Passage of Measure C on the upcoming ballot is vital to local efforts to help stabilize and restore our overdrafted groundwater basin.
Local cities, including Lodi, have made great efforts in reducing their reliance on groundwater, and local water districts have also joined in this effort. However, continuation of these efforts requires adequate funding to build infrastructure and operate systems to capture surface water when it is available.
Measure C would allow the district to collect a groundwater charge in accordance with the approval processes per the State Constitution (Prop. 218) and the Water Code. But who should pay and have a say in its approval? I believe this should be those who pump groundwater. They are contributing to the problem and are the most directly affected. The district has previously charged them based on the amount of groundwater they pump as estimated by land use, not on a property tax or with some other general tax that would have to be approved by those with only indirect cost or benefit.
For rural residences, including mine, this charge was only $21.40 per year. And for those parcels within the city of Lodi, the city paid the charge since the city wells do the pumping. This is hardly worth the anti-tax and "they're coming to get you" hysteria being promoted by some. Even the Howard Jarvis folks say, "A fee is supposed to be paid in order to mitigate harm caused by the fee-payer, or to establish a regulatory program" (David Wolfe, HJTA Legislative Director, Report from the Capitol, Aug. 4, 2009). This certainly fits our groundwater situation.
Get the facts about our groundwater problem and Measure C. Check out www.voteyesc.com.