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KEN SIERACKI, San Clemente
The Measure H Bond will have severe impacts on property owners and residents. Property valued at $1 million will start at $340, but because of the annual 2% compounded increases in assessment values, that number grows to $406 by year 10, $495 by year 20 and eventually reaching $604.
That owner can expect to pay a total of $13,793 during the bond’s life. Those numbers could be significantly greater if the property is reassessed due to a kitchen or bathroom remodel or room or deck addition.
This constantly increasing tax will be a plague on owners for decades and will have the same negative impact as a massive citywide Mello-Roos tax. Property sales and values will be harmed as buyers assess the impact of this onerous tax on property purchases.
Commercial and rental owners with more valuable properties would pay significant taxes. A $3 million property would start at $1,020 and rise to $1,346 by year 15 and eventually increase to $1,811. Those owners constantly make improvements to their properties, so they will face repeated reassessments and be forced to pay even higher taxes.
Those kinds of costs will not be ignored. Owners will be forced to pass those costs along to their customers and tenants through higher product and service prices and rents. Residents of San Clemente will be hit twice by this tax—on their own property tax bill and again through higher prices for goods, services and rents.
The Capistrano Unified School District claim that bond money will only be used for San Clemente building improvements is a deceptively misleading statement. While bond money may be used for building maintenance and improvements, passage of the bond will allow CUSD to reallocate current and future funding already in its budgets that would otherwise have been used on San Clemente schools for maintenance and improvements.
Thus, the bond could free up maintenance money in current budgets for salaries, pensions and benefits. Freed-up funds could also be used on maintenance and improvements on schools in other CUSD cities.
San Clemente taxpayers would unknowingly pay to renovate schools in other cities and pay for higher salaries and benefits for CUSD employees. The bond funds would allow CUSD to play a budgetary shell game with current budgets. This deceptive ruse and backdoor approach to freeing up money for salaries, pensions and benefits will harm all residents and must be stopped.