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Water Tax Ballot Is In Your Mailbox

Contra Costa County property owners to vote on ballot for programs to bring water up to state and federal standards.

Landing in Contra Costa County property owners' mailboxes this week are ballots to authorize a potential parcel tax to fund water pollution control improvements.

The 2012 Community Clean Water Initiative is designed to improve water quality and prevent pollutants, bacteria and trash from entering the streams and flowing into the Delta and the Bay. The goal is for the county comply with state and federal water purity standards.

Under the auspices of California Proposition 218 of 1996, the county will gather the results of property owners' votes, said Tom Dalziel, program manager for the Contra Costa Clean Water Program; if a simple majority is achieved, the county Board of Supervisors can levy the parcel tax in June.

For six years, the county set aside $1.5 million to fund an engineering study, funding analysis, public opinion surveys, public information campaign and election, Dalziel said.

Based on surveys of what communities could bear in a parcel tax, the proposed level is $19 per parcel in the west county and unincorporated areas; $22 per parcel in the central county and $12 per parcel in the east county. Dalziel said that revenue level will not finance the program sufficiently to bring county water up to state and federal standards — the cities and other municipalities will need to supplement revenue from general funds and other sources.

Thanks to Patch reader Bryn Thenell, who brought this to our attention.

Millie Parkerly February 25, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I recieved my ballots. I'm in East County. This article said $12. for my area. It is actually $35. iI already pay $30. for a stormwater tax ! I VOTED NO.
Creek Dad February 26, 2012 at 03:57 AM
I just got my ballot today, and voted YES! $22 a year. Seems a worthwhile investment in our shared quality of life.
Jerome Fishkin February 28, 2012 at 04:10 AM
The mailer was one sided and did not give me any real information. I am offended by the way it was done. Even the amount of my tax was difficult to find. So, my ballot stays on my desk while I mull over the options.
christine mccain March 03, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I already mailed my in and voted NO! I am appauled at the sneaky way they are trying to do this. Also we are getting charged 44 dollars for a big lot where most of it is just undeveloped dirt! Where is the run off?
Jojo Potato March 08, 2012 at 08:29 PM
This election is illegal. I voted NO. There is no pro and con material as would be required in a normal election and signing the ballot doesn't make it secret anymore does it? I'm hoping their attempt to sneak this through fails.

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