A pro-taxpayer group recognized Mission Viejo for investing tax dollars back into the community.
OC Tax gave Mission Viejo a "rose" during its "Roses, Radishes and the Royalty" award dinner earlier this month.
The city won for the "Improve Don't Move" program, initiated by Mayor . It waived city inspection fees for homeowners and local business owners who invest in building improvements.
The city estimates $500,000 have been saved since the program.
When asked why they chose "Improve Don't Move" for a rose award, this is what OC Tax sent to Patch:
The program is called “Improve Don’t Move” and is designed to take PRIOR year budget savings and use a percentage of that savings to eliminate building permit fees in Mission Viejo for six months. It was implemented in January and, in conjunction with a similar 25% reduction in commercial permit fees, has assisted in the generation of almost $20M in commercial and home improvements over the past five months. At the end of the program, we will exceed $25M in economic activity in Mission Viejo.
In 2011, through sound financial planning and changes to our post-employment benefits, the City realized over $1.8M in operational savings. We put 25% of that savings back into the community through this program, benefiting Mission Viejo taxpayer with the taxes they paid into the city. Enclosed is the latest city report on the economic activity, as well as my agenda items for both programs. Both programs were implemented unanimously by the city council. And while implementing these programs, we retained over 52% of our operating budget in reserves and maintained our AAA bond rating.
In addition, both programs offered amnesty for any unpermitted home or commercial improvements. While the owners still had to pay normal permit costs, the city is waiving any accrued penalties during this time.