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How to Protest a Rate Increase

Proposition 218 allows the public to submit a written protest of a proposed rate increase. If greater than 50% of the ratepayers protest an increase, rates cannot be increased. Details & Protest Form...

About Prop 218

Passed by voters in 1996, Proposition 218 amended the California Constitution to require cities, governments and special districts to allow affected property owners to protest any proposed new or increased property-related fees.

Sutter Creek Garbage - March 2013

On March 18, 2013, RPA and others submitted to the City of Sutter Creek 722 protests signed by Sutter Creek residents and property owners. The City declared the protest unsuccessful. On May 6, 2013, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) sent a letter to Sutter Creek City Manager Sean Rabe requesting a recount of the parcels eligible to protest, and a recount of the protests themselves.

Director of HJTA Legal Affairs Timothy A. Bittle indicated that an HJTA member researched the mailing lists and found that Sutter Creek invalidated the successful protest by artificially inflating the total number of parcels needed to defeat the increase, and by disqualifying valid protests.

Proposition 218 gives residents the right to protest new or increased fees for property-related services. The City of Sutter Creek agreed to follow Proposition 218 only after Sutter Creek residents sued for that right.

Sutter Creek Garbage - May 2012

Krause, Kalfayan, Benink & Slavens, LLP announced in a press release that the City of Sutter Creek settled a lawsuit with residents Dorothy and Paul Pressnall. In the settlement, the City agreed to pay attorney fees and to follow Proposition 218 requirements on future garbage rate increases as the Pressnalls asked in their suit. More...

CAWP/Upcountry - May 2010

RPA members spent countless hours making information available to the public and debunking the AWA's information about the Gravity Supply Line (GSL) project. Yet a majority of the AWA Board (3 of 5) decided to ignore the public who were saying that they did not want to pay for the GSL, the board sent out a notice of a 23% rate increase in May 2010. Within a matter of weeks, RPA members had collected more than enough protests to stop the rate increase. The protest contributed to AWA considerably reducing its costs to avoid the large deficits that had been accumulating on the CAWP ratepayers.

Unfortunately CAWP ratepayers' best interests are still not being represented. AWA is continuing to spend ratepayer funds on a developer project (GSL) and CAWP ratepayers are paying for all of it. RPA will continue to bring the facts about CAWP and GSL issues to the public.

Camanche - January 2010

AWA asked for a 30% rate increase from Camanche Water customers. RPA members provided financial information to active Camanche residents. Once the Camanche residents studied the financial information, they took to the streets to stand up against the AWA. They easily collected the required signatures needed to stop the unjustified increases that AWA was asking of the ratepayers.

As of today, AWA still is refusing to justify the details of their costs on the Camanche water system. The good news is that Camanche residents do not have to pay an increased rate until AWA provides complete financial details and a majority are satisfied with the information.

La Mel Heights - Summer 2009

AWA gave ratepayers of La Mel Heights a notice that their rates would be going up by 43% over the next 2 years. The increase would have meant that the average monthly water bill would be well over $100. RPA representatives attended meetings and asked tough questions along with La Mel customers. Unsatisfied with the answers, La Mel customers successfully protested the rate increase and contributed to AWA considerably reducing its costs to avoid the large increase.