The LA County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing this week [see Agenda #40 on page 25 of Jan. 15 Agenda (PDF)] to solicit public input on a proposed parcel tax called the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fee (agenda attachment PDF) to mitigate stormwater runoff pollution affecting both ocean and inland lake beaches.
Molly Peterson gives the backround on the problem and the proposal to address it for KQED FM's "The California Report" - audio and podcast link is above the news story.
An ambitious proposal would tax every one of the county’s 2.2 million property owners and use the revenue to capture, filter and reuse the stormwater before it ever hits the complex storm sewer system that twists and turns under Los Angeles County's nine watersheds.
Under the latest set of stormwater rules, regulators could hit the county with millions of dollars in fines for exceeding pollution limits, both along the coast and inland.
Single family homes would pay around $50 a year. Big box stores with acres of parking lot, as much as $11,000. The program penalizes pavement. The tax is based on the size of each parcel and the amount of hard surface covering the property.
Public schools have objected to the plan as their properties would be heavily taxed. And the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization that one would think would support the plan, has their concerns as well about the selection criteria and where the money would be spent.
"The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is likely to take the first step toward the parcel tax by approving a ballot to send to property owners. Officials say they hope to tally up the vote by mail in March, and collect revenue beginning this summer."