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NCFPD Proposition A Update: Call for Transparency


Last updated 11/15/2019 at 4:01pm

If it passes, Proposition A will add a Mello-Roos component to the tax bills of all 16,000-plus parcels within the North County Fire Protection District service area. Raising $20 million and creating a Community Facilities District, the district has yet to disclose how much of their new revenue will be wasted in administrative costs.

Property owners throughout San Diego County pay extra for fire and paramedic support, although I don’t know if most residents pay the tax as Mello-Roos. The district only publicly revealed the intention for Mello-Roos after community members complained. But here’s more that tells us about Mello-Roos that NCFPD failed to mention:

“Rights to Accelerated Foreclosure. It is important for CFD property owners to pay their tax bill on time. The CFD has the right (and if bonds are issued, the obligation) to foreclose on property when special taxes are delinquent for more than 90 days. Additionally, any costs of collection and penalties must be paid by the delinquent property owner. This is considerably faster than the standard 5 year waiting period on county ad valorem taxes.

Disclosure Requirement for Sellers in California Civil Code §1102.6. When reselling a property in a CFD, the seller must make a ‘good faith effort’ to obtain a Notice of Special Tax from the local agency that levies the Special Tax, and provide it to the buyer,” according to http://www.California

In fact, I would wager that almost no voters understood the fiscal ramifications of their “Yes” votes, and the district made no attempt to help them. Because there was so little information, it was impossible to make an informed decision. Formation of the Community Facilities District is fairly high risk and with only a relatively small stream of revenue, any bonds will be extremely expensive. Per San Diego County Policy I-136 dealing with Community Facilities Districts, the county has absolutely no obligation to guarantee bonds, and there are reserve requirements and other rules that will reduce the amount of funding available for capital projects. Even if the district works in a pay-as-they go basis, they would get their tax revenue minus all the costs to not only collect it but also to administer the Community Facilities District.

If Proposition A succeeds, the district will have a difficult time raising any additional money if voters don’t perceive value this time. If it doesn’t pass, the district and its board of directors have only themselves to blame. If you want the community to partner with you, make them part of the team.

Lauren Brimmer


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