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Homes by High School About to Be Hit with Hefty Tax Bill

But on the plus side, there may be $1.5 million extra to build schools. Most of the money will be spent on repaying the developer for the dirt under SJHHS.

The Mirador tract being built near San Juan Hills High School (in background) in San Juan Capistrano. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
The Mirador tract being built near San Juan Hills High School (in background) in San Juan Capistrano. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

Valinda and Mirador homeowners: Be forewarned, your Mello-Roos taxes start soon.

How much will they be? Between $6,400-7,400 a year until 2042, according to school officials.

Capistrano Unified is the agency that administers the community facilities district and sells the bonds. Forty percent of the proceeds will go to the city of San Juan Capistrano for building the infrastructure supporting the new homes next to San Juan Hills High School.

Most of the rest goes to the school district, but it’s effectively already spent. That’s because the school district still owes $6 million to the previous landowner who sold the property on which San Juan Hills sits.

However, trustees heard from their bond consultant Wednesday that there may be a little money left over for school facilities after all.

The district went to sell the first of two phases of bonds in late October, said bond consultant Lori Raineri. The sale went far better than she had ever anticipated, resulting in a bond 37 percent bigger than previously estimated.

“The market performed, and our underwriter outperformed the market,” she said. Every minute drop in interest rates results in better selling power, so instead of raising $6 million, the district raised $8.2 million.

The money will allow the district to pay off two-thirds of the $6 million owed to the developer right away, Raineri said. The district was obligated to pay a little less than half this round, according to a presentation the school board heard in August.

She now estimates that the second sale of bonds should net $1.5 million above and beyond what is needed to make the developer whole.

Those proceeds would then be available for schools serving the students who live there, said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent of business services.

The second bond sale – the transactions are triggered when the developer hits various milestones in home sales – is expected in fiscal year 2015-16, Raineri said. The community is planned for 140 tract homes and 15 custom homes.

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Jim Reardon January 23, 2014 at 10:49 PM
The headline here is a bit misleading. Properties within the Whispering Hills CFD have been aware of this special tax and paid it since their homes were first sold. So it is not a "hit". The positive side of the story is that CUSD was able to obtain bond financing for the obligations of these homeowners at very competitive interest rates. The benefit of this isn't immediate, but in the long term, less interest paid results in a better overall outcome.
Willimena January 24, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Wow! That's a pretty big hit to absorb every year on top of your property taxes. Yikes! Im not so sure CUSD is really worth it to be honest. SVUSD and many other surrounding school districts are just as if not more efficient without all of the drama and extra costs that often occurs within CUSD boundaries. If we were looking to purchase a newer home in south county there is no way we would consider this development, Talega or Rancho Mission Viejo no matter how much we liked the homes.
glenn bernard January 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM
As always, whatever government does, it's always complicated, expensive, wasteful, and abusive. When does the next revolution begin?
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:00 AM
Glen- We should all be revolting. Governor Brown just published his preliminary budget- flush with cash at $107 Billion (highest ever). CUSD has its problems - mostly caused by the way the State of California redistributes our money. So consider the following: While Los Angeles Unified School District has enough funding to provide every child with a Free I-Pad, and the District is debating wether or not to give Teachers a 17.6% salary increase, CUSD is for the first time not cutting its budget. We have cut $130 million from our budget over the last 7 years, and we were projected to cut $12 million this year even with Jerry Browns new LCFF.
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Our District has some real problems- Now we have the job of finding enough money in our budget to restore class sizes to 24:1 (CUSD will get additional money from the State under LCFF if we can do that- our current average class size is 31.5 - 34 depending on grade- many classrooms have 40 kids in a class built for much less). We need an additional $1 Billion dollars to bring our buildings up to standards after seven years of deferred maintenance. We need millions of dollars to restore our school year to 180 days, we need $130 million to restore all the programs that have been cut, and I have not mentioned that we need to find $52 million to pay our unfunded pension liabilities.
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:04 AM
Rather than restore funding to our District Jerry Brown proposes to spend money on the following-
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:20 AM
HIGH SPEED RAIL- Jerry Brown's Budget proposes $300 million in new funding for rail modernization; including $250 million for High Speed Rail.
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:29 AM
TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN- would add a mandatory 14th year of school to the K- 12 system and would cost the State $1 Billion per year to maintain. CUSD does not have the funding to adequately educate the current K- 12 students- making it mandatory that all districts offer transitional kindergarten, and requiring the program to be staffed with credentialed teachers, will dramatically increase costs for CUSD.
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:36 AM
DRIVERS LICENSES FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS- Jerry Brown's budget wants to spend $65 million to provide 1.4 million driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. He is proposing to hire 900 new government workers (salaries- pensions - benefits) to implement this program and I want to add not one legal resident will benefit from this program.
Dawn Urbanek January 27, 2014 at 09:38 AM
I forgot to mention that the total cost of I-pads for LAUD is $1 Billion dollars. And if LAUSD teachers get a substantial salary increase CUSD teachers will want a raise as well.

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