Effective July 1, 2021, single-family residential wastewater service charges have moved to your property tax bill.
On April 13, 2021, City Council conducted a Public Hearing on the collection of single-family residential wastewater service charges on the Ventura County Property Tax Roll. City Council unanimously approved to move forward with the collection of single-family residential wastewater service charges on the fiscal year(July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)'s property tax roll.
The list of parcels affected by this change in billing method can be found by clicking the following link:
Questions and Answers:
Q. What changed?
A. The City of Thousand Oaks no longer directly issues single-family residential wastewater service bills. Charges for wastewater services are collected on an annual basis (July 1st through June 30th) as part of the Ventura County property tax bill. This will be a separate line-item charge on your tax bill with the City's phone number listed adjacent to the charge. This is not a new charge, just a different way of collecting the same amount due. Apartments, commercial properties, industrial properties, and duplexes (or greater) are still billed directly by the City of Thousand Oaks.
Q. What do I need to do?
A. Wastewater charges will arrive via the annual property tax bill. Property owners who pay property taxes through two annual installments, will pay wastewater charges as a part of the property tax bill due date in December and in April. The wastewater charges will cover service from July 1st through June 30th.
Property owners that pay property taxes through an impound account may need to adjust their monthly payments to cover wastewater charges. If you pay your property tax bill through an escrow account, you are encouraged to contact your bank / mortgage account holder to withhold enough funds to cover the wastewater services added to the property tax bill.
Q. Why did the City make this change?
A. Cost-savings. Collecting residential wastewater charges on the secured property tax roll results in a significant cost-savings for the City. The City’s overall wastewater utility billing expenses will be reduced by an estimated $72,500 per year (postage and materials), as well as reduce an additional 3,000 hours of staff time per year spent processing the bills and performing account maintenance. This savings would allow staff to begin analyzing the feasibility of moving from bi-monthly to monthly water billing which will help in the City’s overall water conservation efforts. Also, customers requesting City services or customer service will realize increased productivity and customer response time by staff.
Q. How will I know if there is a future a rate increase?
A. Pursuant to the California Constitution Article XIIID (also known as “Proposition 218”), the City is required to notify property owners of proposed changes to property-related fees such as water and wastewater services. Any proposed changes to utility rates would follow legal requirements; including property owner notifications.
Q. I’m planning on selling my home. How do I notify the City to stop my wastewater service charges?
A. Single-family residential customers no longer need to contact the City to start or stop wastewater service. Appropriations of property tax bills amongst owners happens automatically when a change of ownership is recorded with the County. The division and credit of any tax bill payments, including the future wastewater fees, is part of the process already conducted during the final calculation of escrow fees.
Q. Isn't the wastewater service charge actually a tax on my property?
A. No. Article 13D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218, passed by initiative in November 1996) differentiates between taxes, assessments, and property related fees. Proposition 218 provides that the charge imposed for wastewater is a “fee” rather than a “tax.” State law allows fees to be shown on property tax bills and collected with property taxes.
Q. How will this affect my renters?
A. Property owners will need to collect wastewater charges directly from renters, as warranted through rental agreements.
Q. If I haven’t paid my wastewater bill due to being affected by COVID-19, will my previous balance be transferred to the tax roll?
A. All wastewater bills with service charges prior to July 1, 2021 will still need to be paid to the City; however, to help ease any potential immediate financial burden that customers may experience as a result of COVID-19, customers with accounts in arrears are encouraged to contact the City's Finance department at 805-449-2201 to discuss a payment plan.
Q. Will this affect my water bill?
For more information, please contact us at 805-449-2201 or by email at email@example.com.