The Chowchilla Water District operates under the rules as set forth by the California State Water Code, water districts are given the right to assess land (not buildings) within their district boundaries to cover costs associated with the maintenance of canal systems. Chowchilla Water District collects three types of assessments from property in the District. They are the General Assessment, which applies to all property in the District, Supplemental and Capital Repayment Assessment, which applies to all agricultural property larger than five acres.
General Assessment results in an assessment of $24 per acre for agricultural property and an average assessment of $37 (depending on the parcel size) for individual parcels in the City of Chowchilla. The District collects about $1.9 million dollars in assessments each year. The assessment revenue is used to pay for water purchased for groundwater recharge and the operation and maintenance costs of the District.
Supplemental Assessment of $16 per acre for all agricultural property larger than five acres was instituted on April 29, 2005, following its approval by the landowners in an election held by the District (Prop 218 election). The funds from the Supplemental Assessments are used to pay the fixed operating costs of the Central Valley Project that the District is responsible for each year. The money is specifically earmarked to pay for the operating costs of Buchanan Dam, Madera Canal and Delta-Mendota Canal. The District collects about $1.2 million dollars in supplemental assessments each year.
The Distinction Between Taxes & Assessments
TAXES - are the exactions placed upon the citizens for the support of the government, the consideration of which is protection or public service by the state, whereas...
ASSESSMENTS - are imposed upon property within a limited area for the payment for local improvement supposed to enhance the value of all property within that area.