Orinda’s residents saw rises — in some cases sharp rises — in taxes and fees in 2017. Almost all of the major increases were above the rate of inflation, which in 2017 was about 1.8 percent.
In March 2017, garbage-collection fees went up 4.5 percent. The average garbage bill is now $114.00. In 2016, the average bill was $109. Ten years ago, in 2007, the average bill was $66. In 10 years, garbage rates have gone up 73 percent.
In July 2017, Orinda’s water company, the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD), raised rates 19% from July 2017 to July 2019.
Property taxes went up in 2017. Measure RR, which Bay Area voters passed in November 2016, will, from property taxes, provide $3.5 billion to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit.) The new property tax for BART will continue for almost 50 years.
In April, June, October, and November 2017, BART was plagued with crime. In the April incident 40 to 60 marauding youths attacked and robbed BART passengers at the Oakland Coliseum station. Additional crime occurred in June. In October, two people were stabbed at the Lafayette station. More BART crime took place in November.
Residents of Orinda and elsewhere in Contra Costa County were spared a sales-tax increase. In November 2016, Measure X appeared on the ballots of voters in Contra Costa County. The measure, which failed, would have raised the county sales tax by one-half percentage point. Orinda City Council Member Amy Worth actively supported Measure X. In a November 2016 robotic telephone call (robocall) to Orinda’s voters, Worth said Measure X “ . . . would provide over $24 million for Orinda in [road] improvements . . .”
In November 2017, the gasoline tax went up 12 cents a gallon. The tax on diesel fuel increased by 20 cents a gallon. Vehicle registration fees also went to higher levels.
Garbage-collection fees may rise sharply in Orinda in 2018.