Modesto City Schools officials on Monday night will address questions about Mello-Roos taxes charged in Village I subdivisions for construction projects there.
The Modesto board has been asked to decide if it will proceed with additional building at Enochs High, such as construction of a pool, that would be partially paid for through taxes on Village I residents.
The Building Industry Association of Central California has requested a review and discussion of the original 1994 Mello-Roos paperwork as well as builder fees and taxes charged to homeowners. An agenda report says the staff is working to provide the information.
A Bee report earlier in the summer found that nearly $52 million in Mello-Roos property taxes has been collected from Village I residents since 1994, plus millions more in one-time Mello-Roos fees paid by builders. That's money for Modesto City Schools and the Sylvan Union School District.
A 1994 agreement limited Village I's share of school construction costs to $52.7 million with provisions for inflation. That agreement said the Village I tax burden would be reduced if the district received state school construction funds. Nearly $32 million in state funds was collected, but the local agency that oversees the Village I Mello-Roos district for Modesto City Schools and Sylvan kept increasing the annual taxes 2 percent per year, the maximum allowed.
After The Bee report, the financing agency on Aug. 11 froze taxes at the current level for a year while it reviews the situation.
Most Village I homeowners pay $390.30 a year in Mello-Roos taxes, which are named after the lawmakers who created a system for local governments to charge property owners for services that would benefit them.
Sylvan trustees took up the matter at their meeting Tuesday, voting to abandon plans to build a third elementary school that would have been paid for largely out of Mello-Roos taxes in Village I. That move eliminated $14 million in proposed cost for the district.
On Monday, the Modesto board will hear a report on Measure T school bonds, approved by voters in 2001 to pay part of the costs for Enochs and Gregori high schools. The bonds are paid by property owners throughout the high school district. For the current year, property owners will pay $31.90 per $100,000 assessed value, up $4.29 from last year. In the elementary district, which approved a separate bond measure in 2001, the bond costs will be $27.11 per $100,000 in value, up $3.67. Because of declining property values, the slightly higher rates will not generate more revenue overall.
In other matters, the board will consider a contract for up to $600,000 to pay Kaplan Virtual Education to launch the district's Modesto Virtual Academy. The online public charter school will offer online high school classes for its first year and has 53 students signed up, according to administrator Dennis Snelling.
The Modesto City Schools Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m., Monday at the district's staff development center, 425 Locust St.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.