Sewage rates not fair
How can any authority, year after year, perpetuate the inequity of this unfair annual increase to the sewer fee? All single family properties are not equal. A house of less than 1,000 square feet should not be taxed $732; the same as a house of 3,000-plus square feet. This is surely a form of discrimination against low-income residents and seniors on fixed incomes. This is taxation with no representation.
In reality, I am subsidizing all those owners of mini-mansions who create multiple times the amount of sewage than I do. I am disproportionately paying for their share of the capital replacement program and ongoing operation and maintenance costs generated by this sanitation district.
This $732 may be "only" a 5.5 percent increase from 2010, but this fee is an 89 percent increase from the $498 in 2004. Other telling statistics are made when I compared my $124.87 annual 2009 water bill for 44 units of actual water use (with all monthly service fees total is $198.43) against the Sonoma Valley Sanitation District 2009 sewer tax of $655. How can it be democratic that I pay more than three times my water bill for sewer service? On my property tax ball, the sewer fee if 59 percent of all direct charges and assessments. And 29 percent of my property's taxable value.
If the water agency can manage a fair operating system that uses rate tiers, Sonoma Valley Sanitation District should be able to do the same. How about using the water agency's tiers and meter readings? Sewage has to be some calculation of water use. Right? Or how about using the assessor's office and building department's information for square footage? There must be some acceptable relationships of number of sinks, toilets, etc. to square footage. I would be happy to submit a tiered solution.
Don't our elected representatives and all persons appointed by them have a legal obligation to get involved when there is this kind of injustice and have it corrected? I am confident that you agree, so fix this before July 1, 2011 when the proposed fee begins.