Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Water Rights “Fee” Bills Mailed; Farm Bureau Provides Protest Form

Water Rights Fee Protest

Download: Water Rights "Fee" Protest Form.pdf

Each year, the state of California sends Notices of Determination for its Water Rights Fee to holders of water right permits and licenses. As it has since the so-called “fee” was first imposed in 2003, the California Farm Bureau Federation advises water right holders to file protests when paying it.

CFBF has challenged the “fee” in court as an unconstitutional tax; the case remains before the courts.

While the issue is being resolved, CFBF recommends that bill recipients fill a protest, known as a petition for reconsideration, with the State Water Resources Control Board. Doing so could improve the chance of receiving a refund of amounts paid—with interest—if courts ultimately rule the charge to be invalid.

The SWRCB must receive the protest form, along with payment, within 30 days of the bill date.

The “fee” may be protested by printing, completing and filing with the water board the form available here, along with a copy of each Notice of Determination.

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