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SJ County takes taxes, sticks city with the bill
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Manteca — except for the Delta Community College District and several special districts — gets the smallest cut of your property tax bill if your home was built on land annexed into the city since 1980.
“People say, ‘hey, I’m paying my taxes, so why aren’t you guys providing more services’?” Councilman Gary Singh noted during Tuesday’s council meeting. “They assume we get all the money.”
Not only do cities like Manteca not get all the money, the share that is normally the city’s — roughly 16 cents of every $1 you pay in property taxes — has a portion of it siphoned off by the county.
Using a home with a $300,000 assessed value as an example the homeowner pays $3,000 in property taxes a year. The city — which provides services such as police, fire and streets — gets $198 of that amount while the county pockets $792. The rest is split between Manteca Unified, Delta Community College District and a handful of special districts. Bond payments for Manteca Unified and Delta College are on top of that $3,000.
It is all part of a Master Property Tax Sharing Agreement with San Joaquin County that has been in effect since 1980. The original intent was to make sure county services such as  the jail, San Joaquin General Hospital, and the criminal justice system that new city residents would benefit from would have increased funding. In 2007, however, the county jacked up the split significantly with them taking anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the city’s share of the property tax pie.
The City Council instructed City Manager Tim Ogden to try and negotiate a better split with the county administrator. If that doesn’t work, the council has indicated they may cancel the agreement and enlist other cities to pressure the Board of Supervisors for a more equitable split.
“The county has been taking a disproportionate share,” noted John Beckman, executive director for the Building Industry of the Delta as he spoke in favor of the city seeking a better split. “Cities provide services for citizens such as streets, police, fire . .  .  and the county gets the bulk of the property tax.”
Councilman Mike Morowit concurred with Singh and Beckman. He noted residents often preface conversations on concerns they have with the city talking about how much in property tax they pay Manteca.
“We don’t get what they (property owners) think we do,” Morowit said.
Ogden emphasized “we are not here to attack the county” but instead are seeking a more equitable split.
And as far as Councilwoman Debby Moorhead was concerned, it’s simply a matter of restoring some of the money the city should be getting.
“It’s time we get our money,” Moorhead said.
Whatever comes of the negotiations, the various existing splits that are based on when land was annexed after 1980 won’t change.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email