I am a broker based in Elk Grove. Your realtor gave you correct information. Elk Grove's mello roos is pretty high. For example, a property in the Stonelake (a very desirable area) which is valued at approx. $280k, the total property taxes (incl mello roos) is approx. $4k+ per year. In the area south of elk grove boulevard and between franklin and bruceville, the mello roos is even higher. In this area a property of around $220k, the total property taxes (incl mello roos) is also in the $4k+ range per year.
Normally in other areas without Mello Roos, property tax is approx. 1.1%+ per year of the assessed value.
Most if not all the newer areas in Elk Grove have mello roos. There may be certain pockets, or newer homes for which the Builder had paid off the mello roos. That is an exception and not the rule.
But, really because of the Mello Roos, Elk Grove has one of the finest school districts in the Greater Sacramento area, with STAR ratings of 8 or 9 out of 10, statewide.
Hope that helps.
" The interest rates for financing Mello-Roos levies as general obligation bonds are comparatively low. Such bonds are exempt from both state and federal income taxes on the interest they earn, and therefore are sold to investors as "tax-free muni bonds", with interest rates well below the going rate for residential mortgage loans. If the lump sum amount of a Mello-Roos bond were, for example, $11,000, the annual interest as a general obligation bond might cost the homeowner $495 at 4.5% annual interest rate as a "muni bond". However, for the very same amount, could cost $770 at 7% interest financed at regular market rates for mortgages. "
"After all is said and done, the final and only issue that a buyer needs to consider when deciding between a home located in a Mello-Roos District (or any other special assessment district, for that matter), and one that isn't, is: how much down and how much per month for an essentially equal home offering the identical value. If the monthly payment is the same for either, then it's a wash. Whether the payment is skewed toward high principal and interest, with lower taxes on one, or the payment is skewed toward lower principal and interest, with higher taxes on the other, it's still the same monthly payment"
Reference: 2. http://www.jimgrattan.com/misc/special_topics.htm
Reference #3 Mello-Roos as quoted from the California Tax Data Website:
See the link #4 for a detailed description http://mello-roos.com/pdf/mrpdf.pdf
If the taxes on a property are described as $150/month, it probably means the total is about $1800/year.
The amount of Mello Roos tax is set up while the development is being built. It is a decision that a builder makes about paying certain development fees in advance, or creating a Mello Roos tax that pays for those fees over time. The builder has to decide if it's better to sell homes for $300,000 with no Mello-Roos (because they paid in advance) or sell them for $275,000 and the buyer pays the difference over the next 20 or 30 years. Each development can be different so read all the disclosures to be sure you understand them!
There is a more detailed explanation of Mello-Roos taxes at the link below.