Update: City Council to Vote to Add Sewer Fees to Property Tax Bills on Monday Night
Sunday, June 13, 2021
As many of you know, the Redwood City Council will be voting to add $1,071.36 in Sewer Service Fees to our Property Tax bills tomorrow night. Currently, these fees are billed bi-monthly with our water and garbage.
If you missed our previous blog post on the Redwood City's Sewer Service Fee Property Tax proposal, you can read it here.
The City has posted the Agenda for Monday night's meeting. The Sewer Tax proposal will be Item 8.A on the agenda.
Here's What's New
The Sewer Service Fee, the City, is proposing to add to our Property Tax bills are actually $1,071.36 and take effect July 1, 2021.
The staff report is recommending our City Council;
Hold a public hearing and
Approve and authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement for compensation to San Mateo County for the collection of special charges.
Yes, Redwood City property owners will pay the County $19,300 a year to collect these fees for the City.
If protests are not made by the property owners of a majority of the affected parcels, adopt a resolution adopting the Sewer Service Charges Report for the fiscal year 2021- 22 and authorizing the collection of sewer service charges on the tax roll.
According to this language, 6,790 Redwood City homeowners will need to submit a protest before the City will rescind its proposal.
The is an enormous obstacle for homeowners to overcome. I doubt 6,790 homeowners are even aware that the proposal will be voted on tomorrow night. Let alone understand the serious impacts it will have upon them and future generations of their family.
What constitutes a "protest"? At this point, we don't know. Protest information is not outlined anywhere on the City's postcard or website. So we have no idea what the 6,790 homeowners must do to protest this proposal?
Can we write a letter, send an e-mail, sign the petition, call someone, attend the meeting on Monday night? It remains unclear.
The Farm Hill Neighborhood first raised concerns about this proposal on May 9, 2021, after voting to oppose it at our May meeting. We formally placed our opposition into the record on May 10, 2021, and asked for the proposal to be pulled from the Consent Calendar during public comment. (Watch the Farm Hill Neighborhood May Meeting here .
Our Association represents over 4500 residents, 78% of which are homeowners.
Will our numbers be counted towards the 6,790 threshold?
Who counts, what counts, and what doesn't count?
This is the problem with placing items like this on the Council's Consent Calendar. They slip by, advance, and are voted on before most residents even find out about them.
Had this proposal been placed on Council's regular agenda, residents would have had the opportunity to ask these questions and to have them answered.
City Staff Report Acknowledges Increased Risk to Homeowners "The consequence for non-payment of bills is significant." "If the County processes bills through the property tax rolls the County's ultimate recourse for non-payment is property auction after five years."
Yesterday, residents learned some new information from the San Mateo Daily Journal. Orginally residents were told this proposal only applied to homeowners. However, we learned today that it actally applies to ALL properties, and that multi-dwelling and commercial properties will be phased over the next two years.
What's Next? In a little more than 24 hours, City Council will vote on this proposal.
We need your help in reaching as many Redwood City residents as possible.
An online Petition has been created at www.change.org/RWC-VoteNo
Please consider signing the petition and sharing with your family, firends, and neighbors.
Sending the petition to just 5 people or posting it on your Social Media accounts, can make a significant difference.
If you prefer to send an e-mail to City Council you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Meeting Information- Tommorrow Night
The Public Hearing on the Sewer Service Fee is item 8A on the agenda. This meeting will be held via Zoom. The Meeting ID is 994 8182 5639.
Remember: City Council recently changed the start time of their meetings, to 6 pm. Public Comment has also been limited to 2 minutes per person.
We are looking for a couple of residents to speak. If you are available, please contact me and let me know.
Thank you for standing with us on this important issue.
Chairwoman Farm Hill Neighborhood
San Mateo Daily Journal Article-
Sewer bill changes proposed in Redwood City