How will property taxes benefit the city and how much will the city actually receive?

Property taxes are the City’s main revenue source at just over 50% of all General Fund revenues.  While the basic overall property tax rate in the City is 1% of assessed value, the percentage of what the City receives of that overall rate varies throughout the City.  For the former mall site, the City receives 9% of the 1%.  For example, if the mall is currently assessed at $100M, the total property taxes paid by MGP would be $1M.  Of that amount, the City would get 9%, or $90,000.  If after redevelopment, the site was assessed at $500M, the City would get $450,000 annually.  The City will also benefit from on-going revenues from the redevelopment of the project such as sales taxes and transient occupancy taxes.  MGP will also pay one-time revenues to the City in the form of traffic impact fees, park development fees, development application fees, and building permit fees.  The amount of on-going revenue to the City from MGP’s project is unknown at this time; however, the City will be commissioning the preparation of a fiscal impact study to evaluate costs and revenues to the city as a result of the potential development of the project.  The study will evaluate the costs of providing all municipal services.  The study will be made available for public review.

March 2021 Update: The Fiscal Impact Study prepared by the City for the project has identified a net positive affect on the City budget. A summary of the report’s findings are as follows:

Annual general fund revenues of $2.99 million:

a.     Includes $1 million in property tax, over $1 million in direct and indirect sales tax, and $670k in hotel / transient occupancy tax.

b.     Compares favorably to the declining sales tax from the original mall (see update to FAQ 12)

c.     Tax revenue can be used for improved County Sheriff services.

d.      After accounting for projected increased City expenses (~$1.69 million), the project will generate an annual net fiscal surplus of $1.3 million at buildout to the City.

A full copy of the fiscal impact analysis is available at: https://www.lagunahillsca.gov/176/Planning-Projects-New-Developments under “Village at Laguna Hills”.

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1. Explain the current zoning, conditional use permits, and land use for the 68-acre property [the former Laguna Hills Mall] and adjacent developments. What can/can’t the City Council control?
2. What is the status of the plan MGP showed the community at their April 2019 Community Forum? How does it compare to the approved 2016 plan?
3. How much housing does the City’s Zoning Code allow on the property?
4. Does the City consider traffic in evaluating development proposals in the UVSP?
5. In 2016, the City approved over 926,000 sq. feet of retail and office building area and 988 dwelling units. If MGP is an established developer, why has Five Lagunas taken so long to get started?
6. What does the City Council see as a viable solution for the development of the site? When considering a new development, does and can the City Council factor in the greater good of the community?
7. How do the new and future proposed/approved Oakbrook apartments factor into any decision making?
8. What are current vacancy rates for existing apartment complexes?
9. Why doesn’t the City insist MGP provide more retail space and less office and housing space?
10. What creates the most value for the city and community: High-density multifamily housing, retail, or commercial office?
11. What kind of retail space can residents expect to see since the outlook for traditional storefronts is so negative?
12. How much revenue has the City lost from the mall closing?
13. How has the City responded to this loss of revenue?
14. How will property taxes benefit the city and how much will the city actually receive?
15. How does more development on the site, especially more residential development, impact community infrastructure such as police services, fire and paramedic services, traffic, water, schools, etc.?
16. What were the projected traffic levels for the originally approved Five Lagunas Project? What is the difference between retail development and apartment development with respect to traffic?
17. How will high-density apartments/multifamily housing benefit residents? Did the 09 General Plan call for 300 apartments w/ options to add more in future phases? Are the approved 988 units mandated
18. What if residents do not want to see more housing developed beyond the 988 units approved in 2016 in a future project?
19. Why doesn’t the City simply ignore State housing element law?
20. What is the City’s obligation to help address the Statewide/federal affordable housing shortage, including low-income and homeless shelters?
21. What exactly is the Housing Crisis Act (SB 330) and how does it impact the new project submitted by MGP?
22. What are the key steps involved in the entitlement process?
23. How long will it take for the project to reach the public hearing?