City council puts La Paloma tax reinstatement on hold

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La Paloma Subdivision, located off Malan Street, between Best Road and Eastern Avenue in Brawley.

BRAWLEY – The Brawley city council decided to put the reinstatement of the La Paloma Subdivision Community Facilities District (CFD) Levy A on hold until the next council meeting during the regular meeting on Tuesday, May 3.

The La Paloma Subdivision was formed with a CFD that enables taxes to be levied on the property for specific purposes. The two taxes are Special Tax A for improvements and Special Tax B for services.

In 2010, Special Tax A was suspended by the Brawley city council because of the recession’s effect on the local economy, the stopping of further development, and the effect on homeowners when no further improvements were anticipated in the near future.

Special Tax B is still in effect.

Owners of the project, Pacific West Development (PWD) have worked with city staff to develop a revitalization improvement plan to reinstate the Special Tax A, which would allow PWD to be reimbursed for surrounding off-site improvements that would result in a complete and self-sustaining subdivision.

There are 282 residential units in the La Paloma Subdivisions 1 and 2. 25 units have been constructed to date.

Some of the current La Paloma residents were paying the tax, but homeowners who bought their home after 2010, have never paid the tax.

The residents of La Paloma were sent a letter April 22 and hand delivered notices of the city council meeting to make them aware of the possible reinstatement of the tax.

La Paloma residents were at the meeting to ask questions about the tax. During the public comments, many said that they were unaware of the tax or that they had not been made aware of the tax when they bought their homes.

The tax is mentioned in the legal documents regarding the purchase of these homes.

The president of PWD, Andrew Dixon, pointed out that without the reinstatement of the tax, the project would not move forward and no further development would happen.

“Brawley needs more new-housing options,” said Dixon. “The completion of La Paloma Units 1 and 2 will help fill this need, will create many direct and indirect jobs for the community, and will result in two beautifully designed subdivisions with a total 268 homes. The completion of these projects will increase property values, sales tax revenue, school fee revenue, and building fee revenues for the city.”

The council asked the developer to came back to the next meeting, May 17, with a clearer presentation for the residents to understand the tax and give them more time to read a handout that the city provided at the meeting Tuesday.