The main issue on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday February 11 was a Public Hearing on the proposed Sewer Rate increase. If imposed, the rates would increase annual in steps until they are double the current rates – and triple the rates two years ago.
The rate increases are currently undergoing a “Prop 218” process which requires 45 day notification of all affected property owners and tenants. The owners or tenants of each parcel – whether a home, apartment complex or business – are entitled to submit a protest – multiple protests if they are owners or tenants of multiple parcels. Those protesting do NOT need to be Dixon residents, NOR registered voters – NOR even US citizens. They only need to be the owner or tenant of property in Dixon affected by the increase.
Also on the agenda is a plan to adopt future rate increases by a simple resolution – rather than an ordinance as currently is the case. That plan was defeated at the last City Council meeting on a 2 to 2 vote – with Councilman Steve Bird absent.
The Dixon Chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association – which is heading up the effort to gather and submit protests against the proposed DOUBLING of sewer fees – will have volunteers at the Safeway Shopping Center each day through Sunday to collect signed protests against the rate hike. The volunteers will be at a table from 1:00 to 6:00 pm each day.
“We are working hard to save Dixon residents from the rate hike,” said Drew Graska, President of the group, “It’s YOUR money and pocketbook that will lose. I urge everyone to take this opportunity to easily speak up and help stop the higher fees.”
All protests must be submitted to the City prior to the end of the Public Hearing. Parcels for which a protest is not submitted is counted as if they are voting YES in favor of the rate hike.
If passed, sewer rates will be over three times higher (tripled) what the fees were in 2009.
The way the system works is stacked against YOU and for higher rates. Everyone is counted as a YES vote automatically UNLESS a written protest is sent.
This includes businesses, churches, non-profits, rental properties, as well has homes.
Ignoring this means YOU are voting to double sewer fees for yourself, you neighbors, and your customers.
Homeowners or tenants can submit their protest in writing. According to Gov Code 53755(b) “One written protest per parcel, filed by an owner or tenant of the parcel, shall be counted in calculating a majority protest to a proposed new or increased fee…”
You DO NOT have to be a resident of Dixon – or even a citizen – to file a protest. You just have to own, rent or lease property – INCLUDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
There are almost 6,000 parcels in Dixon. In order to stop this increase the majority of these parcels must protest.
Written protests may be brought to City Hall or call the Dixon Chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association at 678-9468.
Dixon Business owners – If YOU don’t protest for your business property YOU are voting to double the rates for yourself AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.