How to Figure Mello Roos Taxes

A Mello-Roos tax is a special type of California property tax that pays for construction of community amenities, such as fire stations or schools. Local communities set up special "community facilities districts" that issue tax-exempt municipal bonds to raise revenue for qualifying projects and pay them off by levying Mello-Roos taxes against properties in the district. The amount of Mello-Roos tax that a property could be subject to varies depending on when the Mello-Roos taxes were levied, how much work the district did that was subject to Mello-Roos taxation and whether or not a previous homeowner paid the Mello-Roos obligation in one payment. You can calculate the exact Mello-Roos tax due on a parcel by searching the county's tax records.

Step 1

Look at your property tax bill. The bill will break out your Mello-Roos taxes as a line item along with your other property tax liabilities. If you do not see the words "Mello-Roos" next to a line item, look for "MR." If you do not have the property tax bill, you will need to contact county tax officials.

Step 2

Search the website of the county in which the property is located to find the telephone number for the county assessor. In some counties, taxes may be collected by the treasurer or tax collector as well.

Step 3

Call the assessor or other tax official and give her the address or parcel number of the property for which you want to calculate Mello-Roos taxes. Tell her you want to know the specific amount of Mello-Roos taxes that are due. Also ask her for the contact person at the Mello-Roos district in which the property is located.

Step 4

Contact the appropriate person at the property's Mello-Roos district. He should be able to give you detailed information about the specific formula used to calculate that property's tax liability and how the taxes will change in the future. He can also tell you how much longer the property will be subject to Mello-Roos.

Tip

  • Mello-Roos taxes rarely exceed 1.5 percent of a home's total value. They also cannot increase by more than 2 percent per year.
  • Some counties will give you a detailed property tax bill online that breaks out the Mello-Roos taxes, while others, like Sacramento and Los Angeles, will require you to call for detailed information.

About the Author

Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.

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