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How Does San Diego Mello Roos Tax Work?

How Does Mello-Roos Work?

A San Diego Mello-Roos Community Facilities district (CFD) is formed. Mello-Roos is a method of financing government entities (cities, school districts) and other special districts) to fund the cost of public improvements.  Before government entities can form a CFD, they must either obtain permission from area landowners or hold an election of registered voters within the CFD.

The municipality sells bonds on behalf of the CFD. These bonds are sold to private investors who purchase them for tax-free interest income.  The money raised through the bond sale becomes the debt obligation of the CFD.

Bond proceeds pay for public improvements within the CFD. The types of improvements which can be funded by a CFD are much broader than those types of improvements which can be funded by traditional assessment districts.  For example, schools, police stations, and libraries can be constructed with CFD bond proceeds, as well as roadways, water lines, and other traditional types of public improvements.  CFDs can also be formed for purposes of public facility maintenance.

Money is repaid to bondholders through the Mello-Roos special tax. The service for the bond is repaid by the levy of a special tax on property within the CFD.  The amount of the special tax is determined by each CFD’s Special Tax Formula, and may vary between property types.  The special tax revenue is used to pay back the investment, repay principal and interest to bondholders.  Taxation and repayment continues each year for the life of the bond issue, usually 20 to 40 years.

How To Find Your San Diego Mello-Roos Information

  1. Find your property’s parcel number in the middle of your tax bill, or find it by searching your address on the San Diego County Clerk’s website.
  2. With your parcel number ready, search it on the Office of Property Tax Services website.  This will access all Mello-Roos and Special Assessments for the Fiscal Year. For ease of reference to a CFD, print out the Special Assessments (detail).
  3. If you have any further questions about your Mello Roos tax, such as its maturity date, you can contact the CFD administrator directly. The contact numbers for these administrators can be found here.
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