MWD’s 2017/18 Rate Proposal is A LOT Higher Than They Say It is

  • MWD’s rate increases are a lot higher than MWD says they are
    • MWD says its “overall” rate increase is 4%, but that is highly misleading
    • In fact, every individual MWD member agency pays different rates and costs, depending on the MWD services it uses
      • San Diego ratepayers will pay 6.2% higher wheeling rates
      • San Diego ratepayers will pay 12.1% higher cost for raw water
      • San Diego ratepayers could be forced to pay 77% more in 2017 for treated water bought from MWD — at the very same time it is buying far less treated water from MWD
  • MWD claims that the manner in which it sets its rates is a trade secret
    • MWD has refused to make available to the public or even its own board of directors the financial planning model that shows how it allocates its costs to rates and charges
    • The Water Authority has been forced to file a Public Records Act request in order to obtain this information
    • MWD also refused to provide the public and board members a level of budget detail that would allow them to understand how MWD is proposing to spend money
  • MWD has a history of collecting a lot more money than it needs to pay its costs
    • Over the past five years alone, MWD has collected and spent $847 million more than necessary to pay 100% its costs
    •  MWD has authorized spending of more than $1 billion on unbudgeted expenses
  • MWD’s proposed rates and charges for 2017 and 2018 are illegal
    • A Superior Court judge has already ruled that MWD’s rates are illegal – but MWD is still using the same flawed methodology to misallocate costs among its rates and charges
    • MWD’s methodology forces San Diego residents and businesses to pay water supply costs that should be paid by others
    • MWD is also raising taxes again, even though the California Legislature passed a law intended to limit MWD’s ability to impose higher property taxes to situations where its “fiscal integrity” is at stake
    • Having collected $847 million more than necessary over the past five years, and then authorized spending MWD can hardly claim that its fiscal integrity is threatened if it doesn’t also collect higher taxes
  • The Water Authority continues to seek fair and legal rates at MWD
    • After winning two lawsuits challenging MWD rates for the 2011-2014 calendar years, MWD owes the Water Authority and its member agencies more than $235,000,000 — which increases by $45,000 per day or $16.4 million annually — until paid
    • The judge also issued a writ of mandate requiring MWD to set lawful rates, but MWD claims it doesn’t apply to them until after its appeal is decided.
  • MWD will vote on the illegal rates at its board meeting on April 12