Santa Paula: Taxes, Limoneira and Infrastructure

By Sheryl Hamlin

Property Taxes and Ventura County Fire Department

The issue of annexation to the Ventura County Fire Protection District (VCFPD) moved forward with more numbers relating to property tax and the sharing of Santa Paula’s revenue with the VCFPD.

A concept called ‘realized property tax revenues’, which consultant Mike Sedell had alluded to previously, has been codified into the tax sharing agreement. The main statement of the sharing says:

“The agreement establishes a tax share of seventy-nine percent (79%) of the City’s realized property tax revenues which occur after annexation into the District. This amount is approximately equal to sixteen and one-half percent (16.5%) of the total property tax generated from within the boundaries of the City.”

Using a consultant, the city forecasts property tax revenue each year in the budget. For FY 2017/2018 the budgeted property tax amount as of the May 25th report presented to the council was $3,524,000, an amount which was reduced from the original estimate of $3,850,000. Taking 79% of the reduced number would yield $2,783,960, which presumably would be the payment to VCFPD for the first year. This amount is very close to the $2,762,800 value for FY 17/18 used in the graph shown to the council on the Saturday, June 17th meeting.

The payments occur semi-annually, so presumably the VCFPD would get 79% of each semi-annual payment. The factors which contribute to the difference between the realized revenue and the actual allocation of .1650 were not discussed.

After the tax sharing agreement is recorded, the city will pay the VCFPD directly for a pro-rata share of the full FY 17-18 year, a value to be determined by the county. Thereafter, the payment will be automatically made through the county.

The county produces “realized revenue” reports, which are not available on-line, but may be obtained by request. In preparing the financial model and the graphs shown previously to the council, the team of Sedell/Castania used historic realized property tax values to forecast future payments to the VCFPD and compared those forecasts with concrete values for salary increases and equipment needs for the SPFD.

The vote was 4-1 with Mayor Crosswhite opposed saying that she did not feel that permanently allocating this amount of the city’s property taxes ad infinitum was in the best interests of the city.

Read the previous report here from the detailed Saturday, June 17, 2017 meeting where the graph is shown comparing options.

Limoneira/Lewis East Area 1 Road Construction

A previous report described the six-lane Hallock Road Extension, which will be the main entrance into East Area 1.

Because the project has the potential to impact all businesses in the area, the council asked Limoneira to produce a construction plan where some traffic would always move through the area.

Limoneira responded with a four-phase plan. Phase I will required 63 working days, Phase II 114 days, Phase III 41 days and Phase IV will occurs at 500 homes with the widening of 126.

Note that this massive road was not described in the EIR and never presented to the Planning Commission for approval. The road is elevated from SR 126 up to the top of the railroad tracks.


Phase I – 63 Working Days Source: Limoneira/Lewis

Tim Jones did not say when this project would start nor did the council ask.

Infrastructure

John Ilasin, interim Public Works Manager, presented the “State of City Infrastructure”. In addition to the remaining bond funds (not given), three potential sources of revenue for these major projects are:

1. City of Santa Paula Measure T (Measure T)
2. California Senate Bill 1 (SB 1)
3. The Harvest at Limoneira Project Development Impact Fee

The four sections of the report were 1) Streets, 2) Sewer, 3) Water and 4) Corporation Yard. Of the 660 city streets, 99 streets are in a failed condition. Most of the 60 miles of sewer collection pipeline is 50 year-old clay pipe, which will eventually be replaced with PVC (plastic). The $200,000 spent on the Lemonwood Lift Station put a dent into thiese funds. AMR took over the wastewater treatment plant on February 21, 2017. The city is hoping to receive certification from the Regional Water Board for a permit which will help implement water recycling, Phase I of the planned recycling will be self-haul. The 100 miles of water pipe is also 50 years old and is made of corroded metal. The goal is also to replace with PVC which does not leach into the water supply. The Public Works department would also like to implement a GIS (Geographic Information System) application where every asset is mapped. Soon, he reported, there will be a plan for the “dilapited” Corporation Yard, which Vice Mayor Gherardi needs to apply for grants.

To watch the entire meeting, click here

For more information about the author visit Sheryl Hamlin dot com


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