clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Weird Self-Taxing Scheme to Benefit Environment?

New, 10 comments

We were skeptical when we first heard about this one, and we're skeptical still. Supervisor Eric Mar might be on to something here -- but he might also just be stealing a page from Gavin's greenwashing playbook. The details are a little complicated, but it basically goes something like this:

Property owners who want to greenify their building but don't have the cash can apply to be part of a "Mello-Roos Special Tax District." (Yes, that is really the name.) The city will help them pay for environmentally-friendly upgrades; and in exchange, the property owner agrees to opt in to a self-tax (yes, really) that eventually finds its way back to reimbursing the city. Such a plan is already in place in Berkley (uh oh) and Gavin loves the idea (UH OH).

Mello-Roos districts aren't a new idea -- they're used all over the state, and they more or less work like a loan except that they're tied to property instead of to a person. And they don't always work out so well: in low-density sprawl-sickened Pacifica, development dried up and left residents on the hook for massive repayments. Whoops! Well, it could never happen here. Of course, Mello-Roos properties experience astronomical delinquency fees and heightened foreclosure (SMELLO-Roos is more like it!!!) ... but what's a little foreclosure when you're experiencing the satisfaction of being green?

· Gavin's Boast: SF Bleeding Solar Cash [Curbed SF]
· Loan plan rewards homeowners for green upgrades [An Examiner]
· Supervisor Eric Mar has a Green Financing Program for Energy and Water Retrofits [SF Citizen]
· $433,000 tax bill for 10 school kids angers some [The Oblong Catfish Register]
· Top 10 Tips Every Lender And Property Owner Must Know (Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts) [Mondaq]