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$569,000 in tax levies passed by supervisors

July 11, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $569,413.70 in new special tax levies for those properties within the Gateway of the Americas project owned by La Jolla-based Los Alamos Land Co.

The lands are located within what's called community facilities district No. 98-1, Los Alamos International Center.

The tax levy would be to repay bonds sold in 1999 in the amount of $8.36 million out of a possible $40 million. The money is intended to finance the acquisition and construction of certain water, sewer, drainage and road-related facilities necessary to meet increased demands on the county as a result of the project's development and the pipelining and relocation of the South Alamo Canal.

The bonded indebtedness is both secured and repaid through the annual levy and collection of special taxes from all properties subject to the tax within the community facilities district.

Under the tax levy passed Tuesday, 62 parcels are included in the affected area. Tax bills will range from $128.98 to $72,705, depending on a number of factors, for a total tax liability of $569,413.70. Of that, two payments of $271,161.25 are due by March 2002 and Sept. 1, 2002, for interest; $10,000 due by Sept. 1, 2002, for principal; $17,000 for administrative expenses; and $91.20 in collection charges.


As of June 20, 2001, and for fiscal 2000-2001, county records show the community facilities district is delinquent by $10,269 in taxes. If not paid by Aug. 15, the landowner, Los Alamos, could be obligated to initiate foreclosure proceedings.

For fiscal 2000-2001, the total tax was $129,541.47.

The Board of Supervisors also heard an update on the county's application to be designated a foreign trade zone.

Ken Hollis, executive director of Valley of Imperial Development Alliance, told the board the designation would "stimulate economic well-being throughout the county."

"As of today, all of the information is in to the consultant," Hollis said. "The application is being finalized."

He said the application should be submitted to the federal government for consideration by Friday, and that it normally takes about a year to be processed.

Besides the county, Hollis said the foreign trade zone designation would be shared with the cities of Brawley, Calipatria, Calexico and El Centro.

The cities of Holtville, Imperial and Westmorland did not participate.

Added County Executive Officer Ann Capela: "Our consultant is confident we will be successful in this."

There was some discussion about how much land a foreign trade zone could include without major modifications to the application. Hollis said 2,000 acres initially would be included on a first-come, first-served basis to participate, with an additional 800 acres to be possibly added in the future.

In other business, the board:

· approved Superior Court fiscal 2001-2002 contracts for felony, misdemeanor and juvenile court defense cases when the Public Defender's Office has a conflict. Attorneys Poli Flores Jr. and Christopher Yturralde received the felony defense contract for $60,000 each; Molina & Korten LLP the misdemeanor contract for $44,904; and Steven Walker the juvenile contract for $44,904.

· adopted a resolution in support of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10, which would incrementally reduce the amount of taxes shifted away from local government and to education. A June 21, 2001, letter to the board states nearly $30 billion has been shifted since 1993, when the Legislature enacted the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund. ERAF was used to balance the state's budget in the early 1990s during a downturn in the economy.

· adopted a resolution to install stop signs for eastbound and westbound traffic on Ross Road at Bowker Road, making the intersection a four-way stop.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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