Assessments Going Up in Los Osos

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

October 22, 2023

It’s official. Some Los Osos residents’ special assessment property taxes went up this year, thanks to the new inflation rate under the highly-successful Bidenomics program.

But the hit wasn’t too bad, if raising taxes any amount can be considered “not bad.”

County Services Area 9 Zone-I, a large area bounded by Los Osos Creek on the west, Turri Road to the east, and mountains to the north and south, has for over 30 years been in an assessment district to pay for fire and emergency medical services, originally through the CSA 9 (SLO County) and now the Community Services District. 

The LOCSD contracts for fire service through Cal Fire/County Fire (Station 15), which also provides the services to CSA 9-I, according to a report to Supervisors from County Finance Department Administrator, Katie Franco.

Supervisors, Franco reported, approved the assessment increases back in June, during the annual budget work. But the staff didn’t know how much that would be until July, so it brought back the item in September for final approval and the go-ahead to tack it onto the quarterly property tax bills.

Through a complicated equation, the County crunched the numbers and came up with a 2.3% increase for the so-called consumer price index (CPI or inflation), Franco’s report said. 

So the old assessments of $69.68 per benefit unit for each property went up to $71.26 per unit of benefit. 

There are 142 individual private properties being assessed in CSA 9-I. The lowest was $142 a year for two units, and the highest was $427 for six units.

The 142 properties will collectively pay $39,300 in Fiscal Year 2023-24 to the CSD for fire and emergency medical services. 

The largest number of the properties will be charged around $285 (four units) for the services with a handful at $356 (five units).

While much of CSA 9-I is made up of larger parcels, some agricultural, it also includes the sewer treatment plant and Los Osos Cemetery; there are some denser residential areas as well.

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