Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Thank you for the article you wrote on our June 7 statements to the Council on the proposed Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) for Union Ranch East.
You missed a very important part of what I was trying to get across, namely that we have taxation rights from the California Constitution and I was calling on the Council to defend them per their Oaths of Office. I cited three specific clauses from Article 13D, (available online at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_13D), relative to the proposed LMD:
#1) The Section 4(a) requirement of only assessing us for the proportion of “special benefit” to each parcel after distinguishing that from the “general benefit”. The Tidewater Bike Path will run adjacent to the District and then through the park. The park design has a large open space that will be very attractive to soccer and other sports. And there is a future school site adjacent to the park. It is blatantly false to assert that our neighborhood would get 100% of the benefits of the maintenance and we cannot then legally be assessed to cover 100% of those costs.
#2) Section 6(b)1 says you cannot have the revenues exceed the funds required to provide the service. It looks like the Union Ranch East LMD is set up to do that with an outrageous 50% contingency fund on top of a budget that appears so inflated that the total comes to almost $1000 / day to maintain it.
#3) Section 6(b)4 says you cannot impose a charge for a service that is not immediately available to us. It looks like the proposed initiation of the taxation in December precedes many of the improvements being immediately available to us.
I started my closing paragraph noting, “We are counting on you as our elected representatives to know and defend the taxation rights granted to us by the California Constitution and to put that above any drive to bring in extra tax revenue.” And then I closed noting that they will be held accountable to do so. I hope every citizen in Manteca believes we should insist that any taxation respect our rights under the law. Better yet if the Bulletin would be a champion for that as well.
June 11, 2011