What are the next steps for implementing the program?
In Winter 2019-2020:
- WASCs will prepare Stormwater Investment Plans
- Municipalities will enter into fund Transfer Agreements with the District
- The District will initiate proposals for Watershed Coordinators
In Spring 2020:
- The ROC will review Stormwater Investment Plans from each WASC
- Tax revenues will be allocated to the appropriate parties
In Summer 2020:
- Final Stormwater Investment Plans will be presented to the County Board of Supervisors for approval
- Establish Watershed Coordinators for WASCs
- Project Developers will enter into fund Transfer Agreements with the District
When will funding be available?
Taxes will be collected beginning in December 2019 and revenue will be available late Spring 2020.
When will a call for projects be issued and by whom?
The District, on behalf of the Watershed Area Steering Committees, announced the initial call for projects in Fall 2019.
How does the program help disadvantaged communities?
Regional Infrastructure Program Funds must be allocated such that funding for projects that provide benefits to Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) are at least 110% of the ratio of the DAC population to the total population in each Watershed Area.
The District will administer public education, school education, and local workforce job training programs throughout the region, with special attention toward the needs of DACs. Not less than 20% annually of District Program funds will be allocated for these programs over a revolving five-year period.
What is the difference between Measure W and Measure A, Proposition O, and Measure H?
The Safe, Clean Water Program (Measure W) provides local, dedicated funding to increase water supply, improve water quality, and provide community enhancements throughout LA County.
The Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Protection Measure of 2016 (Measure A) provides funding to maintain parks, beaches, recreation and open space in LA County. Measure A was developed to replace the expiring dedicated parks funding from Propositions A of 1992 and 1996.
Proposition O – Clean Water bond, passed in 2004, allowed the City of Los Angeles to authorize a one-time $500 million of general obligation bonds for projects that protect public health and the environment by cleaning pollution in the City’s watercourses, rivers, lakes, beaches, and ocean. Proposition O monies can only be applied within the City of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative (Measure H) is a revenue stream to fund services, rental subsidies and housing to combat homelessness in LA County.
What is my tax?
A tax estimator tool has been developed to allow users to search by parcel number or street address. Please visit http://egisgcx.isd.lacounty.gov/bos/m/?viewer=SafeCleanWaterLA and follow the instructions on the left panel of the page.
Water does not run off my property. Why am I being taxed?
The Safe, Clean Water parcel tax is calculated based on the amount of total impermeable area on each parcel, which includes constructed surfaces such as buildings, sidewalks, driveways, asphalt, concrete, pavers, pools, and other constructed surfaces. The runoff amount and ability to retain stormwater on your parcel is not factored into the impermeable area tax calculation. There are options for a partial tax credit if you have constructed qualifying improvements on your property for the capture and/or treatment of stormwater or urban runoff. The credit program and list of qualifying improvements was developed and is available on the website. Please check back on our website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for updates.
How can I apply for a senior tax exemption? What are the required qualifications?
A senior is defined as a person 62 years of age or older, who owns and resides on a Single-Family Residential Parcel within the Los Angeles County. A low-income household is a household in Los Angeles County that meets the low-income limit as determined annually by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Persons applying for this exemption must be both a senior property owner and low-income. The low-income senior exemption application and instructions were made available in September 2019. Please check the website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for the application form and future updates.
How can I apply for a tax credit for managing stormwater on my property?
A credit program is available for property owners who can demonstrate stormwater improvements that result in water quality benefits, water supply benefits, and community investment benefits. Details about the credit program, a list of qualifying improvements, and verification requirements were developed and is available on the website. Please check the website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for updates.
How do I appeal my tax amount?
Parcel owners who believe their tax has been calculated incorrectly can file for an appeal. For a valid appeal, there must be a significant discrepancy between the assessed and actual Impermeable Area. This means there must be (1) an error of ten percent (10%) or more in the Impermeable Area used to calculated the parcel’s Special Parcel Tax, and (2) a difference in the Special Parcel Tax amount of twenty-five dollars ($25) or more. Appeals must meet both conditions to be considered a valid appeal. Examples of valid and invalid appeals can be found in the Tax Appeal tutorial document. Formal appeals will be accepted starting in September 2019. Please check back on our website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for future updates.
What is my City’s local return?
Estimates of each Municipality’s local return can be found at ***link***. Note that these estimates may vary when tax exemptions, credits, and appeals are applied.
When will funds be distributed to Municipalities?
Taxes will be collected beginning in December 2019 and funding available in late Spring 2020. Municipalities will receive funding in one installment annually.
What are the requirements for the local return funds?
Projects and Programs funded with Municipal funds must have a water quality focus and can include staff salaries and operation and maintenance activities. Each municipality must spend at least 70% of their Municipal Program funds annually on new Projects or Programs, which includes operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects built to comply with the 2012 Los Angeles MS4 Permit or 2014 Long Beach MS4 Permit.
Can Municipal funds be used to fund salaries?
Yes, Municipal funds can be used to fund salaries, provided there is a water quality focus.
Can Municipal funds be used to fund maintenance?
Yes. Municipalities can use up to 30% of their annual local return to fund pre-existing activities related to water quality. The remainder of the funds must be expended toward new projects and programs (including projects built to comply with the 2012 Los Angeles MS4 Permit or 2014 Long Beach MS4 Permit) and can include operation and maintenance of such projects.
Can Municipal funds be used to fund existing activities?
Yes. Municipalities can use up to 30% of their annual local return to fund pre-existing activities related to water quality.
Do Municipal funds need to be used within that city or can they be used for a regional project in another city?
Municipalities can spend their local return funds on Projects and Programs that benefit their respective jurisdictional areas, regardless of whether the Projects/Program are physically located within the boundaries of the Municipality.
How long do Municipalities have to use local return funds? What happens to Municipal funds if they are unused?
Approved funding, including municipal funds, that is not spent after 5 years from the fund Transfer Agreement execution date will be reprogrammed by the Watershed Area Steering Committee in their SIP to a new Regional project benefitting that Municipality or its Watershed Area. This provision will be detailed in the Fund Transfer Agreement for each municipality or project developer.
Do cities need to provide a budget before receiving Municipal Program funds?
Yes, cities must annually provide an expenditure plan for how their municipal funds will be spent prior to receiving a fund transfer from the District.
How often must cities report on their expenditures?
Municipalities must provide annual progress/expenditure reports for all Projects. These annual progress/expenditure reports will be reviewed by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and Regional Oversight Committee.
How often will municipalities be audited?
Audits will be required every 3 years and must be conducted by a 3rd party, paid from Municipal funds.
Will a projects list be generated?
Prioritization of regional projects is at the discretion of each Watershed Area Steering Committee (WASC). Five-year Stormwater Investment Plans (SIPs) will be developed by each WASC to program funding for projects in the Regional Program’s Technical Resources Program, Infrastructure Program, and Scientific Studies Program. SIPs will be initially developed in Spring 2020 and reviewed annually. Information about the projects selected for funding will be available on www.safecleanwaterla.org.
When will the Watershed Area Steering Committees (WASCs) and Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) begin meeting?
The WASCs and ROC began meeting in the Fall 2019. The frequency and schedule of meetings will be self-determined by each committee.
What services and support can LA County Flood Control District provide to Cities, NGOs, and individual Project proponents?
The Technical Resources Program, paid for by Regional Funds, will provide resources to develop Feasibility Studies and provide Watershed Coordinators to educate and build capacity in communities, and facilitate community and stakeholder engagement. Technical Assistance Teams, comprised of subject-matter experts provided by the District, will develop Feasibility Studies in partnership with or on behalf of Municipalities, CBOs, NGOs, and others without the technical resources or capabilities to develop Feasibility Studies on their own. After completion of a Feasibility Study, Technical Assistance Teams will arrange for the Project to be added to an eligible water quality plan, assist in acquiring a letter of support for non-Municipal Infrastructure Program Project Applicants, and address other prerequisites to apply to the Infrastructure Program. Watershed Coordinators will work with Technical Assistance Teams to identify cost-share partners, help leverage additional funding sources, and coordinate with the appropriate municipalities, community groups, and stakeholders.
Can cities use funding from the Technical Resources Program to conduct their own feasibility studies?
No, feasibility studies utilizing Technical Resources Program funds must be implemented by the District. Alternatively, cities can utilize their Municipal Program funds to develop feasibility studies.
Are Feasibility Studies required for all projects seeking funding?
Yes, a Feasibility Study is required before a project will be considered for funding. As defined by the Feasibility Study Guidelines, project applicants must meet the minimum requirements and meet the Threshold Score of 60 points or more using the Infrastructure Program Project Scoring Criteria. The Feasibility Study Guidelines are available on the website.
What is the role of a Watershed Coordinator?
Watershed Coordinators will work with Technical Assistance Teams to identify cost-share partners, help leverage additional funding sources, and coordinate with the appropriate municipalities, community groups, and stakeholders. Watershed Coordinators will be selected by Watershed Area Steering Committees from an eligible list to be provided by the District.
What are the term limits for the WASCs and ROC?
Term limits for WASC and ROC members will be established. Not all members will term-out simultaneously, as there are some rotating seats. Term limits are specified in the committee operating guidelines, which are available on the website.
Who are the representatives on each WASC and the ROC?
WASC and ROC membership can be found on the committee pages of the website.
How can I participate in the job training program?
The job training program is currently under development. Please check back on our website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for updates.
How can I request presentations from the school outreach program?
The school outreach and education programs are currently under development. Please check back on our website at www.safecleanwaterla.org for updates.