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"Standby" Assessment/Fee


“Standby” Tax Assessment/Fee

An EMWD “Standby” tax assessment is a fee placed on a property tax bill for the purpose of collecting shared costs on all properties within EMWD’s service area boundaries.

What is an EMWD “Standby” assessment/fee (EMWD STDBY-COMBINED CHARGE)?

The fee, labeled as “EMWD STDBY-COMBINED CHARGE,” is assessed annually and remains indefinitely on a property’s tax bill to equitably distribute the cost of facilities in relation to benefits received by property owners. This ensures that adequate water or sewer service will always be available for parcels when needed. Water agencies across the state of California who provide water or sewer services utilize the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act to levy a standby charge in connection with the provision of that service.

Who is charged a “Standby” fee?

All properties that have been “annexed” into or become a part of EMWD’s service area are subject to these fees because there is an implied benefit of having the opportunity to establish water or sewer services immediately, or at a later date, which increases their property value. All property owners benefit from “Standby” availability, regardless of whether they are already connected to the system or not, because all properties within EMWD’s service area are considered more valuable by having facilities connected or available to connect versus not having them available at all.

What are the “Standby” fees used for?

EMWD uses “Standby” funds to construct, expand, or improve Capital Improvement Projects and for maintenance of water and sewer facilities within its service area boundaries. The purpose of “Standby” fees are to equitably share some of the cost of having water and sewer available to all properties within EMWD’s service area boundaries.

How are “Standby” fees calculated?

“Standby” fees are based on a property’s determined benefit zone relative to existing facilities which means that properties closest to EMWD facilities pay proportionately more than properties located farther away from EMWD facilities. Benefit zones are adjusted throughout the year based on facility availability.

How often are “Standby” fees assessed?

EMWD conducts an annual “Standby” assessment process to update applicable “Standby” tax fees to be placed on property tax bills on all properties within its service area boundaries. A public hearing is held in July at the Board of Directors meeting.

When were “Standby” charges started?

EMWD’s Board of Directors approved the Water “Standby” Availability program in 1966. The District’s Sewage and Waste Service (Sewer) “Standby” program began in 1968.

What are “MWD STANDBY EAST” fees?

These fees were initiated by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) in 1995. The MWD Standby East fees are collected on property tax bills by MWD, not EMWD.