Fees stopped = $17.2MM
So, are you a property owner in one of Metropolitan Water Districts’ 11 “Fringe Districts”? Do you even know that such a thing exisits? And, if you are in one of these Districts, have you looked at your property tax bills lately?
Well, Kimberly Hodge and me, Sharon Bolton, looked at our bills several years ago and we were staggered to discover Oakridge Ranches owners have already paid Metropolitan Water District an original $1,460,000 MM Annexation Fee which started in 1971 as well as paying 4% compounded interest since 1971 to 2011.
This "General Obligation Debt Bond" as identified on our tax bill and levied through our Riverside County Property Taxes resulted in property owners, just in Oakridge, paying off the original fee along with the compounded interest and resulted in us overpaying the tax by an additional $1,440,000 MM charged over these past 40 long years for a total expense to Oakridge property owners alone a total of $4,360,000 MM paid for water we never received and never will receive unless we opt to create a new tax bond to extend water to our rural parcels.
For several years, our efforts to research, analyze and explain this complex issue to our Homeowners fell mostly on deaf ears within the community except for last year. In 2010 two brave Home Owner Association (HOA) Board members and two private owners leaned in to help our effort to inform Oakridge owners of this situation.
A petition was thankfully circulated by our small group; it was an essential document to make District officials focus on the gravity of this issue and it was not just a simple gripe from disgruntled homeowners but rather a massive issue which affected hundreds of property owners all over southern California. These wonderful neighbors did all the work and paid all expenses but they did not want to be identified for their generosity and even now, these bighearted people do not want to be in the spot light...but we all owe them a great debt of gratitude.
For years, we focused on this issue in order to be heard by the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Water District and finally we were successful in getting their Board to stop the Annexation Fee to our community. Little did we know these fees were
being to Oakridge but also being charged to eleven separate districts - Oakridge Ranches was only one of the “Fringe Districts” being charged these Annexation Fees.
Finally, after research to prove our case, presentations to Boards of Directors and attending several high level meetings, Kimberly Hodge and Sharon Bolton were allowed to make our case before the Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors on May 10, 2011.
It's a long story. If you would like more information, just ask.