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Tuolumne County Exploring New Strategy To Tax Development Projects

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Sonora, CA — The board of supervisors in Tuolumne County indicated support for further exploring the idea of creating districts in the county in which new development projects would pay an extra tax to help fund services.

It would be specifically aimed at development in areas currently lacking resources.

District Four Supervisor Kathleen Haff was most vocal among the board in wanting to explore this idea further, noting the potential benefits on the Highway 120 corridor. She noted it is important that there be a mechanism for large development and resort projects to “pay their fair share.” The south county region also has highly documented financial challenges related to providing fire services.

The board members acknowledged that it is a complicated issue. The formation of a Community Facilities District, sometimes referred to as a Mello-Roos District, would require support by 2/3 of “qualified electors” within a proposed district.

Attorney Patricia Eichar with Orrick Public Finance was brought in by the county at today’s meeting to provide a legal overview of the process, and answer questions.

Some of those who spoke in favor of the concept during the public comment period were Groveland Community Services District General Manager Pete Kampa and Assistant Tuolumne County Fire Chief Andrew Murphy.

In the end, the board collectively stressed that they are only interested in exploring the issue further for commercial development, and not residential construction. They do not want to see new taxes placed on homes. More specifics will be discussed and worked out at future meetings.