Water district asks Redlands residents for tax increase

The owners of about 350 houses on the Redlands will decide on Tuesday whether to boost their property tax to keep their irrigation water flowing.

The Panorama Improvement District is asking its voters to increase their mill levy by about half so the district still can buy irrigation water from Redlands Water and Power Co. for its customers in the Panorama and Monument Village subdivisions.

“Our water costs have been slowly inching up,” said Jerry McDonough, secretary of the Panorama Improvement District.

The district has dealt with the increases by cutting into its reserves, McDonough said, but it can’t do that much longer.

“We’ve been deficit spending and we cannot continue to do that,” he said.

Panorama now has a 9.8 mill levy that produced $72,000 last year.

A home in the district with an assessed valuation of $275,000 would experience a property-tax increase of about $104, according to the Mesa County Assessor’s Office, if voters approve the increase.

The idea is not only to ensure water delivery but to rebuild the district’s cash reserves, he said.

If voters don’t approve the increase, the district would have to sell shares, meaning that there would be less water, or stop delivering water altogether.

That would leave residents to choose between doing no irrigation or irrigating with domestic water, a practice that Ute Water Conservancy District discourages with higher prices.

The question is Measure 5-D on page 7 of the ballot.


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