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2023 Proposition 218 Acreage Fee Renewal Webinar

MAGSA Proposition 218 Acreage Fee Renewal: Informational Webinar

April 27, 2023 @ 12:00 – 1:00 PM

In upcoming months, MAGSA growers will have an opportunity to provide input on the renewal of a Proposition 218 fee initially adopted in 2018.

In 2018, the MAGSA Board of Directors adopted a $19/acre property-related fee pursuant to Proposition 218 to fund MAGSA’s operations. Proposition 218, a constitutional initiative approved by California voters in November 1996, allows for new fees like the one proposed by MAGSA to be approved provided there is no majority protest of affected landowners.

Due to MAGSA’s aggressive pursuit of financial aid for the region through a variety of grants, the acreage fee is not expected to increase. The proposed fees are projected to be equivalent to the current fees, where all parcels over two acres are assessed an annual fee of $19.00 per acre.

“GSAs almost always increase their fees,” says Alison Lechowicz, election consultant with Lechowicz + Tseng Municipal Consultants. “MAGSA is a very cost-effective agency.”

About the 2023 Proposition 218 Acreage Fee Renewal

The renewal of the Proposition 218 fee will fund MAGSA’s 5-year budget which includes administration, staffing, implementation of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (management of the McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture Project, Aquaterra Water Bank, grower education programs like On-Farm Recharge University) and monitoring groundwater levels.

This fee helps to keep groundwater management local. Without adequate funding to implement the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), MAGSA risks losing control over groundwater management to the State. If the State were to intervene, it would impose costly fees with no guarantee of new or supplemental water supplies.

What is Next?

A formal notice will be mailed to MAGSA growers regarding the upcoming Proposition 218 Public Hearing for consideration of the fee taking place on June 7, 2023. At this public hearing, MAGSA will review the fee, take comments from the public, and count any protests received against the fee. The fee can be adopted if fewer than 50% of affected property owners or ratepayers submit written protests against the proposed fee.

MAGSA invites landowners to join an informational webinar on April 27th at 12:00 PM to ask questions and learn more about the Proposition 218 fee renewal.

MAGSA also invites growers to attend our upcoming board meetings for regular updates. These meetings are open to the public, and we encourage you to participate either in person or online. The MAGSA Board meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM at the Kerman Community Center, 15101 W Kearney Blvd., Kerman, CA 93630. Links to join virtually are on the board meeting agendas. Find board agendas and meeting information HERE.

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