Cleaning up all our waterways will cost billions of dollars, according to engineering studies commissioned by the District and other agencies. Clearly, no agency or city has enough money to fully meet the clean water challenge.
To fund clean water projects and to maintain them, the District, in partnership with cities, is considering a Clean Water Fee, which would be charged to all properties.
A fee is not the same as a tax. While a tax is charged to an individual or business and benefits the public broadly, fees are highly specific—they can only be charged to property owners for a service directly related to that property. In this case, the Clean Water Fee charges property owners for the cost of cleaning up polluted water runoff that flows from developed properties.
All industrial, commercial, and residential parcels within District boundaries would pay the fee at different rates. For example, residential properties could pay less than commercial and industrial properties, which generate more urban runoff, and larger properties could pay more than smaller properties. Engineers determine this amount based on the property's size and use.
The typical residential fee would be $54 a year, the typical condo fee less than $20. The fee will remain the same; by law it cannot be raised unless property owners vote to raise it. The Board of Supervisors will make the final determination of a proposed fee rate, which would then need to be voted on.
Revenue from the Clean Water Fee could ONLY be used for projects to clean up waterways—it cannot be taken by the State or any other jurisdiction or redirected for any other purpose.
This Measure is being proposed in accordance with California Assembly Bill No. 2554, and Articles XIII C and D of the California State Constitution, also known as Proposition 218.