The North Fork Kings GSA conducted a Proposition 218 Election for landowner approval to levy an assessment of $10/acre. The Proposition 218 Public Hearing was held on May 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm in Riverdale, CA. The ballots were tabulated and results announced with 94% in favor of the $10/acre assessment. Votes were weighted by acreage. The Board set the rate at $10/acre for the fiscal year 2018-19 to be levied on all landowners within the boundaries of the North Fork Kings GSA.
To determine if your property lies within the North Fork Kings GSA, use this CA DWR map tool. Type your address into the search bar at the top left of the page to find your GSA.
An unfunded California law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires better management and balance of groundwater supplies in a groundwater subbasin through the creation of local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) with extensive powers to manage groundwater.
A fee is necessary to cover the costs to follow the new State law within its stipulated deadlines. Based on the Agency’s needs, the North Fork Kings GSA Board of Directors conducted and successfully passed a Proposition 218 Election for landowner approval to levy an assessment. The assessment will generate sufficient revenue to fund annual Agency operational costs and expenses associated with the development and initial implementation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan.
The $10/acre assessment will be levied on all landowners within the boundaries of the North Fork Kings GSA via Fresno County and Kings County tax rolls starting fiscal year 2018-19.
Compliance with the State law is not optional. SGMA stipulates that local GSAs must develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan by January 31st 2020; failure to do so will trigger State Intervention. Funding the development and implementation of a GSP through the proposed fee is crucial to achieving compliance at the local level.
The North Fork Kings GSA Board is dedicated to navigating SGMA together as a local community of stakeholders. Implementing SGMA at the local level allows stakeholder input and provides for solutions that carry benefits to our region.
The $10/acre will help keep SGMA implementation at the local level. Without funding from the fee, compliance would still have happened but at a much higher cost. The State has introduced a fee structure for probationary basins (those that fail to meet State-mandated deadlines and thus are not in compliance with SGMA) many times more costly than the new North Fork Kings GSA fee. The first trigger for State Intervention is failing to meet the deadline of GSP development by January 2020. Follow the link below for an overview of State Intervention triggers:
In the case of State Intervention, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) would impose a fee structure on groundwater pumpers many times more costly than what is proposed by the North Fork Kings GSA, and is likely to impose unfavorable restrictions without providing local benefits.
Read the full interview with Sam Boland-Brien here: Enforcing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
The cost of State Intervention far exceeds the cost of local implementation, and without carrying the same benefits for the local community. The graph below shows the North Fork Kings GSA fees for an average 40 acre parcel versus the State fee structure in the case of State Intervention.
North Fork Kings GSA fees at $10/acre versus the State fees
- 40 acre ag parcel base annual payment to the State = $7,450 for the first year
- 40 acre ag parcel annual payment to the North Fork Kings GSA = $400 per year
*State fee for ag parcel can range from approximately $5,000 to over $8,000 depending on crop water use/acre foot and State requirements
Proposition 218 is a Constitutional Initiative approved by the voters of California in November 1996. It requires new or increased fees and assessments be approved by affected landowners.
The North Fork Kings GSA Board is committed to retaining local control over SGMA implementation, where landowner dollars are utilized most efficiently and beneficially. To fund these efforts the Board conducted a Proposition 218 election for approval to levy assessments on landowners within its jurisdiction.
The affected landowners includes all parcel owners within the boundaries of the North Fork Kings GSA. The proposed $10/acre fee has a lifetime of 5 years, at the end of which the GSA will need to hold another Proposition 218 election for additional funding needs.
At the January 10, 2018 Board meeting, the Directors of the North Fork Kings GSA approved the Engineer’s Report to conduct a Proposition 218 Election. The Engineer’s Report is prepared in accordance with State law to describe an equitable distribution of the benefit assessments to be derived by each parcel within the Agency upon which such assessments will be levied. The Engineer’s Report discusses benefits of the Agency’s organization, proposed actions, and services provided by the North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
The Agency has landowner approval to levy an assessment up to the maximum amount shown in the table below, specifically $10.00/acre for all parcels. The components that make up the total are shown in the table below (click to enlarge) and are explained further in the Engineer’s Report. Note that the assessment amount levied by the Agency may vary from year to year, but will not exceed the maximum amount unless an increase is approved through a subsequent Proposition 218 proceeding. The necessary funding for the Agency will be reviewed annually by the Board and, depending on the funds projected to be needed for the year, may be approved up to the maximum ($10.00 per acre) assessment rate.
The North Fork Kings GSA conducted workshops prior to the Proposition 218 Public Hearing. The workshops covered an overview of SGMA, the North Fork Kings GSA purpose, and the reason for the Prop 218 Election. The materials are available below.
Call (559) 242-6118