RANCHO SANTA FE — Delivering his monthly controller’s report for the Rancho Santa Fe Association, Matthew Ditonto said while they were only one month into the new fiscal year, what their department was working on was reviewing and analyzing the last fiscal year against the prior one. They were also noting any reasons for variances between the two.
During his presentation, Ditonto pointed out the Association revenues and wanted to talk briefly about a possible increase. The Association assessment to members is based on property values, which the county sets, and so jumps in property values can lead to additional revenue from assessments without any change in assessment rates. In recent budgets, the Association assessment rate has not changed.
“This is mainly due to the county Assessor’s role of what the property values are — what they came in as — so we’ve received that about a month ago and we’ve been looking at this and just kind of digesting it,” he said, noting what the increase was going to be and reviewing it against last year’s numbers.
Ditonto shared that they are collecting this data now because last year, the Association billed out to its members in November. This year, the plan was to send out their billing a bit earlier in the month of October in an effort to align their invoices to when the County sends out their property invoices.
“So just in a nutshell, we’re looking at probably a 5 percent increase in our assessment revenue this year, and that is based on property values going up essentially 5 percent, which sounds to be in line with what the County of San Diego is saying property values went up,” he said.
During Ditonto’s presentation, board president Fred Wasserman chimed in on how the Association does not set those assessments.
“You don’t vote on increasing the assessment. This is atypical because almost every community that I know of that has a community association, the members vote on it,” he said. “Based on our protective Covenant, that drives what your assessment’s going to be and that’s why the 5 percent is here.”
Wasserman also noted that this has been the protocol since 1927. He went onto to share how there are two parts to this: existing property and changing ownership of property.
If someone changes their property ownership, he said, it accelerates the market value due to the close of escrow amount which is new assessment value. In other cases, if one “adds” to their property, another reassessment may occur.
That’s the reason for the bump, Wasserman said. He also noted how there are so many projects under consideration and underway in the Ranch which is raising the total value.
On a side note, Wasserman shared that Rancho Santa Fe pays approximately $46 million a year in property taxes and it’s estimated that this represents a little more than 1 percent of all the property taxes collected in San Diego County. Wasserman called it a pretty significant number.
This story has been changed since its original posting to clarify what the assessment rates might mean for the RSF Association.