VISTA — In preparation for the upcoming property tax season, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister stopped by the city of Vista. He provided a brief presentation to the City Council during its Aug. 8 monthly meeting.
McAllister wanted the City Council members to know how property tax collection rates were climbing.
“In the last three years, we’ve surpassed 99 percent,” McAllister said. “This year, we hit 99.3 percent which is an all-time high for our office. Once again, I think it’s a good sign of the economy and the economic times that we’re in; and, while a number of people still are trying to pull up and trying to get up, times are better than they were, and that’s a positive for our economy overall.”
As far as countywide valuations were concerned, they were up. McAllister said they increased 5.6 percent this last year, which is considered high. This year, the assessor predicts an upward movement of 4 percent. Not so high as the previous year, but still rising.
Another uptick area was in electronic payments. McAllister said their office was trying to stimulate and foster the online payment of taxes. People connected with the tax collector online can also receive payment reminders. McAllister wanted everyone to know that roughly 25 percent of San Diego County taxpayers were receiving these reminders during the first and second “season of giving.”
On the other hand, 58 percent of property taxpayers in the county were paying online.
“Our goal is 100 percent electronic payments, but we think we’re still a few years away from that,” he said.
McAllister pointed out that this past year his office mailed off a total of 989,089 bills within San Diego County.
It’s moving up, and it’s moving northward, he said.
McAllister told the City Council members and constituents who were in attendance that there was a huge demand for housing in the area. However, there was a limited supply.
“We used to see developers build tracts of 1,000 or 2,000 at a time, they now do 20 or 50 or 100 at a time, maybe 250 max,” he said. “But it’s still not the number to meet the needs of people coming to San Diego County and living in this great location.”
McAllister said he suspected this was a topic which needed to be wrestled with for many years to come. He then thanked the Vista City Council for its work in trying to increase the housing supply.
McAllister ended his presentation by noting that his office speaks 17 languages.
“I think that’s indicative of the times we are in and the place we live,” he said. “This is a wonderful place for people to relocate and come to our great county. People come to us from all over the world.”