Council moves forward on Alameda Landing taxes

Council moves forward on Alameda Landing taxes

Dave Boitano
Alameda Landing

Homeowners who will move into Alameda Landing will likely pay more than residents in other parts of the city to live in their new neighborhood.

On Tuesday night, the City Council approved formation of one of two planned community facilities districts that will tax Landing residents to pay for streets, sidewalks and other necessities a new community requires without taxing the existing community to finance it.

The action involved one of two districts that will encompass 45 acres of property near the Posey Tube that the U.S. Navy transferred to the city.

Formal action on the second district, which would allow the city to charge additional taxes for police and other services, had to be delayed because one of the property owners could not get the required legal documents ready for Tuesday night’s meeting. The council will vote on that proposal at a February 7 meeting.

Plans call for 275 new Alameda Landing homes including 91 single-family houses, 79 two-story condominiums, 26 flats, 56 townhomes and a 23-unit apartment building in addition to a Target-anchored shopping center that is partially built.

The special taxes, which are levied in addition to the regular property tax all Alamedans pay, will vary depending upon the size of the home. Owners of single-family detached homes will pay from $3,000 to $4,400 per year while residents in multifamily units will pay from $1,408 per unit each year to more than $3,000, not including homeowner’s association fees.

Owners of commercial buildings will pay $1.54 a square foot for services only.

By law an election to approve formation of the district must be conducted, but because the voters include a handful of current property owners and the city, that vote Tuesday night was never in doubt. It passed with flying colors, 24-0.

Nor was there any protest from the audience. The public hearing was opened and closed without comment.

Facilities districts are favored by many growing cities whose leaders believe they allow residential and commercial growth to pay for itself. Many developers prefer them because the districts shift the burden of financing roads, sewers and other infrastructure to homeowners rather than requiring the builder to obtain additional financing for public improvements at the time of construction.

Similar districts already exist in the city’s newer neighborhoods, including the adjacent Bayport neighborhood.

The theory behind the districts is that the district can borrow funds cheaper than a developer could because the entity can obtain tax exempt rates and thus keep the cost of the home from increasing further, Paul Thimmig, the city’s bond counsel, said.

Councilman Stewart Chen wanted assurances that homeowners would be made aware of the special tax they were being required to pay. Thimmig said mandatory disclosure of the tax will be included in the home’s title and be part of the legal paperwork house buyers must sign at time of sale.

“People will get the disclosure. That doesn’t mean they will be happy about it,” he joked.

Comments

Submitted by luczai (not verified) on Wed, Jan 8, 2014

Wow! I guess all those people fleeing the high cost of home ownership in SF are in for a shock. Should boost property values in my neck of the woods though. Score!

Submitted by Tom (not verified) on Wed, Jan 8, 2014

Developers vote to tax the new home owners. Wonder how much cash they don't have to invest in the infrastructure? And how much they take as profits thru this pass the cost to the coming new owners and keep the bucks for themselves! Or do I have this all wrong?

Submitted by Helen (not verified) on Tue, May 5, 2015

That's ridiculously too much. People will be shocked when they get their property tax bill.
People in new communities, such as Bayport pay an extra $1000 plus a year, but $3,000 and up is like stealing. Sometimes you can come up with a good down payment to buy your home, but the continued taxes are killers. Especially hard for retirees on a fixed budget.