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Monday
Nov262012

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles County, proposed parcel tax, annual fee on all property owners, plan to raise $275 million annually to clean up storm water pollution runoff....

* San Gabriel Valley Tribune:  "L.A. County proposes water fee on all parcels to clean up water" - From the SGVT:

While rainfall can be a welcome sight in the dry Southland, when water hits the region's concrete and blacktop landscape, it turns into a giant headache for beachgoers and environmentalists: untreated storm water or urban runoff. The cost of addressing that toxic soup - which fouls inland rivers and lakes, makes beach-goers and surfers sick, kills marine life and taints fish and shellfish sold as food - has got environmentalists and county leaders turning to a new parcel tax.

Water managers view rain rushing down gutters differently - not as pollution but as a lost resource. Every gallon of rain water that funnels down hundreds of miles of concrete channels to the Pacific Ocean represents a gallon of drinking water they now have to purchase from Northern California or the Colorado River at much higher costs. Already, Los Angeles County gets 60 percent of its water from such imported sources, even as supplies dwindle and prices skyrocket. So water agencies have teamed up with environmentalists, regulatory agencies and the county of Los Angeles to tackle the newest front in the ecological battle: urban runoff.

They are backing a proposed parcel fee - some call it a tax - that would annually charge property owners across the county from $54 for a single family home to $11,000 for a big box retailer to raise approximately $275 million a year to clean up pollution runoff before it reaches local rivers, beaches and parks.

Before the proposal can advance, the county will give residents until Jan. 15 to file an objection. If a majority of property owners don't object, the Board of Supervisors can approve a mail-in ballot to be sent to all property owners.

A simple majority of support would create the first revenue stream dedicated solely for the treatment of storm water...................