Newly released data provides transparency for ratepayers and public
Cities across Southern California are struggling with fiscal challenges that are forcing them to make tough choices to keep police on the street, libraries open and parks maintained. And local water districts have projects and programs they need to fund to provide a reliable and affordable water supply.
Against this backdrop, the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies imported water to 19 million people in Southern California, is stock-piling cash at unprecedented numbers. Over the past 21 months, Metropolitan has amassed cash reserves that are $600 million more than MWD needs to meet all of its budget requirements and is on pace to collect $320 million above its maximum reserve limit.
Metropolitan’s staff now wants to use this money to pay for new things it never included in its budget, rather than give the money back to ratepayers or provide relief from rising water rates.
It gets even worse: despite its huge pile of cash, Metropolitan has proposed even more rate increases for 2015 and 2016. And, it’s also planning to block automatic reductions of property tax increases in order to collect even more tax money from you.
To help ratepayers understand the impact of the overcharging on their water district, the San Diego County Water Authority developed estimates for how much money MWD is over-collecting from each water agency that buys water from Metropolitan. You can view how much your water district is being overcharged by clicking on it.
MWD Over-Collection by Member Agency
What can you do?
- Stand up and don’t let the Metropolitan Water District raise your rates. Send your email to MWD’s board at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call or email your city or water district and tell them to say NO to the Metropolitan Water District raising your rates and say NO to higher property taxes.
- Find out which MWD member agency represents your water district by clicking here.
- Attend and speak out at MWD’s public hearing on rates and property taxes scheduled for noon March 11 at MWD headquarters. 700 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles
If we all demand answers, we can stop unnecessary water rate and property tax increases for the next two years.