Berkeley Can Do Better
BERKELEY CAN DO BETTER
Dear Berkeley Property Owner, April 7, 2009
The City of Berkeley has been overcharging property owners for Refuse Fees since 1996 in violation of the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, State Proposition 218. The City has been collecting revenues thirteen years without obtaining lawful consent from the voters.
Does the City plan to apologize for its misconduct and send you a refund? Far from it – they only want to increase your fees further! After an 8% increase in 2007 the City is proposing to raise rates by another 20% in 2009 with more increases to follow in 2010 and 2012.
In the next 30-60 days you will receive a fee increase notice from the City that includes the opportunity to vote. The City has rigged this election. They didn’t publish Pro-and-Con arguments to inform voters and have written the language so that NOT VOTING COUNTS AS APPROVAL of past overcharges and rate increases.
Your vote is very important! For the increase to be effective the City must get one vote beyond 50%, and non-responses are counted in their favor. The City needs to look for a more cost-effective process of managing recyclables before raising fees. Owners have responded to the crisis by reducing their waste and the city rewards this effort with contempt.
Berkeley Can Do Better is working to bring your perspective to the City Council, with the goal of establishing fees and taxes which are fair to all. Please feel free to call or email us for more information.
Robert Cabrera Marie Bowman
Robert Cabrera . is the president of the Berkeley Property Owners Association and Marie Bowman is the founder of BASTA, which successfully rolled back the proposed tax increases in the 2006 ballot