What? You didn’t realize that it was Mello Roos Day? Well, you better check your mail and look for the property tax bill that is due starting November 1 (Payment is delinquent after December 10). Depending on where you live, you may be paying 0 to $800 in Mello Roos taxes.
Sure, you know what Mello Roos is supposed to be but here is some background in case you’re not sure. Yes, you have no choice in the matter because the government will get paid one way or another and the school districts don’t really care what you think, BUT, you can take a more active role in how your money is being spent and if enough of us let them know, the school districts will start paying attention.
Check What You Owe – First, you should find out how much you pay in Mello Roos, Bonds, etc. It’s easy and takes less than 30 seconds. Either look at the tax bill you got in the mail, or, go to the Treasurer / Tax Collector web site and enter your address.
When you open up your property tax bill, it seems a little intimidating with a big list of abbreviated names and phone numbers until you break it down. The first things you see are the bonds. Wow, you sure voted to pay for a lot of bonds in the past few years. Funny how they add up after a while. You are probably paying about $400 just to pay bonds. Next are the “Fixed Charge Assessments” which is a fancy name for “tax.” Look for the key term (“CFD”), these are the school Mello Roos “districts.” There will be one for the high school district and one for the elementary district. Add up those two numbers and see how much you are paying. It’s probably about $500 – $800 – depending on the area.
Take an Active Role – If you think you owe too much call the phone numbers and let them know. Here are the phone numbers you can call:
High School – 619-585-6081
Elementary – 619-425-9600
Open Space – 619-585-5708
Ask them how the money is being spent, whether the percentage was raised this year (by law, they can raise the amount 2% per year without a valid reason), whether you can have input into the decision, whether they will continue to buy iPads with Mello Roos money, or any other question you can think of but ask. It’s your money that these districts are using. If you go to their Board meetings you will see that the District uses the money as their own personal piggy bank and the Board members are oblivious as to how the money is being spent. Take a more active role and make sure that they know that you are paying attention. That is how you celebrate Mello Roos Day. So, Happy Mello Roos Day!