providing funding for 15 police officers and 15 firefighters. The rest are paid for by the general fund that is supported primarily by property and sales tax,

Without the Measure M half cent sales tax Manteca Police would have 60 officers instead of 75 officers.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email