Elimination of MAD leaves many unanswered questions
Many unanswered questions remain with the elimination of the Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) with several economic details still unknown. However, the first official adjustments have been made and the County will henceforth send tax bills that do not include the MAD tax and residents who previously paid full assessments will be reimbursed.
As originally reported in San Diego Uptown News on March 30, San Diego created the Golden Hill MAD in 2007, which was funded by tax dollars collected from Golden Hill property owners. This tax, which property owners voted to implement, paid for services beyond what the City normally provides.
The services provided in Golden Hill included litter removal; sidewalk sweeping and power washing; landscaping; graffiti removal; large item removal; canyon beautification; and overall improvements to the aesthetic appeal of property in the neighborhood.
The MAD services were implemented by the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation and cost the average single-family home approximately $76 per year in additional taxes.
On Sept. 22, 2011, the Court of Appeals for the State of California found the formation of the Golden Hill MAD invalid under the California State Constitution. The Fourth District Court of Appeals directed the Superior Court to issue a writ ordering the City to vacate the MAD.
On March 20, all MAD services ceased. By March 26, certain garbage cans were overflowing and there was no clear answer as to what would be done.
District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria said the City then stepped in and emptied them as a part of regular, City-facilitated maintenance. “The City is currently emptying the trash cans to alleviate the overflowing debris until a decision is made on whether to remove the cans or transfer them to another party’s responsibility,” he said.
It is still unknown whether responsibility will be transferred to another party, and a deadline for the City to discontinue the trash services has not been set.
Additionally, residents will no longer pay that tax that funded the MAD services. Gloria said in an e-newsletter dated March 27, “The County has already corrected this year’s assessments for [the MAD] in its system and will mail the corrected tax bills this week to all property owners within Greater Golden Hill. This means property owners will no longer be assessed for the [MAD] for this year or going forward. Those who have paid their first assessment installment will be credited; those who have already paid their full assessment for fiscal year 2012 will be refunded by the County.”
Ben Verdugo, project manager with the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation, said it is now up to residents to keep the neighborhood clean.
“I’ve had to tell them that we can’t provide those services anymore,” Verdugo previously stated. “The City will have to take it from here; we don’t really have many answers right now.”