Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Says Rodeo Hercules Fire District Violates Prop 218
According to Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection District violates Prop 218.
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association authored the 1996 Prop 218(Right to Vote on Taxes Act).
Prop 218 requires a ballot to be mailed for all assessments and property related fees with the exemption of water, sewer, and garbage rate increases. Street lighting assessments, storm water and urban runoff management assessments, and open space assessment districts are examples where a ballot is required to be mailed to impacted homeowners.
Ballots are weighted by the size of the property. If approved, the assessment appears on your property tax bill. For water, sewer, and garbage rate increases, a notice is sent out to impacted property owners 30 days before a hearing to approve the increase. Residents protest this increase by showing up or a protest in writing.
The need for Prop 218 in 1996 grew as municipalities used benefit assessments for general fund purposes. Prior to Prop 218, cities were attempting to pass assessments for police services. Police and fire services are a general benefit that should be paid for via taxes on all residents, not just assessments against homeowners.
Prop 218 gives taxpayer the right to use the initiative process to reduce or repeal any tax, assessment, fee, or charge. By collecting the signatures of 5% of the number of people in the local district who voted in the last election for governor, one can put any locally imposed levy to a vote.
In a letter, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection District violates Prop 218. This came on the eve of the Wednesday, May 14th Rodeo Hercules public hearing.
Contra Costa Times on Benefit Assessment and CoCoTax:
To read Engineer’s Report that established Prop 218 Benefit Assessment: http://rhfd.org/download_files/RHFD%20ER%2003%2005%202014%20.pdf