Tax district may pay for new schools

first_imgPEARBLOSSOM – A proposed 800-home development in southeast Palmdale has Keppel Union School District officials readying to form a special tax district to help pay for the construction of schools. The 540-acre College Park project, which would include a Palmdale campus for Antelope Valley College, falls within Keppel’s boundaries, though it is inside Palmdale city limits. “We are trying to get ourselves in place,” Assistant Superintendent Steve Doyle said. “If this does, or when it goes through we are ready to go. One way to finance schools is potentially a community facilities district. We are setting up a contract to approve if we need to move forward. We are trying to position ourselves if we need to build a school.” The board at Thursday’s meeting approved giving district staff the authority to hire a consulting firm to help with the formation of a Mello-Roos community facilities district if the developer is agreeable. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It’s always good to be proactive; this is really the initial stages of this project,” trustee Valorie Gorny said. “We are pleased to be on speaking terms with the developer. It looks like it will be an amicable relationship.” Originally proposed more than 10 years ago and approved by city officials in 1999, the College Park project appears to be moving forward after its acquisition by developer DR Horton, the nation’s largest home builder. The project is planned among rolling, brush-covered hills south of Barrel Springs Road, west of the Littlerock Dam. The college campus will be on nearly 70 acres of foothill land along 37th Street East. The project includes home lots ranging from 5,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet, an 18-hole golf course and a retail area. Keppel district officials have met with representatives of the developer, who expressed interest in cooperating with the district. “It appears there is some interest in funding schools through a local measure,” Superintendent Linda Wagner said. Mello-Roos districts allow developers to pass on to homeowners school-building fees rather than pay them before houses are built. Keppel currently charges a developer fee of $1.64 per square foot for residential development. The special tax districts are allowed to be formed under the Mello-Roos Act of 1982, named after two state legislators who wrote the law. It became law after 1978’s Proposition 13 capped property tax rates for Californians and diminished the ability of cities and districts to fund new roads, schools and infrastructure needed to support development. Developers are required to disclose the tax to home buyers, who sign a form indicating they were informed of the tax. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more