A new Ventura County Grand Jury report is questioning whether one city in the county has improperly created a new tax on water service.
In a new 26 page report, the grand jury notes that in 2009, the City of Prt Hueneme went though the election process as required by Proposition 218 to increase water rates.
But, the report says the city is now including a previously untaxed “water service charge” into the water service fixed rate. That service charge is now being taxed.
The Grand Jury says in effect, whether it meant to or not, the city has created a new tax without going through the proper steps.
It’s recommending that the city have a third party administrative hearing to determine if the billing amounts to a new tax, and if the Proposition 218 election to raise water rates was valid.