The City of Manhattan Beach could spend up to $3.3 million paying back its residents nine years of mistakenly collected street sweeping fees.
Last June, the city stopped charging businesses and residents street sweeping fees when their legal validity came into question. Under Proposition 218, or “Right to Vote on Taxes Act,” certain “property-related fees” had to be approved by a vote of residents before they were imposed. Former City Manager Dave Carmany then explained that city officials previously believed the street sweeping fee was not subject to the requirements of Prop. 218, but city staff had noticed the discrepancy and sought legal advice.
The city subsequently offered to refund four years’ worth to those who fill out a claim.
However, this move, then described by Carmany as “the story of a city doing the right thing,” raised some concerns among residents about why the refund didn’t include the entirety of the mistakenly-charged street sweeping fees, first imposed in 2004.
On Jan. 21, the City Council voted to refund the street sweeping charges in full, estimated at $350,000 for every year.
City staff is expected to advise with details on process.