SAN DIEGO, Feb. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 26, 2020, 4S Ranch residents Albert Bates and Bridget Denihan filed a lawsuit against Poway Unified School District in San Diego Superior Court alleging that the District failed to properly allocate a $27.7 million state reimbursement. The suit alleges that the District applied for a state grant under the Leroy F. Green Facilities Act of 1998 to fund construction of its K-8 school, Design 39 Campus, in Del Sur. While the application was pending, the District funded the construction with Mello-Roos tax dollars and completed the project in 2014. In 2019, the state approved the grant request in its entirety. Thereafter, the District's Board of Education adopted a resolution that allocated 75% of the state reimbursement towards unspecified "high priority capital projects."
California law permits state funds to be utilized for high priority capital projects only when a school district achieves "savings" by its "efficient and prudent expenditure" of the state funds. The suit alleges that the District achieved no such savings and was therefore required to use the $27.7 million to retire local bonds. Bates and Denihan pay thousands of dollars each year in Mello-Roos special taxes, which are used to service local bonds. Bates says, "Mello-Roos taxpayers have paid more than their fair share. It's only right that the District alleviate their burden by paying down the bonds."
The suit does not seek any refunds or damages for individual taxpayers, but rather, requests that a judge declare the allocation illegal.
Mr. Bates and Ms. Denihan are represented by Eric J. Benink, Esq. of Benink & Slavens, LLP, a San Diego law firm with extensive experience representing taxpayers challenging local government fees and taxes. Mr. Benink may be contacted at (619) 369-5252 or email@example.com.
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SOURCE Benink & Slavens, LLP