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April 29, 2014 > Letter to the Editor: A fair alternative to Measure E

Letter to the Editor: A fair alternative to Measure E

The Community Facilities Act (aka Mello-Roos) was a law enacted by the California State Legislature in 1982. The name, Mello-Roos, comes from its co-authors, Senator Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles). The Act enabled Community Facilities Districts (CFDs) to be established by local government agencies as a means of obtaining community funding. Counties, cities, special districts, joint powers authority, and school districts use these financing districts to pay for public works and some public servicesÉ including new schools, police and fire services.

For years now, the City of Irvine in southern California has used Mello-Roos property tax assessments on new home developments as the means for providing funding for new police and fire services, new schools, new roads, new parks that are built along with the new housing developments.

With Mello Roos, a special, separate property tax is imposed on only the new homes and not on the older existing homes within the city. Mello Roos is the FAIR way to raise money for new schools plus school expansions needed to accommodate new incoming students from new housing developments as well as provide extra funding for more police and fire services for new housing developments.

Fremont citizens should vote NO on Measure E and ask the Fremont City Council and the FUSD School Board to enact Mello Roos special assessments on the 2700 new homes to be built in Warm Springs and the 500 new homes to be built at the Patterson Ranch site in the Ardenwood area.

If you vote yes on Measure E, you will pay for the new schools and school expansions needed from the pending 3000+ homes soon to be built in Fremont. Plus you will eventually pay for the increase in police and fire personnel needed to service these areas with the 3000+ new homes.

I support FAIR increases in taxes to help improve my neighborhood school. But why should I pay the Òmaximum allowableÓ property tax increases detailed in Measure E when a good portion of that money will go to build new schools for children living in the new homes, while my children continue to go to school in buildings that are 50+ years old?

With regards to funding repairs on existing Fremont schools, FUSD School Board has much less expensive options (that do not include risky Capital Assessment Bonds) for current Fremont homeowners to contribute to school building repairs. Make FUSD School Board and Fremont City Council detail for you the ÒMello RoosÓ option. The reason they have not shown this is because it is harder for developers to sell new homes that have Mello Roos property tax assessments.

Vote No on Measure E.

Name withheld by request

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