By Ken Wagstaff
Dear Davis City Council,
I am concerned about your plan for a Community Facilities financing District (CFD) for the Cannery development now being built by the New Home Company. I understand it will be on your agenda on Tuesday.
Each year, Cannery homeowners will pay a significant extra amount, appearing on their tax bill.
This levy is to cover the cost of the infrastructure New Home is building to serve the project, including street and bike connections to the city. Depending on home size, the levy could be an additional $1,000 – $3,000.
Normally new homeowners pay their share of infrastructure costs in the price of their house, financed in their monthly mortgage payment. It’s not added to their tax bill.
Mace Ranch homeowners already pay such a special CFD levy. I believe the Cannery bill will be higher.
As I understand it, Dan, Lucas and Rochelle voted for the Cannery CFD to assure timely infrastructure funding. Brett and Robb voted no, not convinced the City needs to be the fiscal intermediary to accomplish this.
I agree with Brett and Robb. New Home’s own financing and business plan, especially in a strong housing market, should be able to fund the infrastructure schedule in the development agreement that Lucas (and Joe Krovoza) negotiated.
Special financing districts run counter to the idea of community-wide support for City needs and amenities. This includes the schools.
I’ve met residents in Mace Ranch who feel their tax bills are unfair. They are reluctant to renew tax levies. In Mace precincts a recent school tax election failed the necessary 2/3 vote to pass. It took a higher vote in the rest of the school district for the tax to carry.
Cannery residents, with tax bills higher than Mace Ranch, may resist renewal of school taxes. In a close election, Cannery votes could defeat school measures.
I am a grandfather of three children enrolled in Davis schools. As a former Davis Mayor I’m also concerned about building community consensus to support our quality of life.
I encourage citizens and the School Board to appeal to the City Council to stop the Cannery CFD.