County OKs property tax rule for special district annexations

   The San Diego County Board of Supervisors have adopted a master property tax exchange resolution to cover properties annexed to a water or sewer district after being detached from another  district.

The move, approved in a 5-0 vote Sept. 16, is expected to save the cost of staff time.

   “Anything that can expedite the process in a fair and equitable manner is a good thing,” said Mike Ott, executive director of San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

    LAFCO handles jurisdictional boundary changes such as incorporations, annexations, consolidations and detachments.

   “This appears to be a good change to their procedures and could streamline efforts,” Ott said. “It really is an administrative item to help facilitate processing.”

   LAFCO only determines sphere of influence and boundary adjustment issues and does not make any decisions on property tax exchange matters. However, LAFCO requires that any property tax exchange be completed prior to processing a boundary change request.

   In October 1979 the county supervisors adopted Policy B-45, which creates guidelines for establishing the amount of property tax to be exchanged from the jurisdiction losing the territory to the jurisdiction gaining that territory. The county created master tax exchange resolutions that established property tax exchange rates for each city within the county when annexations or incorporations occur.

   The county also created a master enterprise district resolution to process water and sewer district annexation or formation proposals that did not involve an exchange in property taxes. The resolution did not cover a situation in which a water or sewer district annexes an area that would be detached from another water or sewer district. That lack  required such annexations and detachments to need board of supervisors action.

   An enterprise district is a special district that charges customers for services.  A fire protection district is not an enterprise district, and in some cases a fire district annexation and detachment proceeding does not involve the transfer of all property tax since the detached area may still be served by its original fire agency.

   In the event that an enterprise district annexation request includes a negotiated property tax exchange that does not transfer all of the property tax in the reorganized area, the master property tax resolution will not apply and the exchange will still require county board of approval.

   
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