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Delta Tunnels Action & Media Alerts: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Threatens Lawsuits

Dear friends,

The Delta Tunnels project is on “thin ice."The plan is in major need of continued financial support from smaller urban agencies such as Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) and Zone 7 Water Agency in Alameda County.

In their new petition alert, Californians for Water Security, the Stewart Resnick Big Ag front group, is asking Californians to send emails in support of the Delta Tunnels/CA Water Fix to Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Board. Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) needs to hear from California ratepayers like you that will actually pay the costs.

Let’s make sure the tunnels plan does not get this support!  We need you to counter their action. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recently sent a letter suggesting legal action against Zone 7 Water Agency and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, arguing against Delta Tunnels financing, read the story here.

Send an e-mail to SCVWD [email protected] and tell them:

Dear Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Members,  

First off, I would like to express my appreciation that the Board recognizes that it should consult with ratepayers regarding parcel taxes for financing the Delta tunnels project.  You are off to a good start.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, however, recently said in the San Jose Mercury News that raising property taxes for Delta Tunnels would violate Proposition 13 and could lead to lawsuits. As a water ratepayer and property taxpayer, I do not want to pay money for a project that will not create additional water supply, but mostly benefit corporate agriculture in the southwestern San Joaquin Valley. 

In addition, as Westlands and San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority have recently been placed on negative credit watch after being fined by the SEC for engaging in a little Enron accounting, it is clear that these agencies cannot be counted on to contribute a 40% capital share toward the tunnels.

The Delta Tunnels would violate not only our federal and state standards of environmental and social justice law, but California tax law. As part of the Bay-Delta region, it makes sense for SCVWD to align itself with other Bay-Delta communities to protect the long-term health of the SF Bay-Delta estuary.

Please vote no against continued CA WaterFix/Delta Tunnels support. Save the Bay-Delta estuary for our children and future generations.

Thank you for your support, don't miss our media alerts below!

In case you missed it! 

When taxpayer groups, Sierra Club California, SF Bay-Delta farmers and urban residents all agree on something, that is notable…
Gov. Brown's $17 billion Delta tunnels plan faces new hurdle — a leading taxpayers organization
San Jose Mercury News 3/27/2016

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — founded by the co-author of Proposition 13 — sent water agencies in Silicon Valley and Alameda County a letter suggesting possible legal action. The letter argued that the tunnels were not part of the original State Water Project plan and that any property tax hike to fund them would be illegal without voter approval.

"What the voters approved in 1960 doesn't say anything about tunnels," said Timothy Bittle, the association's attorney.

If water agencies can raise property taxes to pay for the tunnels without voter approval, homeowners could be on the hook for big tax increases if there are cost overruns, as there were with high-speed rail and the rebuilding of the Bay Bridge, he said…

Don’t trade away our salmon
San Francisco Chronicle 3/26/2016

In yet another battle in California’s water wars, politics is attempting to override science. This has proved disastrous for fisheries and water quality in the past. There is little reason to think it is a good idea now.


Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Christine Rivera
    March 28, 2016, 11:33 pm

    It’s ridiculous to take water from some and give it to others. What we need is to be able to store more water when we DO have it and to recycle more water so it doesn’t run off into the bay.

  • March 29, 2016, 4:45 pm

    How can you possibly kill a ecosystem that’s been there for hundreds of years. Every plant life and critter that swims or lives on the delta will no longer have a home. I will fight for their survival.

  • margaret till
    March 30, 2016, 4:52 am

    please stop the tunnels protect our farmers and fisheries

  • Patricia Valdez
    March 30, 2016, 4:50 pm

    You aren’t fooling anyone ,you have two major fracking operations at the southern end of these proposed tunnels and you want to destroy an ecosystem that’s BILLIONS of years old to drill for more oil.We are finally coming to an end of a petro leum based economy and it’s stupid and short sighted to try to manipulate taxpayers against their own best interest.I have never believed in separating Northern California from Southern California and creating two separate states,however,if this is the only way to stop these tunnels maybe we have to revisit that movement.

  • Sharon Rhodes
    March 30, 2016, 10:39 pm

    Enough is enough leave the delta alone. Does the government need to stir up
    The delta and disturb things that have been doing just fine with out interference.
    No tunnels we love our fish the way and where they are!

  • March 30, 2016, 11:49 pm

    Stop destroying the environment and wildlife!

  • March 30, 2016, 11:53 pm

    Stop destroying nature and wildlife for profit!

  • Christine Rich
    March 31, 2016, 1:08 pm

    The problem right now is water shortage and miss management of resources; the tunnels will do nothing to fix that. California should be in a constant state of water conservation and as stewards of the earth it is our responsibility to save and protect the delta, its estuaries and the ecosystem they make up. Those elements are vital to our ultimate survival and well being.

  • Patricia Valdez
    March 31, 2016, 6:22 pm

    I get so frustrated at being exploited !This whole water discussion is manufactured.We have always had floods and droughts,it’s the natural order.Where we are always getting used is by private enterprise committing themselves to manufacturing “The Answer”by selling us what they want us to believe.I remember being upset in the 80’s about “designer” water.First the news tells us there is something “wrong” with our water then the opportunists tell us to buy “better “water then 10-20 years down the line nobody is monitoring local water issues because they think they are not affected because they “buy” their water .Well darn if you can buy buy bottled water then by golly,you can afford to pay 40% more for your tap water right?Never mind what leeches into your water from plastics.Now because you buy water in the bottle,suddenly it’s okay to tap into ground water in a drought and suck out the natural resource and claim that water shouldn’t even be thought of as a human right.So,if your water can be so manipulated,why not go for the whole enchilada and just take what you want and never mind you are destroying what took 6,ooooooooo years to create.We are all connected to these issues and we need to grow up and take some responsibility for our consumer mentality .

  • Gerald Cummings
    March 31, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Enough is enough—-no tunnels.

  • evi
    April 1, 2016, 4:51 am

    Save our Delta no tunnels!!!

  • Jill parris
    April 1, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Please do not build the tunnels. CALIFORNIA needs the estuaries for many diverse reasons. Protect Our Waters! Stop the Greed!

  • Salvador Alvarado
    April 1, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Stop the tunnel project!! Farmer & fisherman

  • Kathleen Warren
    April 4, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Save the Delta / No Tunnels !!!
    The water flows where it does for a reason. The Delta & Wetlands have an important function toward the health of the Whole Bay Area.

  • Mark
    April 4, 2016, 9:10 pm

    If you think that LESS water passing through the Delta is better for the environment, you are either uneducated, bought-and-paid-for by San Joaquin Valley mega-agricultural interests, or simply in denial of natural resources science. STOP THE TUNNELS before they turn the Delta into a cesspool.