LOS ANGELES -- California local governments that have issued Mello-Roos bonds since the beginning of 1993 are scrambling to meet Sunday's deadline for providing a state agency with a status report on the bonds.
"We're expecting a deluge in the next week or so of final reports that people have to get to us," said Steve Juarez, executive director of the California Debt Advisory Commission.
Information on Mello-Roos bonds issued during the last half of fiscal 1993 and all of fiscal 1994 will be included in the commission's 1995 Mello-Roos community facilities district fiscal status report, which is due out Jan. 1.
A state law that went into effect Jan. 1 of last year requires local governments issuing Mello-Roos bonds to submit a yearly fiscal status report to the commission by Oct. 30 of every year. However, there are no penalties for lateness or failure to comply.
Juarez said compliance with the law has been outstanding. Last year, all 14 agencies that issued Mello-Roos bonds submitted a status report, he said.
The value and volume of information compiled by the commission increases each year because the process is cumulative, Juarez said. Issuers must continue reporting until the bonds are retired.
The reporting form asks for information on the principal amount outstanding of the bond issue, the minimum reserve required from the bond indenture or trust agreement, and the balances of the reserve, construction, and capitalized interest funds.
This year the form also requires information on defaults or draws on reserves -- a change that caused discomfort among some local officials until the reporting requirement was simplified.
State officials originally asked for details on delinquencies, such as the owners' names and the number of days delinquent, said Russell Powell, administrative services officer for Rocklin, Calif.
"If we had had to research that, it could have been a problem," Powell said.
The simplified format, without names and number off days, is easier to complete and has probably contributed to the high level of cooperation, Powell said.
Early on, state officials expressed concern that local governments would see the reporting requirement as a nuisance and refuse to participate.
The Mello-Roos reporting requirement was signed into law by Gov. Pete Wilson in September 1992 as part of a reform bill to aid in the early discovery of developer bankruptcy or withdrawal of reserve funds.
The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 is commonly used to help finance public improvements associated with new commercial and residential development. The bonds are secured by a special tax levied on property owners.
The commission's 1995 MelloRoos fiscal status report can be obtained by writing the commission at 915 Capitol Mall, Room 400, Sacramento, Calif., 95814, or by calling 916-653-3269.