Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Massive Mello-Roos planned

“Chief Administrative Office requesting Board direction regarding a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in conjunction with Ygrene Energy Fund.” That was the May 14 agenda item for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. With the support of the Builders Exchange and big-name contractor Carter-Kelly, it’s no wonder the CAO is pushing this scheme before the county Bond Screening Committee has met and made a carefully studied recommendation.

Property Assessed Clean Energy is a fancy name for having home improvements financed through a third party contracting with the county and then put the loan on the county’s property tax rolls. The primary improvements to be financed are solar installations, but it would include other energy efficiency improvements such as new window, furnaces and insulation.

It is a worthy goal, getting more solar installations, et cetera. That is something that is already happening, however. In 2012, the county issued solar electrical and plumbing permits for a total value of $6.95 million. In the first quarter of 2013, permits totaled $2.65 million. The total for five quarters is $9.6 million. That’s a lot of solar installation without the benefit of a complicated county program.

What’s complicated about it? Two words: Mello-Roos. Bonds for the PACE program would be financed through a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District. There would be hearings. There would be Proposition 218 hearings in which a majority could file formal protests and scuttle it. Good luck with that, especially with a countywide Mellos-Roos that includes South Lake Tahoe.

The real problem with putting home improvements on the tax roll comes when some homeowner can’t afford the higher taxes and the county sells the home at a tax auction.

Don’t think it won’t happen, and bet on it that the Board of Supervisors will get blamed for the Mello-Roos district. Smart home buyers already ask if a home has Mello-Roos bonds. Mello-Roos taxes on top of property taxes and home owners association dues can be a deal breaker. If this PACE program goes, Realtors will have to disclose the 20-year loan added to the tax bill. It will not add much resale value to a house as home buyers are going to be reluctant to take on that higher tax bill.

What’s more, any home financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, whether directly or by a mortgage-backed security after the bank sold the loan to one of these two, cannot receive a loan that goes on the tax rolls. Sonoma County already lost that case in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals March 19. The Federal Housing Finance Authority will not allow a property assessed financing program. Putting home improvement costs on the property tax bills makes them senior to the government-backed loans. The government-sponsored enterprises will not allow that.

Fannie and Freddie control half of the mortgages in Sonoma County, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Figure El Dorado County has a similar percentage.

And finally, the county administrator is seeking a sole-source deal with one outfit. We call that crony capitalism. There are other companies that do the same thing.

Further, PG&E  has a list of incentives and financial resources for solar photovoltaic programs, including the California Solar Initiative program. None of these PG&E-listed programs go on the tax rolls or mess with the Federal Housing Finance Authority.

We don’t need another Mello-Roos district, especially a massive one like this. And putting home improvement loans on the tax roll is asking for trouble.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 18 comments

  • Phil VeerkampMay 18, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    A tax penalty for home improvements? NO F'ing way!!! Go "green" and pay more property taxes? I don't think so.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 6:37 am

    The video of the BOS meeting recording discussion of this particular agenda item (#25) is HERE.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 8:18 am

    "Economic insanity: Obama spends $11 million to create each 'green' job" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampMay 19, 2013 - 9:09 am

    Thank you, Evelyn for the BOS link. I wish to second, third and fourth Sue Taylor's skepticism on this tax laundering/incentive proposal for green programs. At an intuitive level, this will not be revenue neutral to the County, you or me. If you want solar pay for it yourself. Carter-Kelly, knock on doors other than the BOS.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Sue TaylorMay 19, 2013 - 11:30 am

    Thanks Phil.. I was trying to say I can't believe that the County is even "courting" this. The information I read to the Board was straight out of Ygrene's documents. Right now the County is actively working with this company to impose this CSD on us. The program also calls for the County to lobby for Ygrene's program. From Ygrene's document: "Ygrene creates a completely localized program at the District level. We collaborate with County staff to tailor the program in order to most effectively market to the local community.” The Ygrene representative claimed it does not cost the County anything. I guess they think staff time and implementation has no cost. If you think this is crazy you should watch #26.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 11:43 am

    Ygrene's Action Plans: HERE . . .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 11:44 am

    . . . and HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 11:52 am

    Observers/skeptics like myself consider Ygrene a done deal with the County. But if you'd like there to be ANY chance of stopping it, come to the Board of Supervisors meeting (June 11th???). Speak up. Say why it should be opposed.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ernie LouisMay 20, 2013 - 3:20 pm

    Mello-Roos in El Dorado County? If you want to be a Vacant new built home, just add the cost of EID, PG&E, Commute, and Mello-Roos. Where are the Local Realtors? Ernie Louis.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NancyMay 21, 2013 - 1:18 am

    Another reason to move out of this darn state.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NancyMay 21, 2013 - 10:15 am

    The county wide Melo Roos is about most ludicrous idea I've ever heard of. Why is the BOS even talking about it? This will severely harm home values, discourage people from moving to El Dorado County, and send many folks like myself running for the CA border. Every time I come to the Mountain Democrat website I read about another planned disaster in the making to be considered on by the county BOS. Why are they hell-bent on ruining our quality of living?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dink LaneMay 21, 2013 - 10:30 am

    When I listened to the arguments FOR Prop 13, they said "This will stop all those big ADMINISTRATION Costs." I laugh till my sides hurt.... Administration has NOT taken a cut yet .... They have pushed the cuts ON Public Health & Safety. They have taken the CUTS.... Who is going to vote for ADMINISTRATION cuts?... But we continue to fight to take on TAX-Increases for FIRE, POLICE and Schools (even highways)..... Now the county is trying to come up with HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY (which we all will be some day).... Think about these elderly people on a fixed income paying $200 to $300 a month for electricity..... Do we really think Oil/Natural gas prices are going to go DOWN or at least Stay the same????.... (Don't make me laugh again... my sides are still sore).... What should the BoS do? Stop kicking the can down the road.... Come up with Common Sense solutions... (Oh by the way, did our Administration costs come down yet? Ha, Ha, Ha....)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 21, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    This is happening all over the country...people here are just now really seeing it--five years this county will be bankrupt--if it continues. This movement has been here for awhile--started in main cities first across the United States-the last to go are the rural areas...READ

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dink LaneMay 21, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    Adams & Jefferson were VERY concerned about the "Aristocrats" undermining the country's laws....... Because these Aristocrats (Wealth Corporations) DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE PEOPLE.... If you want to read something on line.... Read their letters (http://www.bigeye.com/aristocracy.htm) ..... We need to think of the PEOPLE/taxpayer/CITIZEN.... BEFORE Corporate interests..... This country was built to GET AWAY FROM WEALTHY MONARCHS....Who expect the people (peasants) to support the country and them...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Christopher SanchezSeptember 10, 2013 - 8:20 pm

    No one would force you to make these energy upgrades. People who couldn't afford new windows, insulation, solar, or new HVAC, could afford these improvements if we had a PACE program. This would bring jobs to our county, and the energy improvements would pay for themselves. If you don't want to participate in this program then don't. Please don't prohibit others from participating. I thought people in the foothills stood for freedom. Why would you not allow your neighbors to finance improvements however they choose too?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynOctober 02, 2013 - 7:52 am

    POWER COMPANIES LOOK AT CHARGING CUSTOMERS FOR SOLAR ENERGY - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampOctober 02, 2013 - 8:29 am

    Evelyn, someone dear to me now-- out of Sac--is paying fees already on what I call "using the sun."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampOctober 02, 2013 - 8:34 am

    California Bill Would Expand Solar, Add Monthly Power Fee http://tinyurl.com/neoq8yo

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
.

Letters

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 13 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

 
See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments