Town Of Moraga

More on Why Moraga Receives so Little From Property Tax

In previous publications, we’ve discussed the fact that Moraga receives much lower property tax compared to other communities in the area – Moraga gets 5.27% while Orinda gets 7.4%, Lafayette gets 6.3%, Concord 10.4%, Pittsburg 15.8%, and El Cerrito 18.8%, in addition to redevelopment dollars which Moraga and Orinda do not have.

The reason for the difference in property tax rates between cities stems back to Proposition 13. While most homeowners know that Proposition 13 fixed the property tax rate at 1% of the assessed value of a home, plus any assessment bond approved by popular vote, many don’t know that it also froze how the property tax dollars are distributed.

Moraga residents pay about 1.08% of the assessed value of a home in property tax, as a result of various East Bay Regional Park District and school bonds.  The 1.08% property tax of a $500,000 home is distributed across many entities, including Town government, Moraga-Orinda Fire District, schools, Central Contra Costa County Solid Waste Authority, East Bay Municipal Utility District, East Bay Regional Park District, BART and Contra Costa County. The Town of Moraga’s share of the 1.08% is pretty small – set at 5.27%. The distribution of property tax dollars was set under Prop 13 based on what existed in 1976. At that time, Moraga was a young "minimal government", which meant that the Town government was not spending, or receiving, a lot of tax dollars and so the Town’s proportion of the property tax, set at 5.27%, was held constant to this day.

Unfortunately, this is not something we can readily change. Many groups have tried to alter Prop 13 distributions, but politically, one or more of the organizations would have to agree to lower their rates in order for Moraga to raise the percentage we receive.

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