Mello-Roos Taxes

Mello-Roos taxes are assessed to special tax districts, known as Mello-Roos Districts or Community Facilities Districts, for the purpose of financing public services and/or facilities including streets, police protection, fire protection, elementary schools, parks, libraries, museums, and cultural facilities.

California State Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Mike Roos spearheaded the successful passage of the Mello-Roos Community Facilities District Act in 1982. The Act passed in response to Proposition 13 (enacted in 1978), which limited the ability of local governments and developers to finance new projects.

Did You Know?
Proposition 13 does not restrict Mello-Roos taxes.

Mello Roos District
The Mello-Roos act authorized any county, city, special district, school district or joint powers of authority to create a Mello Roos District with approval of a two-thirds margin of qualified voters in the district.

Property Owners
The Mello Roos District can issue bonds to pay for public improvements. The district's property owners are responsible for payment of a "special tax" to repay these bonds. The act allows for considerable flexibility on how the special tax is calculated. The calculation often takes into account property characteristics such as square footage of the home and parcel size. Typically, the tax is included with your general property tax bill.

Time Limit
The special Mello-Roos tax stays in effect as long as needed to repay the principal and interest on the special bond along with any reasonable administrative costs. The tax may not stay in effect for a period longer than 40 years.

Property Sale
An increased value of the property does not affect the amount of the tax when property is sold.