Depending upon where your home search takes you in California, you will likely hear the term “Mello-Roos.” Just what is Mello-Roos? In a nutshell, Mello-Roos is a special tax that homeowners pay in certain communities to fund bonds that support the infrastructure of that community.
A Closer Look at Mello-Roos
In 1982, The Mello-Roos Community Facilities District Act was enacted as an alternative financing plan for municipal improvements and services. Named for California State Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Mike Ross, the Act was passed as a response to Proposition 13 which limited the ability of local governments to finance new projects. Mello-Roos allows any school district, city, county, or joint powers of authority to establish what is known as a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District.
These districts supplement services such as police, fire, ambulance, infrastructure, libraries, museums, cultural facilities, parks, schools, and sewer system through bonds; which are paid for by a special tax assessed to homeowners in those districts. So, is Mello-Roos good, or is it bad?