Mad about MAD
Re: Time for a facelift, Del Cerro? [Volume 22, Issue 6]
Dear Mr. Rawlins:
I read over your piece in the Times Courier — June/July, 2016 — regarding the Del Cerro MAD.
I am not sure what your experience is with San Diego taxation processes. But I think that any assessment to homeowners in the Del Cerro area relating to MAD ($7.50 – $12) would be a bad idea. Once the city gets involved in taxes/fees they never stop and keep on going up over the years beyond inflation percentages.
In one sense, Proposition 13 is continually being ‘skirted’ with various property taxes (called fees) proposals to homeowners.
I am not too interested in the article’s proposed list of improvements, especially College Avenue and Del Cerro Boulevard. Keep in mind there is a planned 39-home construction project near the corner or College Avenue and Del Cerro Boulevard. I live up on Dwane Avenue and I don’t see where the listed improvements will add to my property value.
—Donald L. Helmich, San Diego
MAD can make sense, but after paying into a fund for years to underground utilities, our section scheduled for 2016, was cancelled. We had zero input. That alone helps the hood look better. Gives us pause for another special cost with no control.
—Brian Chandler, San Diego
In your last issue, I read with interest about there may be a need for a Del Cerro tax increase under the guise of MAD — a cute way to sell the residents an HOA/Mello-Roos. Come on, at least be honest and call it what it really is — an HOA.
Because of the strangle-hold that state/federal unions have on our state, they are looking for any way they can to generate funds to take care of the basic needs of our community that they have for the last 95 years. I mean basic, basic services that the city used to always provide.
But with prevailing wage of $64 per hour on building projects; six-figure salaries for many city, state employees; and retirement/pension costs (retire at 55 and get $65,000-110,000 per year for the rest of your life with free medical care), the money is just not there to fix potholes, pull weeds in the medians, repair cracked sidewalks, mow the grass at parks and schools (many of these entities have volunteers doing these jobs).
They are going to spin [this] in such a way that you almost feel a duty to help them out. But then you remember that you already pay extremely high taxes to take care of these basic services.
If you pass this tax increase, that’s what it really is, won’t it bother you? It bothers me. It’s called “double taxation.” And as you know, once a tax is added, it is never, never, ever taken away.
The article says that it needs only 850 signatures to get on the ballot. That seems unfair considering there are thousands of residents in Del Cerro. What if 850 of us went to a City Council meeting and demanded the basic services that used to be provided for residents. We all know that both Democrats and Republicans have been quoted as saying “the unions run the state, we can’t stop them.”
—Steve Gilbert, San Diego
Notice that the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) proposed at youtu.be/K3bqO-buDbMshows is aimed at “old and tired” streets within a quarter mile of College Avenue and Del Cerro Boulevard, yet it proposes to tax properties as far north as Patrick Henry High School, with no benefit north of College and Rockhurst. A small group is trying to leverage funds from a larger group.
—Paul E. Girard, San Diego