Public Finance

Financing Public Improvment

The County uses various means to help fund public improvements such as roads, parks, open spaces, utilities, and transportation that help make Contra Costa County a livable community. Following is a description of some of the methods the county uses to provide these facilities to you.

Mello-Roos Special Tax Bonds

What is it?

Mello-Roos special Tax Bonds are a means of financing public improvements secured by a special tax levied on land in a specific geographic area that will benefit from the improvements.

How does it affect me?

If your property is in a Communities Facilities District (CFD), you will be taxed an additional Mello-Roos Special Tax along with your general property taxes. Mello-Roos Special Tax Bonds do not need to be based upon the benefit a parcel received from the public facility, however the special tax must not be an ad valorem tax. Mello-Roos bonds can only be issues with a two-thirds voter approval of registered voters and are not a personal debt of the property owner.

What can the money be used for?

Mello-Roos Special Taxes can be used for a variety of projects to improve the public facilities, including, but not limited to: parks, recreation and open space facilities, elementary and secondary school, libraries, child care facilities, undergrounding utilities, seismic safety standards, police protection services, criminal justice services, operation and maintenance of museums and cultural facilities, clean-up of hazardous substances.

Who can issue Mello-Roos Special Tax Bonds?

Cities, counties, special districts, school districts, and other entities authorized under state law.


Public Works Assessment District

What is it?

Special Assessment District Bonds are a means of financing public improvements secured by a special tax levied on land in a specific geographic area that will benefit from the improvements.

How does it affect me?

Assessments are based on the benefit a specific parcel will receive from the public improvements being financed through the bonds. Assessments are issued in assessment proceedings and usually collected at the same time as general property tax.

What can the money be used for?

Public Works Assessment District Bonds can be used to improve public facilities such as: street improvements, construction of sidewalks, parks, or bridges, sanitary facilities, storm drain facilities, flood protection, water supply facilities, electric power facilities, gas supply facilities, or lighting facilities.

Who can issue Assessment District Bonds?

Cities, Counties and various special districts are authorized to issue special assessment bonds.



Community Devleopment Block Grant (CDBG)

What is it?

CDBG is a Federal Grant Program to help in the development of viable urban communities. CDBG funds Infrastructure Public Facilities (IPF) projects to help low-income communities improve their public infrastructure.  Learn more...

How does it affect me?

The County provides funding on a competitive basis to cities, county departments, and other governmental Agencies to help leverage your tax dollars towards public improvements.

What can the money be used for?

CDBG funds can be used for projects such as acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of public facilities and improvements, including public Right-of-Way Projects. CDBG funds are targeted to low-income communities to improve accessibility for the mobility impaired, access to public services, preserve and protect historic properties, and eliminate conditions of blight.

Contra Costa Consortium FY 2005- 2009 Consolidated Plan

Who provides CDBG funding?

The county is an entitlement community that receives funding from the Department of HUD to distribute throughout the urban county expect for the cities of Antioch, Concord, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, and Richmond - which have their own entitlements from HUD. Any eligible entity can apply to the CDBG program for funding.  Learn more...


Park Dedication Funds

What is it?

Park Dedication Funds are a fee that is assessed on new homes built to provide funding for neighborhood parks.

How does it affect me?

If you construct a new home, you will be assessed an additional fee to contribute towards neighborhood parks.

What can the money be used for?

The funds can be used to develop new parks or make improvements to existing parks in your neighborhood.

Who administers the program?

The community development department administers this program. For more information please contact Bob Calkins at (925) 335-7220.