comments

Reader input: Sewer in disrepair despite millions in taxes

-A +A

Every homeowner in SMD No. 1 who pays the sewer tax should protest the recently announced tax increase. Placer County has been collecting this tax for decades. A few years ago when the tax was increased to about $31 per month for mobile home parks, I spoke with a Placer County employee in the Facility Services Department and asked him why we continue to pay this tax and why is it increased on a regular schedule.
His reply was the tax is used for maintenance of the sewer facility. That is certainly strange considering a short while ago we were told that the sewer plant was in disrepair and changes needed to be made.
Three senior mobile home parks in North Auburn have 591 homes. Rock Creek, Woodside Village and Golden Chain homeowners have paid $1,245,710 in sewer tax since July 2009 and through July 2013. In 1997 the tax was raised from $18 to $26 per month and almost every year since then the tax has been increased until July 2009 when it hit $58.55 per month.
We have been paying the tax long before 1997, so you see millions of dollars have been paid to the county for this sewer facility. Other homes in SMD No. 1 have also paid millions to the county for this facility.
Where has this money gone? Apparently not to maintain the facility because it is in a state of disrepair.
Just to give folks a little insight into Placer County’s use of taxpayers’ funds, I read an article from the San Diego Tribune about the 12 highest paid county CEOs in California in 2011. Number 8 on the list was Tom Miller, Placer County CEO in 2011. His total compensation was $377,536 with a salary $282,728 and $94,808 in health and pension benefits. The Placer County website has two lists of benefits for appointed department heads and managers.
The extra benefits that the county gives these employees is stunning — from car allowances and county-paid life insurance to a $2,100 cafeteria plan, which can be used in many different ways or taken in cash. They have many more benefits as each list is a full page.
I have included these facts to show that perhaps the county is not using taxpayers’ money in the most effective way. These employees are not working on Wall Street or at Bank of America or JP Morgan. They are government employees and should not receive preferential treatment while other employees actually keep the county running and sometimes are treated in a disrespectful way.
Just like the multi-million dollar animal shelter, the county is not using the taxpayers’ money in the best way. We seniors and others who have been paying this huge sewer tax need some relief and not another tax increase.
GLORIA STALLMAN, Auburn