Having read and reread the previous post on this topic, I still come back to being very offended by the way the CCCSD has found a way to make someone pay them a charge that they failed to determine needed correction 10 years ago. The current status of Dick and Jane’s building permit is it is being help hostage by the CCCSD until the property owner meets with the CCCSD. They intend to force the property owner to accept responsibility and accept the bill for $40,000.00.
What I want to know is why? Why are they not going after the previous business owner to collect the debt. Actually, why are they even trying to collect on this anyway? If it was legal to make the charges to the consumer 10 years ago, why didn’t they do so. Why didn’t they catch the business modification when the building the kitchen permit was issued? Why did it take 10 years for the issue to surface in the first place? Isn’t this a case of negligence on behalf of the CCCSD? After all, they could have easily developed a way to ensure business charged appropriately a long time ago. There is something very wrong about forcing someone to pay a debt not their own, and the idea of “back-charging” a debt for a service that you cannot verify the charges valid is really offensive.
Sewer usage is not metered or monitored to track how much sewer usage a business has.. So even if they say you should be charged a specific rate on their estimated Capacity Usage system, how do you know if you actually use anywhere near that figure?
The mere fact that a Government agency can literally force a person to pay a debt not of their own making is no less than strong-arm robbery. How can a Government agency find this in any way acceptable under any circumstances? And, how can a government agency take such action without serving some sort of notice and provision of the necessary accounting? It simply seems wrong, smells wrong, feels wrong, and tastes wrong.
County: “You owe me $40,000.00 for your sewer service 10 years ago to present.”
Business Owner: “But I just bought the business.”
County: “ Just bring me the money in small unmarked bills.”
Business Owner: “Do I get any documentation?”
County: “ You don’t need no stinking documentation, just bring the money.”
What a bunch of crap. What kind of government do we have that they can get away with this without people going nutz about it.
Here is another consideration: A business calculates every cost and expense to ascertain how much the business has to charge for it’s products to make a profit. How many business in the County are selling their products for a price that will not provide any profit at all if subjected to the unknown back-charges the CCCSD is trying to impose upon Dick and Jane? Consider the changes to taxes collected by the County if there are a lot of business that will be caught in this trap? Taxes are based on profit, if you eliminate a significant portion of that profit by back-charges will that not change the amount of taxes due? Now multiply that by 500 or 5000 dependent on how many business are using CCCSD services unchecked for the past or future years. Somebody in the County Tax Assessor’s Office should probably consider the actual impact to the County.
I have no doubt when the Ordinances were approved into the County Codes, that the intent was never to do this to anyone, so why are the County Administrators allowing this to happen? If you live in Contra Costa County in California, beware the CCCSD is going to get you . . .