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Board approves $19 fee rate, keeps eye on grant funding to accelerate project and management action development

The Board approved a fee of $19 per acre for Fiscal Year 2020-21 at their July 15th meeting. Based on 114,475 acres included under the property-related fee, this generates a projected revenue of $2,175,025 for agency administration, professional services, and project and program development to implement the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), adopted in November 2019. In addition to MAGSA’s fee-based revenue, the agency will continue seeking additional funding for projects and management actions through grants.

Revenues collected from the fee cover the approved Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget expenses including agency administration and staff, GSP legal and litigation reserves, project development, and groundwater monitoring and implementation, among other technical and administrative expenses.

The $19 per acre fee is the maximum amount approved by MAGSA landowners in the Proposition 218 groundwater fee election passed in 2018. The fee is levied on all landowners within MAGSA via Fresno County tax bills, excluding parcels of 2 acres or less. This is the third budget year collecting the fee that has a 5-year lifespan.

Beyond fee revenues, MAGSA will continue applying for grant funding to accelerate implementation of specific projects and management actions outlined in its GSP. Recent grant awards like the US Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART grant to study a groundwater market, in addition to future grant opportunities, aim to leverage and extend the dollars of MAGSA landowners collected via the fee.

MAGSA is committed to implementing solutions tailored to the landowners and stakeholders it serves and will continue to provide updates on its activities. To stay informed, sign up for our interested persons email list here, and follow us on Twitter @McMullinAreaGSA.

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