Barger: Stormwater measure exceeds requirements, overburdens taxpayers, adds to high cost of housing

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast the lone vote opposing a motion to place a measure on the November ballot which seeks to increase property taxes on residential and commercial properties to generate approximately $300 million a year to fund additional stormwater projects.

“The proposed initiative far exceeds the requirements of the MS4 permit which governs pollutant levels in local waterways,” said Supervisor Barger. “The permit is based on assumptions that are antiquated and require updating before we go to the taxpayers for more money.”

“A California State Auditor’s report cites that the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has failed to account for the unrealistic cost of compliance with the permit faced by the county and its cities,” she said. “Additionally, the added tax liability would certainly be passed onto renters and would increase already-high housing costs.”

“The Flood Control District does a remarkable job with stormwater, capturing 90 percent of runoff from the waterways of the Upper San Gabriel Valley watershed,” Barger added. “While clean water and recycling and capturing efforts are important, the county needs to step back and reevaluate funding priorities, especially considering a recent increase in public health fees, a new business registration fee, the County Library’s structural deficit, and a potential ballot measure requested by the Fire Department to address its structural deficit.”

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