Home > Uncategorized > Arcata to Vote in November on Taxing “Egregious” Electric Usage (Grow Houses)

Arcata to Vote in November on Taxing “Egregious” Electric Usage (Grow Houses)

The Arcata Eye has printed the text of Measure I, a local electricity tax, which will be on Arcata’s November ballot.

The whereas-es never mention the indoor pot industry.  The 45% tax would apply only to households that use 600% of PG&E’s baseline electricity amount, or about three times as much as the typical household.  The measure includes an exception for users who have “life threatening illnesses or compromised immune systems, and therefore receive an extended Medical Baseline Allowance from an Electrical Corporation.”

According to the text of the measure, about 7% of Arcata’s electricity users would be affected by the tax — that 7% uses about six and a half million kWh per year.  Arcata’s usage, according to the measure, rose by nine million kWh per year between assessments done in 2000 and 2006, and that represented a 24% increase in electricity use per person.  That’s a lot of Christmas lights.

  1. August 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    The measure includes an exception for users who have “life threatening illnesses or compromised immune systems, and therefore receive an extended Medical Baseline Allowance from an Electrical Corporation.”

    This should not be a problem, recognizing that the 215 card was supposedly for medical purposes, surely the same doctors that issued the cards can state it is needed because of life-threatening illnesses – LOL

    On the serious side, Arcata already has a high cost of living regarding rents because of the student population, and an increase in the electric bill will not change this, but add. Hopefully, older buildings are brought up to today’s standards of wiring and insulation, yes?

  2. HUUFC
    August 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Maybe rents are high because houses are being used to grow dope instead of human habitation.

  3. Mitch
    August 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

    This will probably be harder to game than a 215 card; the requirements for an extended Medical Baseline Rate seem more objective than those for a 215 card:


    People will probably game any law, but I’d bet the doctors could be prosecuted for fraud if every one of their Arcata depression patients turns out to have special heating requirements.

  4. Walt
    August 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    If the city can find out individual electric usage, wouldn’t that be enough probable cause to issue a search warrant? Or is this to allow Arcata to get the info from PG&E?

  5. tyronebone@hotmail.com
    August 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Smoke crack, itz da jizzum! You wont pay to pg&e just ME!

  6. SNaFU
    August 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    PG&E wants to be liked as a big *’conglomerate’ and not get involved in being a snitch or whistle blow on abusive power users. Chicken Shits!
    (*That’s redefined as ‘corporations’ in morons terms.)

  7. August 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    What’s next?

  8. Labtech
    August 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Fair enough, since the growers pay no taxes and use all our services.

  9. Scott
    August 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    they’ll just move outside city limits and get back on the CARE program.

  10. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    The BOS and other city councils can enact the same ordinance – and should.

  11. Jack Sherman
    August 6, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Great precedence!

    If we assessed fees for subdivisions based upon their actual impacts on sewer and traffic it would have been a deterrent to 30 years of (“criminal”) building beyond infrastructure capacity!

    It would be an incentive for affordable in-fill development for the 75% of local incomes that cannot qualify for McMansions….but must pay the explosive water/sewer bills required to accommodate “criminal” sprawl! And our streets wouldn’t be among the most dangerous to walk, bike or drive in the entire state!

    Oh, that’s right….the development community dominates local campaign contributions….Humboldt County’s #1 censored story.

  12. Just Upper-Middle Class
    August 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Let’s put a camera in every house so the government can see all the crime and arrest all the criminals. Law abiding citizens have nothing to hide.

  13. Ponder z
    August 6, 2012 at 11:33 am

    So, these growers want government subsidised power to grow weed? And most dont pay taxes on the weed they sell? It sounds like I am paying for these grow operations and getting nothing in return. I would not do so willingly. I am being robbed. Just like a home invasion to steel the very weed I pay for you to grow.

  14. firesidechet
    August 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Is this some kind of hot tub tax?

  15. Eric Kirk
    August 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Scott :

    they’ll just move outside city limits and get back on the CARE program.

    Works for me if I live in Arcata.

  16. 713
    August 7, 2012 at 6:17 am

    What does that mean JS “beyond capacity”? I see you write that and the sutff about 75% of people can’t qualify for McMansions frequently, as if it is the root of all problems. It doesn’t make sense to me. What makes you think infill is cheaper than “McMansions” – and where are these, by the way? The developers pay to extend the services and build the roads. The houses on the edges of towns are on larger lots, but that’s supposedly smart growth, isn’t it? High density in the middle and lower as you get away from the center?

    The reason many of the sewer rates are going up is because they changed the rules for the treatment plants, necessitating upgrades, not the cost of adding so called McMansions. How would the sewer processing cost more or less based on lot size?

  17. Plain Jane
    August 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Extending the services to their properties doesn’t increase the capacity of water and sewer services available, 713. Years ago developers in Cutten agreed to pay a surcharge to help fund capacity increase in the schools and public utilities but then sued and got their money back.

  18. Jack Sherman
    August 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Taxing homeowners for excessive energy use is one step away from taxing them for their excessive, unfunded impacts on infrastructure, a well-researched subject by economists and urban planners who crunch the numbers for a living.

    It doesn’t take a PhD to look up chronic sewer spills, or drive through the mazes of McMansion sprawl…4,000 s/f homes built side-to-side on the “Ways”, “Lanes”, “Drives”, and cul-de-sacs that we call “Cutten” where, for the last 30 years, (long before current treatment-plant rules were in place), Cutten’s sewage flows freely into the bay, via poorer neighborhoods along Eureka’s gulches….the same folks who cannot qualify to buy these homes, the same folks who’s kids cannot safely walk or ride bikes amid Cutten’s “funeral procession” twice daily….the same folks who’s schools are chronically underfunded.

    On Fern Street, Eureka decided to post signs warning pedestrians and cyclists to use another route to avoid Cutten’s traffic! Honestly, what would it cost to assess the newest McMansions along Fern St. and Fern Drive, to widen a road and install a sidewalk???

    Local media NEVER tells this story, NEVER making the relevant, historic, nationwide connections between political power and sprawl.

    No wonder local citizens are ignorant of the facts.

    Anyone who thinks that infill isn’t cheaper than living 10 miles outside of town, services, transportation, jobs, and entertainment, have read nothing about urban planning.

  19. 713
    August 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Which empty lots in eureka would have taken the last 30 years growth? Also, I doubt that cuttens seage flows freely into the bay. If this is a fact, call the water board.

  20. Jack Sherman
    August 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    713 is either willfully ignorant, or grossly uninformed that this issue plagues almost every city in Humboldt County….clearly, 713 is someone who has never availed themselves of Eureka’s discharge reports to the water board, the threatened lawsuits by homeowners and EPIC, subsequent fines imposed by the water board, has never read the professional reports on Eureka’s waste water infrastructure, nor has ever visited any of Eureka’s sewage lift stations on rainy days. With normal heavy rains, the gulches flow with raw sewage into the Elk River and Humboldt Bay during crab season.

    Not your fault….this town is run by the developers and no media source has the guts to routinely cover it.

    There are numerous vacant lots and buildings in this town…where are you from?

  21. 713
    August 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I looked it up and saw three violations since 2007, is that right? PJ, why would the developers have to pay for an increase in capacity to schools when they are in a declining enrollment situation? Have you heard Jefferson school? I heard they closed it due to lack to students. The schools get paid per student, FYI, so in a period of declining enrollment, what exactly would be the negative impact of bringing more students to the system?

    JS, first of all, there arent thst many empty lots in eureka. You should travel. you think adding all the people to the middle of town would somehow alleviate the capacity and traffic issues? Please explain how concentrating the sewer flows and traffic into a smaller area works to relieve congestion or spillage.

  22. Plain Jane
    August 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Your reading comprehension is deficient, 713. I said “years ago,” not last year. At the time of these special assessments to expand infrastructure (education, sewage, water and, I think, fire protection) enrollment in Cutten was increasing (lots of new houses has that effect) and even today they have more students apply than can be accepted. Putting more kids in each classroom, cutting support staff, funding for supplies and tools, sports and cultural enrichment, laying off teachers and closing schools is more about lack of money than lack of students. Laying off teachers and support staff is another bite out of the local economy, of course, and results in the layoffs of more private sector workers, etc. But isn’t it great that those developers got to charge their home buyers for the special assessments, renege on the agreements they made to get the permits and then sue our communities to get paid again? What a country!

  23. Plain Jane
    August 10, 2012 at 6:08 am

    This is a teachable moment. Do you think the developers could have built all those houses without the whole community paying for the infrastructure required, 713? Ridgewood went from septic tanks to sewer service and the people who had already paid for their septic system had to pay for the new sewer service so the developers could build houses closer together. I’m sure a good many of those developers would be incensed that anyone might think they had help to succeed, but the reality is we all do.

  24. TimH
    August 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    It has been my experience the local governments require developers to “fix” existing problems, make improvements, and the neighbors get a free ride in a lot of cases. Out in Ridgewood, were they required to hook up to sewer?

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