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Auburn, Calif. – At its February 16 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors expressed opposition to any legislative effort to weaken Proposition 218. Passed by voters in 1996, Proposition 218 amended the California Constitution as it relates to local government taxes and fees. For utilities like PCWA, prices charged for water service cannot exceed the cost of providing the service. The Board agreed that by removing ratepayer protections provided by the law, the state could force PCWA to impose punitive tiered pricing.

“There are rumblings, emanating from Sacramento, that there is a desire to chip away at the cost of service approach instituted by the passage of Proposition 218,” General Manager Einar Maisch said. “As a public agency, PCWA has always supported a cost of service rate structure.”

Talk of changing Proposition 218 comes at the same time as state regulators propose making conservation requirements permanent throughout California. Board members expressed concern that should an agency or its customers fail to meet new regulatory restrictions, the state could force water agencies to raise rates beyond the actual cost of service. The Board opposes this method of compliance, and any efforts to weaken local decision-making authority.

PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

For information on PCWA board meetings, please contact the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

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