People in some of Stanislaus County's poorest unincorporated areas would pay sharply higher taxes for services like streetlights and rainwater drains under a proposal going before county leaders today.
For example, streetlight assessments in south Modesto's Shackelford area would rise more than 40 percent. Bret Harte neighbors in south Modesto would pay 11 percent more, and property owners in the Riverdale Park Tract would pay nearly 16 percent more.
Such assessments are added to property tax bills.
County supervisors are scheduled to hear comments this morning from anyone in 14 service districts where taxes would shoot up, including east Oakdale, Denair, Ceres and Westley. Changes result from "a concentrated effort to review" costs by engineers in the county's Public Works Department, a report reads.
Service taxes in four districts would go down a bit, and those in nine others throughout the county would not change, including Salida, Empire and north McHenry Avenue's auto row.
"In general, cost increases are due to inflated energy and fuel costs," a report reads. "However, some of the increases and decreases are due to improved oversight."
Matt Machado, county public works director, said some increases are required to cover costs of chronic vandalism. Although some areas are predominantly low-income, "they are receiving the benefits described here," he said.
The largest proposed increase in terms of dollars would be $189 in Westley's Howard-McCracken district near Interstate 5, whose residents would pay $1,297 per year for landscaping and streetlights.
That's a 15 percent increase, compared with the 40.2 percent jump in the Shackelford neighborhood, across Crows Landing Road from where the defunct Modesto Tallow Co. used to spew stomach-churning odors. For Shackelford residents, taxes would rise about $13 per year.
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. today in the basement chamber at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2390.