Why Measure F and what does it do?
In November 2016 voters decided public debt should go to a vote of the people. Measure F simply asks if voters will give permission to the Town to borrow UP TO $150 million for single purpose of buying the water system. The actual price will be determined by a judge. The Town estimates the final price will be in the $88-100 million range.
Will my property taxes increase to pay back the loan to buy the water company?
The short answer is NO. The Town cannot raise your property taxes for this purpose. Payment must be made from revenue generated by the water system.
How will the Town pay for the water company?
Liberty Utilities does it’s best to mask profits and bury expenses that make up their rates. The Town estimates that currently the water system produces $10-12 million in annual profits, expenses and salaries (based on Liberty Utilities filings with CPUC). The payment on $100 million is estimated at 6.2 million a year. You can see there is sufficient revenue to cover loan repayment without any increases whatsoever and opens the possibility of rate reductions. The Town, by law, cannot make a profit on any asset it holds. All loan payments can be made from current profits plus fees and surcharges will be reduced or eliminated lowering your overall water bill.
Why borrow $150 million now?
No one can predict exactly what the court will finally decide a “fair” price is for the water system. Liberty has been diligently “loading up” it’s expenses by, for instance, drilling a $2 million dollar well it doesn’t need and burying millions of political campaign expenses in legal fee categories that may help drive the price up. The prudent course is to secure funding now at the best rate while the court case drags on in case financial markets move the wrong way.
Who will control rates and prices of water if the Town prevails?
Ultimately the voters of Apple Valley will control what happens to the water system, it’s rates and operations. You elect the Town Council and you can approve or disapprove of their stewardship of your water at the ballot box. You have no voice now. This is the freedom of our right to choose our own water destiny.
Can the Town “tack on” fees to pay for the water company?
No, see #3 above. Please remember that the “scare tactic numbers” Liberty is using are based on their inflated and distorted assumptions. Liberty paid economist John Husing $50,000 to write a report based on numbers they fed him to get the result they wanted. Adding fees to your water bill by the Town is an outright lie. Except for your address on the front, nothing is true in the expensive mailers Liberty is sending weekly.
Who supports Measure F
All five of your elected Town Council Members are unanimous in their support. A broad coalition of business, real estate, professional and community leaders are supporting and participating in this effort. But YOUR support is what matters. Join us voting YES on Measure F.