Douglas Bruce is on a roll.
Coming off an Election Day victory, the author of ballot initiative 300 said today that he will call on the City Council to put an immediate end to the Stormwater Enterprise.
Bruce also said people who haven’t paid their stormwater bills shouldn’t have to pay, an opinion that City Hall doesn’t share.
“Nobody should be forced to pay anything that’s illegal,” he said. “I told people for the past year-and-a-half, ‘Don’t pay. It’s illegal. You won’t get your money back.’”
Council members, some of whom previously maintained that issue 300 didn’t affect the Stormwater Enterprise, agreed Monday to phase out the so-called “rain tax,” saying it was the intent of the voters.
Some council members said they want to end the enterprise as quickly as possible, but that it needs to be done in an orderly fashion because of ongoing drainage projects.
“It would be extremely irresponsible if we just cancelled all on-going storm water work when Issue 300 provides for the phasing out of the work,” Councilman Bernie Herpin wrote in response to an editorial about the council’s decision.
Bruce vehemently disagrees with Herpin and council members, saying the ballot language calls for the immediate end of the Stormwater Enterprise.
The ballot language stated: “Hereafter, all loans, gifts, and subsidies between an enterprise and the city or another enterprise are prohibited.”
“It doesn’t mean eight years from hereafter. It means, from now on, loans gifts and subsidies between an enterprise and the city are prohibited,” he said.
Hereafter means “from now forward,” Bruce added. “Hereafter means the effective date of the passage. I’m going to call the clerk, but it’s my recollection that it was 10 days after the election, which would be this Thursday.”
Bruce said the council would be wrong to phase out the Stormwater Enterprise over a long period.
“After fighting this for 8 years, I didn’t write a proposal to give them another eight years of a blatantly illegal tax that took away our right to vote. They’re getting even more preposterous than saying that it doesn’t even apply at all,” he said.