So I receive this letter last week from the Mono County Assessor’s Office telling me that my property is getting reassessed because, well, there is no longer a residential structure on the property.
Tax break. Woo hoo!
My previous assessment was $125,000 for land and $220,000 for structures.
My new assessment is $100,000 for land.
Forgive me for bitching, but … $100,000 for land? Ummm … who would pay that? That’s absurd. 1.) The property is trashed, and needs to be scraped clean. 2.) Then I’d have to convince a buyer that Swall Meadows is an optimal place to buy because of the recent and very successful fuels reduction program initiated on February 6.
A valuation of $50,000 or below would seem reasonable. If that sends the Assessor into a dither about his declining tax roll, my reply would be that I’m sure he is going to recoup that money and more when a new home is rebuilt on the property.
In the meantime … don’t expect a return letter from 1046 Swall Meadows Rd. indicating that I am in agreement with your assessment.
Back in October, 2014, Consultant Jamie Licko was in town to pitch something called an EIFD.
As I wrote four months ago, “In technical terms, Licko proposed ‘tax increment financing.’ What this means is that as property values increase, the tax collecting entities would volunteer to ‘donat’ a certain percentage of the revenue ‘enhancement’ to a special district. The special district would then dream up wonderful ways to spend the money, though building a parking structure in the Village at Mammoth appears like the first priority out of the box and would suck up the first 20 years of tax increments.”
The chief problem withe the initiative, as I also pointed out four months ago, was that the Mono County Board of Supervisors would have to sign off on such a plan for it to have any chance of success and I seriously doubted that Messrs. Fesko, Johnston, Stump and Alpers would have any interest in giving away potential tax revenue to such a district.
And then we heard nothing more – which made sense to me. Until the sucker is brought forward to the Board of Supervisors, it’s just a bunch of talk.
Imagine my surprise to hear that Licko was back in town this week pitching the same damn idea. So I went to a workshop on Tuesday morning, where she gave her same presentation backed by the same PowerPoint slides.
The last time she was here, CalTrans footed the bill. Who was footing the bill this time?
Mammoth Mountain ($2,000), Village at Mammoth ($2,000), Acorn Asset Management ($1,000), John Vereuck ($2,000), Will Gustafson ($2,000), Snowcreek Investment ($2,000) … you get the picture.
As Paul Rudder observed, “The North Village perceives benefit [in the establishment of an EIFD]. Your list of donors proves that.” Main Street, he went on, doesn’t boast such a list, so it obviously doesn’t perceive the same benefit.
“This is because North Village has a project it desperately wants built … but wants someone else to pay for.”
The Sheet innocently asked Lickop why the North Village just didn’t establish its own EIFD.
She explained that “You [Mammoth] don’t have enough capacity to be choosy. You need a large enough district to attract investors for those bonds.”
Rob Mitchell, who participated via conference call, supports the EIFD. “We need something to happen,” he said. “Development feeds development.”
Licko added that if an EIFD incentivized North Village development by providing a pathway for a parking structure to get built, then the incremental property tax revenue increase which occurred could then fund projects elsewhere within the district area.
Yup. More trickle-down economics.
She also explained that the County should be interested in signing on because the county tax roll is stagnant and this would spur an overall increase in property value.
Yup. A rising tide lifts all boats.
My favorite Freudian slipo of the morning occurred when Licko said, “This is a redirection (pause, reboot) … reinvestment of existing tax dollars.”
And my favorite part of the meeting occurred minutes later when Licko acknowledged that although she has met with County Staff, she still, four months later, still hasn’t spoken to any Supervisors about it.
Let me make an analogy here. Say you’ve got a married guy who wants to have an affair. So he embarks on a whole bunch of background research and interviews and screens several prospective women before deciding on two or three who would be his top choices.
He then and only then decides that maybe it’s time to run this affair idea past his wife. Hmm. Imagine that. She’s not too keen on it. Looks like all that research was a waste of time.
Unlike Licko, however, the married guy doesn’t get paid to waste his time on his research. You just get the feeling she’s doing everything she can to bill her hours before she has to face the truth.
As you may have guessed, I skipped the joint Council/Planning and Economic Development Commission meeting on Thursday which tread over the same turf.
Thought on Terry McAteer
At one point during the interview with Inyo County Superintendent McAteer, I asked him “What is it that pisses people off about you?”
His reply: “I know where I’m going.”
Which I loved. 75% of the people and events I cover are about who say they know where they’re going, but that’s just because they programmed it into a GPS. McAteer is different. He actually knows.
I also think he’s ethical and that the Register really screwed the pooch on its coverage.
MCWD Raises Water Restrictions to Level 2
Mammoth Lakes, CA – On February 19, the MCWD board unanimously approved moving from Level 1 to Level 2 water shortage restrictions. The board’s decision was based on the water content of the Mammoth Pass snowpack, about 70 percent below normal, and MCWD staff estimates of water supply availability. The goal of the Level 2 restrictions are to achieve a 20 percent reduction of customer water demand. Customers of the MCWD have been under Level 1 restrictions since the drought began in 2012. The MCWD board will continue to reassess snowpack conditions and the status of the groundwater production wells water supply conditions through the coming months.
Level 2 water restrictions will be in effect March 9th. Under these restrictions, outdoor irrigation will only be allowed from 8:00 pm to 9:00 am, water for construction is limited to recycled water, significant leaks must be repaired within 3 days of notification or discovery, and no new lawns may be installed, even when a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle is used for irrigation. Indoor savings are expected to result from voluntary measures taken by customers.