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Prop 218 Frequently Asked Questions

How can I dispute/protest?
Please mail or hand-deliver written protests to:
Director of Administration, Rancho Murieta Community Services District,

P.O. Box 1050 Rancho Murieta, CA 95683

Protests must identify, by street address or Assessor’s Parcel Number, the parcel(s) in which the party signing the protest has an interest. Emailed, faxed, or electronic protests will not be accepted. Protests must be received by RMCSD by 9:00 a.m. on May 20, 2020,

Can I dispute the proposed service charge increases and special tax adjustments verbally?
No. Under Proposition 218, RMCSD must receive a written protest with a signature.

Do I need to send a separate letter to protest each service?
No. You can identify each service for which you are protesting the proposed rate increases in one letter.

I am a tenant; can I submit a dispute/protest?
If the party signing the protest is not shown on the last assessment roll of Rancho Murieta as the owner of the parcel(s), the protest must contain or be accompanied by written evidence that such party is the owner of the parcel(s), unless the protest is by a tenant who pays the utility bills. Tenants who pay the utility bills can submit a written protest. If both the owner and tenant submit a protest letter, only one written protest per parcel will be counted.

Why is RMCSD raising the service charges and special taxes?
RMCSD is committed to providing safe, reliable, and high-quality water, wastewater, and recycled water, security and solid waste collection and disposal services for our customers. As our water, sewer, and recycled water systems age, it is important to continue investing in replacing, rebuilding, and expanding them in accordance with a long-term, balanced financing plan. Based on the most recent board-approved financial plan, it has been determined that rate increases are necessary for RMCSD's water, wastewater, and recycled water service fees to enable the District to recover current and projected costs of operations and maintenance; fund capital infrastructure improvements vital for providing safe and reliable drinking water; maintain the operational and financial stability of the utilities; and avoid operational deficits and depletion of reserves. The proposed adjustments are designed to bring in the revenue needed to cover operating expenses and meet debt service obligations for vital capital projects.

Can RMCSD ever charge more than the approved rates?
No. That would require starting a whole new Proposition 218 process.

What accommodations are being made for people on fixed incomes who just can't afford a service charge increase and special tax adjustment?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to offer discounted rates to fixed income residents without making up the discount from some other source, and state law (Proposition 218) prohibits any property owner from being charged more than their proportional cost of service. In other words, RMCSD cannot subsidize some of its customers by overcharging other customers.

How many protests will it take to stop a service charge increase and special tax adjustment?
Proposition 218 requires a simple majority of 50 percent of the affected parcels, plus one. RMCSD will count protests to water rates, wastewater rates, recycled water rates, security rates, and solid waste rates separately, to see if any have a majority protest.

What is the consequence if the proposed service charge increases and special tax adjustments are voted down?
The rate increase is needed to maintain the current level of service for all RMCSD customers and pay for the costs of operating and maintaining complex water treatment and distribution systems, collection and treatment systems for wastewater, as well as for security services and solid waste collection and disposal services. Without these rate increases, the public could see reduced levels of service.

When will the proposed rate increases take effect?
On May 20, 2020, the RMCSD Board of Directors will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed service charge increases and special tax adjustments described in the Prop 218 Notice. The hearing (first reading) will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Rancho Murieta Community Services District Administration Building, located at 15160 Jackson Road, Rancho Murieta. The second reading and adoption will occur at the June 17, 2020 Regular Board meeting. If adopted, the increase would take effect July 1, 2020.

How long will these rates be in effect?
The service charge increases and special tax adjustments will remain in effect indefinitely or until the RMCSD Board of Directors decides to change them.