Do you recall ever having received one of the "Clean Water, Clean Beaches" notices in the mail? If so, you may recall it appeared to look more like a newsletter—rather than a notice for you to file a protest to a new fee on your property tax bill. The LA County Department of Public Works sent these notices to all 2.3 million property owners in LA County to inform them about their proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure to provide dedicated funding through a NEW FEE (or tax) to reduce pollution in storm water runoff that affects beaches, waterways, and groundwater.
When I looked up the tax for my property on Chesebro Rd. in Agoura Hills I learned that I would be paying $83 per year. This would be well worth insuring that the Malibu coast I frequent will stay clean.
Property owners were originally given until January 15, 2013 to submit their protest form or attend the Public Hearing to verbally express their protest. However, due to the obscurity of the notice, it was voted to continue the public hearing for 60 days, which means the deadline to submit a protest has been extended to March 12, 2013.
This proposed measure would affect all property owners—including commercial, industrial, residential, and government—who will pay a fee at different rates based on the size of their parcel(s). There are about 2.3 million properties affected.
You may view the proposed fee for your parcel here: http://dpw.lacounty.gov/bsd/bpv/wqfm.aspx
Opponants of the bill say that there is no accountability provision to ensure that projects performed under this measure are meeting intended clean water goals. The proposed "fee" is indefinite with no "sunset" clause that would stop it once goals are met or after a certain period of time. Specific projects that the fee will cover have yet to be identified.
Heal the Bay and other environment group are supporting the measure, lauding it as important and necessary to save our beaches in light of State budget cuts.
A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in the Hearing Room of the Board of Supervisors at the Hall of Administration - 500 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, 90012 (corner of Temple Street & Grand Avenue) - (213) 974-1311.
If the Board has not received protests against the fee by a majority of property owners at the end of the Public Hearing on March 12, the Board may choose to proceed to the second step in the Proposition 218 process—an election to approve the proposed Clean Water Fee.