Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Massive Mello-Roos planned

By
From page A4 | May 20, 2013 |

“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.

Comments

comments

Mountain Democrat

.

News

County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8