About Fullerton’s Illegal Water Tax

According to city records and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the City of Fullerton has been illegally charging a hidden 10% “in-lieu franchise fee” (a tax) on every water bill since the 1997.

Click to read the HJTA letter

The tax was pushed to 10% about 40 years ago, but in 1997 the passage of California Proposition 218 made the tax illegal. Fullerton’s city leaders continued to collect the tax and did not properly publish it on water bills or account for its use.

To make matters worse, the tax was not even used to pay for water expenses. Rather, it was redirected to pay for the salaries and pensions of the councilmembers and city administrators who approved the tax.

Over the last 15 years, the City of Fullerton has illegally collected at least $27,000,000 from water users.

The city was notified of the illegal tax in June of 2011, but it has since failed to take action to stop collecting the tax. As of April 2012, the city is still collecting over $200,000 per month illegally.

Councilmembers Pat McKinley, Don Bankhead and Dick Jones have failed to stop the tax and continue to defend it.

Read More…

OC Register – Has city charged $27 million in illegal water fees?

Response: City claims they’re not scheming to keep ‘illegal’ water fee

The letter from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Year-by-year analysis of illegal fees collected


4 Responses to Illegal Water Tax

  1. Don Zweifel says:

    Last year I contacted City of Fullerton’s water department manager and mentioned that they should not be asking for a water-rate increase as there has not been an in-depth study to prove a need for such a hike.

    His reply was in essence, that we probably ought to do one but we cannot afford to fund it. Well, I’m fairly sure one could ferret-out grants somewhere, which could handle that expenditure very handily.

    When we lived in Placentia several years ago yours truly was a pro bono consultant to that municipality. In that capacity I recommended that we fight any attempt regarding Golden State Water to keep demanding high water-rate increases.

    We were usually successful…. However, the City of Fullerton has their own wells for much of the water supply so significant water-rate increases should be fairly easy to defeat, i.e., if we all band together an issue a resounding nay….

  2. John Busch says:

    If the City Council voted for and passed the Illegal Water Tax, why not recall ALL 5 members?? If you included the entire City Council you would get alot more yes votes on the recall campaign!!


    thier Illeagal actions are hurting the public, and taking money that the public is working hard for, and it’s unlawful. If we do anything against the law we get put in jail. To many city and state goverment workers are stealing from the hard working and most are out of work…STOP THIS ILLEGAL ACTION OF PHONY TAX!!!.I am living on SS now and have cancer and no cure for it and can’t pay for any other treatments so I can pay for water and other items that we live with…

  4. PETER POPA says:

    I want my money back

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