The Marin Post

The Voice of the Community

Notice Post

Marin Coalition

Marin Municipal Water District Rate Increases - What is the Best Approach?

The Club at McInnis Park Golf Center
350 Smith Ranch Road
San Rafael, California
May 1, 2019
11:00 am - 1:30 pm


Ben Horenstein, General Manager, MMWD

Paul Premo, Board Member, Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers

Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) recently announced a proposed rate increase to pay for an estimated $238 million 10-year Capital Improvement Program.The proceeds will be used to maintain, upgrade, rehabilitate and build resilience into MMWD’s existing and aging assets, as well as provide a greater investment in wildfire prevention on Mt Tamalpais, the District’s watershed lands. MMWD proposes to fund this program by imposing a fee on property owners’ property tax bills, at increasing amounts depending on the parcel’s water meter size.

The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers (CO$T) has actively opposed this property tax mechanism, among other reasons, because it is independent of customers’ water usage and as designed hits hardest low-water-usage customers who have adopted water conservation measures urged by MMWD.

The new charge could increase customers’ total water costs by up to 45% over current rates in some cases. CO$T recommends an alternative approach to pay for MMWD’s Capital Program with a customer-by-customer water usage charge.

At the Marin Coalition’s May luncheon, MMWD General Manager Ben Horenstein will explain the need for the rate increase and will discuss how the MMWD developed its plan and how it would impact various water users. Paul Premo, from the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, will discuss why his organization opposes the proposed new rate plan and will offer some suggestions about how water rates could be more equitably structured.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about this subject and to ask questions of key players who have different ideas about how water rates should be structured.

Ben Horenstein is the General Manager of the Marin Municipal Water District. He has more than 30 years of experience as a water professional, Mr. Horenstein most recently worked for the City of Santa Rosa as the Director of Water. He previously served as the Director of Waste Water and Recycling Department at East Bay Municipal Utility District as well as with the City of Los Angeles, working for the Bureau of Sanitation. Mr. Horenstein holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and pursued graduate work in Environmental Studies from Loyola Marymount University and Vermont Law School

Paul Premo is a member of the Board of Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, a non-partisan volunteer tax-exempt organization representing the interests of Marin taxpayers and Special District fee-payers. Paul worked for Chevron for 27 years starting in engineering, followed by positions in financial analysis and management and executive positions including as Corporate Secretary and Treasurer of Chevron USA. Paul has been an energy consultant for the past 27 years since leaving Chevron, for major corporations in the regulation of natural gas, electricity, and interstate oil pipeline industries.

Wednesday May 1, 2019; 11:15 a.m. (check-in and networking). Program and Luncheon begin at noon. Meeting ends ~1:15 p.m.

Organization: The Marin Coalition

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