Eastlake homeowners pay millions in Mello-Roos school taxes but money goes elsewhere

by Leonardo Castañeda | July 25, 2018 | inewsource

Over the past three decades, the Sweetwater Union High School District has used at least $46 million in special taxes paid by property owners in the Eastlake neighborhood to fund projects in other parts of Chula Vista.

That’s 35 percent of all the school tax money — called Mello-Roos — that’s been collected in Eastlake since 1986, according to an inewsource analysis of public data.

The school district says there is nothing illegal about the practice. Nor is there anything wrong, they say, with taking short-term loans to meet payroll, for example, out of Mello-Roos money.

Some residents disagree.

Read the full story here.

Special property tax lacks robust oversight, accountability

by Leonardo Castañeda | June 20, 2017 | inewsource

If you own a house in a relatively new neighborhood, chances are good you pay Mello-Roos taxes. Those are additional property taxes intended to pay for specific capital projects, like schools and roads.

San Diego County property owners have paid almost $1 billion since 2011 in Mello-Roos taxes, and not all are created equal. Homeowners in the same neighborhood can pay vastly different amounts. Some people may pay into one Mello-Roos district; others pay into as many as seven separate districts.

Beginning today, inewsource will explore how these special tax districts have grown in San Diego County. To do that we’re launching a new searchable map, which allows you to see how much you pay in Mello-Roos, and to compare your bill with your neighbors’.

Read the full story here.

Read how we analyzed the data here.


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