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City blasts 'outrageous' tax

Original post made on Mar 13, 2015

For the past four decades, Palo Alto residents have been paying taxes to a water district without getting a drop of water in return.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 13, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2015 at 11:47 am

Well done, Kremen! Way to look out for our costs and benefits. Glad you won the election!

Posted by Lisa Acherman
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I don't mind at all, and I know I am non unique for pay for fair taxes. This tax is so stupid. I did not vote for Kremen but now I see that was a mistake. Finally someone who is doing something.

Posted by Counterclockwise
a resident of University South
on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm

So what would happen if Palo Alto didn't pay the tax? Would they cut off the water they don't deliver? Horrors.

Somebody's all wet -- at city hall.

Posted by Chopper
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Counterclockwise -- here is the issue. The tax is on our property tax individually. If you do not pay, they take your house!!


Posted by Counterclockwise
a resident of University South
on Mar 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Taxation without remittance, eh? Isn't that how those revolting colonists got that way?

How do we remove these leeches with max disgrace (to them, that is) and get our money back?

Posted by Victor Johnson
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2015 at 10:49 am

I had no idea we are paying property taxes for other people's water! Seems like Gary Kremen is doing a great job here

Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

Paying tax on something you CAN NOT use seems wrong

You pay road tax on Gasoline that is used to maintain state and federal roads (right!). You may never drive over the pothole YOUR TAX paid for, but YOU could.

Paying for a disconnected drinking water system in some other city means you could NEVER use that water.
Demand that the interconnect be installed, EVEN IF you never open the valve. It is all about Availability

Palo Alto switched to a 'Meter charge' on the water bill. Even if you do not use a drop, you pay some fee to maintain that 'availability'
SCWD, we paid the fee, make it availabls!

Posted by The Shadow knows.....
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Hmmm - this one's a mixed bag. The City's back up water supply system - in the event a major earthquake disrupts the delivery of Hetch Hetchy water in those pipelines that run across all the major fault lines - is in fact wells drawing from the ground water supply.

So, while we don't use it routinely, we do in fact depend on ground water being available as a reliable secondary supply. I believe those wells are "exercised" and maintained so as to be available on short notice.

I don't think this one is as bad as it sounds on first blush, once all the facts are known. It seems like there ought to be some sort of middle ground on this one......

Posted by Gary Bradski
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 26, 2015 at 9:36 am

Nothing done on this that I know of since March. I calculate that $24M dollars would buy us a desalination plant that would more than cover each resident's use of water in Palo Alto. Lets have them build that as a backup system, along with a pipe to sell water to others when we don't need it.

How's that for an actual benefit for our taxes?

Posted by Counterclockwise
a resident of University South
on Oct 26, 2015 at 11:07 am


The water district recharges the aquifer only in the South County. We are on our own. That's why the city should stop allowing the insane pumping of groundwater for needless private basements.

Posted by Tread
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:32 am

There might have been an argument by the district if they had given Los Altos Hills the water when they requested it. But they got no water.

Saying we might in the future possibly get some benefit for the tax we pay that has not resulted in anybenefit fir decades is ridiculous. I hope officials will press for a full refund, to be paid in a surcharge over time in usage by those whose water has been subsidized all this time (prorated by income, so as not to soak the poor).

On the other hand we personally pay far more to the school district to educate other people's kids but can't send our own because they are so messed up with little recourse by parents. My politics never swung toward vouchers, but now I truly wish someone would pursue them. In the meantime, a refund for the water district we don't seem to actually belong to except to be soaked to pay is in order.

Posted by Thomas Busse
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:08 am

Is this an AB8 allocation or a Water district GO bond override tax? If it's an AB8 allocation, the legislature can change it. If it's a bond override, Paulo Alto should go to the LAFCO and adjust the water district boundary.

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