Home Buying in Santa Rosa>Question Details

Peter Jordan, Real Estate Pro in Scottsdale, AZ

What is the property tax base in Sonoma County and what areas of Santa Rosa should I shy away from that carry the Mello-Roos tax?

Asked by Peter Jordan, Scottsdale, AZ Sat May 12, 2012

What is the property tax base in Sonoma County and is the Mello-Roos tax evident in what areas of Santa Rosa?

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Paul Claeyssens’ answer
The property tax in Santa Rosa overall is about 1.25% per year. One good way to compute this is to divide the purchase price by $1,000, and that is about how many dollars per month the property tax will cost. For example, a $250,000 home will cost about $250 per month, plus any special taxes like Mello-Roos. However, avoiding Mello-Roos may be a mistake.

You see, when Mello-Roos was enacted, I felt the same as you, that this was a burdensome and unnecessary tax. However, we have discovered that IF you have children of school age, or you are planning to rent or sell to someone who has children of school age, then the Mello-Roos school is very valuable. It is then very very desireable.

Mello-Roos schools have no restrictions on how they can spend their budget. If they want to buy computers instead of books, ok. If they want to hire a teacher instead of a janitor or administrator, ok. If they want to fix the roof instead of buying furniture, ok. You see, this has made it possible for Mello Roos schools to be as good as private school for education at a fraction of the cost.

Public schools not under Mello Roos cannot buy computers instead of books, or hire a teacher instead of a janitor or administrator, or take a field trip instead of buying lunch. The state and county schools have fixed budgets for everything, and they cannot be applied to anything else. This has made public schools not under Mello Roos very inflexible, and frustrating for teachers, administrators, parents and students. Mello Roos is a very good thing, and a bargain if you, or your tenants, or the buyer of your home have school age children and want a very very good education for them at a very good price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Good morning Peter, I am only working on the first cup of coffee but I think county tax is1.25% per year. I know one is not supposed to answer a question with a question but why would you shy away from areas that include Mello-Roos? I would suggest that when considering a purchase, even for income property, that the area and other factors so out weigh the tax considerations that it should be very low on the list of criteria for buying property. This region is already not know as not the most affordable location, and the quality of life, diverse economy of Northern California, and the natural beauty are the most obvious offsets.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 12, 2012
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