During Elk Grove budget hearing Councilmember Sergio Robles shows a limited grasp of property taxes, assessments

Elk Grove District 4 City Councilmember asks why property taxes are so high for his constituents. | 

As the Elk Grove City Council approved the $349 million annual budget for the fiscal year 2024, which starts on July 1, District 4 Councilmember Sergio Robles displayed a limited grasp of property taxes and assessments during the June 15 city council meeting.

Following budget director Shay Narayan's presentation, Robles asked about property taxes. Robles noted that he has a lot of inquiries from District 4 residents about why their property taxes are high.

"When I was going in the community, a lot of it was, 'we are paying a lot of money in property taxes,"' Robles said. "Can you clarify a little how it is collected?"

Narayan explained to Robles the basic principles of property taxes. He also explained community facility district assessments, commonly known as Mello Roos.

As the District 4 representative, Robles should have known almost every residential dwelling in that area of Elk Grove is part of any number of CFDs. The most notorious one is the City of Elk Grove Infrastructure and Services Community Facilities District (CFD) Laguna Ridge 2005-1, which paid for the construction of the District 56 facilities.

Homeowners in that CFD picked up the entire tab for District 56, which benefits all residents. It is no wonder constituents ask Robles why their property taxes are so high. 

When Robles talked to District 4 property owners, their comments on high property taxes undoubtedly referenced the Mello Roos fees they pay. Property owners in Elk Grove who own a dwelling built before 2000, and even some built before 2007, are not subjected to the high Mello Roos fees paid by District 4 property owners. 

For Robles not to grasp why many of his constituents pay much higher taxes and assessments than people in others is disappointing, but given his recent behaviors, not surprising.  

See Narayan patiently explain the basics of municipal property taxes and assessment to Robles in the video below. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

In all fairness to Robles asking an honest question, I'm willing to bet 98% of the homeowners in the City are not aware of the intricacies of how their total taxes are computed. Most mortgages have an impound account from which the taxes are paid from, and all most homeowners track is the total amount they pay in taxes.

If I were the City Council, I'd be worried about the other two percent of the residents who ARE keenly aware of how much they are paying for District56, Animal Shelter, Waste Collection Facility, rapidly expanding police services, and quite possibly the zoo. As for the 98 percent, they all have their breaking point for when they ask themselves am I getting what I'm paying for?

Add in the Measure E sales tax, overall increasing cost of living, worsening traffic congestion, and well, you have a grassroots recipe for election upsets, regardless of the long list of VIP endorsements they flaunt on their campaign flyers. I see storm clouds on the horizon and I appreciate Robles publicly asking the question about the pink elephant in the room. That elephant is growing bigger and even the new zoo won't be able to contain it!

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