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Where do your property taxes go?

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Nov 26, 2013

Our property tax bill does not provide us with a breakdown of where the taxes go. Oh sure, they give us a pie chart with 5 general categories (School Districts, County General Fund, Cities, Special Districts and Redevelopment Obligations) I recently obtained a file from the Controllers Office which provides a complete breakdown by Tax Rate Area (TRA). I have posted this on my website Web Link. You will find your TRA at the top left of your bill. For an example, I am including data for a home in the Las Lomitas School District, where "starter" homes cost~$1,000,000.
008-005 100 GENERAL COUNTY TAX 0.2304360577
008-005 15701 CITY OF MENLO PARK 0.1169073145
008-005 30530 LAS LOMITAS ELEM GNRL PURPOSE 0.2057309843
008-005 40890 SEQUOIA HIGH GENRL PURPOSE 0.1518408147
008-005 60870 SM JR COLLEGE GEN PUR 0.0659368558
008-005 71570 MENLO PARK FIRE DISTRICT 0.1531931585
008-005 75188 SAN FRANCISQUITO CRK FLD ZN 2 0.0022298948
008-005 78560 MIDPENINSULA REG. OPEN SPACE 0.0178540950
008-005 79020 BAY AREA AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT 0.0020319056
008-005 79450 COUNTY HARBOR DISTRICT 0.0034277032
008-005 79600 SMC MOSQUITO & VECTOR CONTROL DISTRICT 0.0018659505
008-005 79890 SEQUOIA HOSPITAL DISTRICT 0.0142307543
That "starter" homeowner pays:
$1,169 to the City,
$2,057 to the Las Lomitas School District,
$1,518 to Sequoia High School District
$659 to the College District,
$1,532 to the Menlo Park Fire District,
$22 to Sanfrancisquito Creek Flood Zone,
$179 to Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District,
$20 to BaY Area Air Quality Management,
$34 to the Harbor District,
$19 to Mosquito and Vector Control District, and,
$142 to Sequoia Hospital District a.k.a. Sequoia Healthcare District

Comments (3)

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 26, 2013 at 11:48 am

I left out $343 for County Education Tax
The above example was for TRA # 008-005.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Apple Jacks
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

"$19 to Mosquito and Vector Control District"

We need to raise that.

Can we get an audited version of this, [portion removed.]

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Many taxpayers are not aware that their taxes are going to the Sequoia Healthcare District(SHD) and the Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District(MROSD). It has been suggested that these districts be dissolved(Sequoia) and/or detached(MROSD). From the TRA file Web Link, one can calculate the benefit of such actions which would accrue to the surviving agencies in the TRA's, assuming that the taxes would be distributed on the basis of those agencies incremental share of the 1% tax. Viewed from the perspective of the "starter" homeowner, I determined that Las Lomitas would receive an additional $30 of those homeowners taxes for dissolution of SHD, and $37 from the detachment from MROSD.
Another interesting fact arises when one compares the tax contribution of an identical "starter" homeowner residing outside the city limits. TRA 061-002 pays no city tax, but still pays the basic 1% General Tax. Their tax contribution to Las Lomitas is $187 more than that of the Menlo Park homeowner. Go figure.

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