Mello-Roos taxes are assessed to special tax districts, known as Mello-Roos Districts or Community Facilities Districts, for the purpose of financing public services and/or facilities including streets, police protection, fire protection, ambulance services elementary schools, parks, libraries, museums, and cultural facilities.
California State Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Mike Roos spearheaded the successful passage of the Mello-Roos Community Facilities District Act in 1982. The Act passed in response to Proposition 13 (enacted in 1978), which limited the ability of local governments and developers to finance new projects.
Did You Know?
Proposition 13 does not restrict Mello-Roos taxes.
Mello Roos District
The Mello-Roos act authorized any county, city, special district, school district or joint powers of authority to create a Mello Roos District with approval of a two-thirds margin of qualified voters in the district.
The Mello Roos District can issue bonds to pay for public improvements. The district's property owners are responsible for payment of a "special tax" to repay these bonds. The act allows for considerable flexibility on how the special tax is calculated. The calculation often takes into account property characteristics such as square footage of the home and parcel size. Typically, the tax is included with your general property tax bill. The taxes are secured by a continuing lien and are levied annually against property within the district.
The special Mello-Roos tax stays in effect as long as needed to repay the principal and interest on the special bond along with any reasonable administrative costs. The tax may not stay in effect for a period longer than 40 years.
An increased value of the property does not affect the amount of the tax when property is sold.
How to Obtain Information on your Property
Each county provides options to get information on property taxes and can inform whether a property has additional taxes (like Mello-Roos). In most cases you can pay your property tax bill online too.
Here is the information for Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Los Angeles County
Requires homeowners to call (213) 974-8368, then choose option 7 for the Controller's office and speak to a representative. Homeowners must have the Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) in order to get Mello-Roos information.You can pay your tax bill online by going to the following county web site http://www.lacountypropertytax.com/portal/contactus/overview.aspx and selecting Pay Online under Payment Options.
The other three counties provide a way to gather your property tax information, including Mello-Roos, online.
Orange County Property Tax
Riverside County Property Tax
San Bernardino County Property Tax
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