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Property taxes may go up for some who did not sell homes
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By virtue of having San Joaquin County’s healthiest new home building market Manteca could actually see a slight rise in net property taxes receipts for the city in 2012.

The fact 345 new homes were built in Manteca in 2010 is expected to nearly offset the loss in value from 1,193 existing homes that closed escrow last year within the city limits. The median selling price of resale homes in 2010 was $185,000 or almost 60 percent off the market’s peak in 2005.

If those 345 new homes sold closed escrow at an average of $300,000 it would generate $103.5 million in assessed value. That could be enough to offset the lower values that resale homes sold for which in turn effectively lowered assessed value as well as the actual property taxes. Generally speaking, your property tax bill is one percent of the assessed valuation. That doesn’t include voter-approved bonds and special taxes such as Mello-Roos.

San Joaquin County Assessor Ken Blakemore has told city officials that Manteca can expected anything from a 3 percent decrease to a 1 percent increase in property values based on rough preliminary estimates of the market snapshot required on the first day of each year to determine assessed value.

Also contributing a positive net positive gain in property tax is the fact a number of taxpayers who did not sell their homes are expected to see a 0.75 percent increase in property values based on inflation and the market. Proposition 13 the annual increase based on property value inflation at 2 percent a year.

Manteca’s assessed property values plummeted $500.3 million or 14.7 percent on Jan. 1 2009 when the readjustment of property values for 2008 was made by the San Joaquin County Assessor. Overall, San Joaquin County assessed property values dropped 10.7 percent in 2009 or almost $6 billion.

New home construction valued at $110 million in 2009 is effectively prevented Manteca’s overall net assessed value from eroding much further when adjustments were made based on Jan 1, 2010 values. Manteca in 2009 sustained a 1.5 percent drop in assessed property value. The only San Joaquin County city to fare better was Lodi at 1.4 percent.

That represented a $51 million drop in 2009. If Manteca had as slow a year in 2009 with new homes as Modesto did that saw only eight houses built, property value would have dropped almost $149 million and the city would have lost an additional $1.4 million in general fund revenue. Manteca built 304 new homes in 2009.

Last year in 2010 marked the third year that Manteca housing starts and new home sale led San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties based on information obtained from the building departments of various cities in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It was the second year the number of starts topped 300 housing units.

The next closest city in San Joaquin County for 2010 with 138 housing starts was Lathrop. Stockton was next at 108 homes started and then Tracy with 18 starts.

Modesto in 2010 had 37 housing starts.

In 2009 Manteca had 304 housing starts followed by Stockton with 120, Modesto with eight, and Tracy with six.

There are signs that Manteca will continue to lead the Northern San Joaquin Valley for a fourth year in 2011 when it comes to housing starts and sales.

The city entered the current fiscal year with three working scenarios toward where they could end up at the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year that starts July 1. Based on projections made nine months ago, Manteca may have a gap of just over $4 million between revenue and expenses as they now stand in the upcoming fiscal year.

Last year Manteca property taxes generated $9.9 million for the city’s general fund. That means every one percent increase in assessed value would bring in roughly $90,000 to the general fund.