Sewer Only Accounts
Important Information Regarding Adding Sewer-Only Accounts to the County Tax Roll
On August 8, 2023, City Council conducted a public hearing on the collection of sewer charges for residential sewer-only accounts on the San Bernardino County Tax Roll, City Council approved to move forward and authorized staff to send the sewer charges for sewer-only accounts to the County Assessor.
There is a small number of residential sewer-only accounts within the City of Chino Hills that could be affected by this billing method change. “Sewer-only” accounts are properties that only receive sewer services through the City but receive their water services through another agency. The City bills these properties for their sewer services only. Since the City does not provide water for these accounts, if they are delinquent, there is no ability to turn off the water for non-payment. Therefore, placing the sewer fees on to the property tax roll through San Bernardino County (County Tax Roll) will ensure that the City will receive these sewer payments. This is a common practice among agencies that provide sewer services and has the benefits of simplifying the sewer billing process and providing a consistent means of collecting residential sewer charges. Commercial sewer charges are not eligible to be billed on the County Tax Roll since they are based on water consumption and are not flat fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will change?
You will no longer receive your sewer utility bill from the City of Chino Hills. Instead, your sewer utility charges will be collected on an annual basis (July 1 through June 30) and included as part of your San Bernardino County property tax bill. These charges will appear as two separate line-item charges on your tax bill: “Chino Hills Sewer Fee” and “IEUA - Sewer Treatment.” These are not new charges, just a different way of collecting the same amount due.
What do I need to do?
Sewer charges will arrive via the annual property tax bill. Property owners who pay property taxes through two annual installments will pay sewer charges as a part of the property tax bill. The sewer charges will cover service from July 1 through June 30.
Will the sewer charge be a tax on my property?
No. Proposition 218 provides that the charge imposed for sewer is a “fee” rather than a “tax.” State law allows fees to be shown on property tax bills and collected with property taxes.
How will I know if there is a future rate increase?
The City is required to notify property owners of proposed changes to property-related fees such as water and sewer services. Any proposed changes to rates would follow legal requirements, including property owner notifications.
How will this affect my renters?
Property owners will need to collect sewer charges directly from renters, as warranted through rental agreements.
What should I do if I am a tenant/renter?
Renters or leaseholders would need to make arrangements to pay sewer charges directly to the property owner as opposed to the City.
What if there is a mistake on my bill?
The City will hold a public hearing every year to present the Annual Sewer Charges Report, which will show the annual sewer charges for each parcel. Time will be allowed for property owners to contact the City to ask questions or make corrections before the charges transfer over to your property tax bill.
For additional questions, please contact the City of Chino Hills Finance Department at 909-364-2640.