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Author: Rebecca Quist

Proposition 218 Election to Fund Local Groundwater Management Passes

Landowners residing in the South Fork Kings GSA voted in favor of a $9.80 per acre assessment to cover the costs associated with implementing the State’s groundwater law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Following the close of the Proposition 218 public hearing on June 21st, the South Fork Kings GSA Board tabulated and certified the results of the election. The assessment was favored by 74% of received votes. A majority of received votes was needed to pass the assessment; votes were weighted be acreage.

The Board approved and set a rate of $9.80/acre for the fiscal year 2018-19. Each year, the Board will set a rate not to exceed the $9.80/acre maximum for the five-year lifespan of the assessment. All landowners within the boundaries of the South Fork Kings GSA, excluding those residing in the City of Lemoore, will be assessed the rate via Kings County tax rolls beginning fiscal year 2018-19. The City of Lemoore has entered into a cost sharing agreement on behalf of all property in the City limits and has incorporated ongoing payments into their existing rate structure.

The Board is committed to keeping local jurisdiction over groundwater management under SGMA, where landowner dollars are used more efficiently and beneficially. With funding from the election, the GSA is equipped to meet the nearest deadline: completion of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by January 2020.

You can use the following DWR tool to determine if your property lies within the boundaries of the South Fork Kings GSA: DWR GSA Map Tool 

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.

An Engineer’s Report was conducted to set the $9.80/acre assessment rate. The Report calculates the equitable distribution of the benefit derived from each parcel within the agency upon which assessment will be levied. The Engineer’s Report discusses benefits of the Agency’s organization, proposed actions, and services provided by the South Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency.

Engineer’s Report

5-Year Budget

Board Approves Engineer’s Report, Moves Forward with Prop 218 Assessment

At the March 15th board meeting, South Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) board members approved the Engineer’s Report prepared by Geosyntec Consultants. The Engineer’s Report was presented by the South Fork Kings GSA technical consultant, Amer Hussain of Geosyntec Consultants. Adoption of the Report signals Board approval for a Proposition 218 Election, a Constitutional Initiative passed by CA voters in 1996 that requires all new or increased assessments be approved by affected landowners. All landowners within the boundaries of the South Fork Kings GSA will be asked to vote on the newly proposed assessment. Its purpose is to fund the local GSA’s efforts to comply with the unfunded CA state law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The Engineer’s Report outlines the South Fork Kings GSA’s five-year projected operating costs and expenses associated with the development and initial implementation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan as required by SGMA, ongoing administration, technical assessments, and recovery startup costs incurred by the South Fork Kings member agencies. Click image below to enlarge.

Additional components of the report include background information on the GSA, summary of GSA operations, a description of the proposed assessment, a determination of benefits derived from the assessment, and procedures to implement the assessment. Based on the model developed, the maximum annual rate proposed for assessment is $9.80 per acre for the five-year life of the proposed assessment, subject to annual review and determination by the Board. The assessment rate levied cannot exceed $9.80 without another election for voter approval. You can view the full Engineer’s Report here: Engineer’s Report. 

If the South Fork Kings GSA is unable to fund its efforts to comply with SGMA, the State will intervene. The Board seeks to avoid costly State Intervention and keep SGMA implementation at the local level. To find more information regarding the assessment, visit our Prop 218 page.

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