Home Contra Costa County Discovery Bay Tax Rate Areas Overlap, $684k Could Become Reallocated

Discovery Bay Tax Rate Areas Overlap, $684k Could Become Reallocated

by ECT

Due to six overlapping tax rate areas by the Discovery Bay Community Services District and the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, a total of $684,246 could be potentially reallocated to one or more of the other affected taxing agencies.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will take up the issue on Tuesday where if they approve to pursue the issue, it means good news for special districts like the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District who could get a portion of the money—or all of it.

For the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, this would help the cash-strapped District who has already attempted to pass two-taxes which voters overwhelmingly rejected.

They are currently contemplating attempting a third-try while seeking temporary relief courtesy of a Task Force who are seeking final approval to fund a fourth-fire station for a period of 16-months with funds from the County and the cities of Brentwood and Oakley at a cost of $2.4 million.

Station 94 Closure

Station 94 in Knightsen closes for good in May 2015

In May of 2015, the District shuttered its Knightsen fire station. The closure came nearly two weeks after the 53.04% of the public rejected the idea of a Benefit Assessment to help supplement the District with $4.2 million for a period of 5-years to ensure a five-station model to serve the district. A majority of the public would have paid around $100 annually.

Currently, the District will now be served by just 3-stations covering 249-square miles. The stations to remain open are Brentwood (Balfour), Discovery Bay (Bixler), and Oakley (O’Hara).

In total, according to the Board of Supervisors Staff Report, 13 agencies could benefit from the reallocation which include: the County, County library, County Service Areas )-6 and L-100, Flood Control, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, Byron, Brentwood, Knightsen Union Cemetery District, Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The Board will accept or reject a number of recommendations:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE that the Discovery Bay Community Services District (DBCSD) and the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) have overlapping boundaries.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE that both the DBCSD and BBID receive funding for water service, through property taxes or fees, but only DBCSD actually provides water service to the overlap areas.
  3. ACKNOWLEDGE that the 2014 Contra Costa LAFCO Second Round Water/Wastewater Municipal Service Review indicated that it appears unlikely Discovery Bay residents will use BBID water and recommended that consideration be given to detaching the overlapping areas.
  4. ACKNOWLEDGE that there are six Tax Rate Areas (TRAs) that overlap which, if detached from BBID, would result in nearly $685,000 being reallocated to other affected taxing agencies each year.
  5. DIRECT the County Administrator to return to the Board with a resolution of application for detachment in order to initiate the detachment process, and to provide notice to Contra Costa LAFCO, San Joaquin LAFCO and other interested agencies.
  6. DIRECT the County Administrator to explore allocation of the BBID property tax revenues from the overlap areas to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD).

Should the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors elect not to pursue the detachment, then the status quo, i.e. areas of overlap between BBID and the DBCSD, would continue.

For the full staff report and supporting documents, click here and view item D.9.

Editors Note:
This is an issue that we brought up to the County Auditor-Controller when we asked about Tax Rate Areas several months ago as to why folks in the Vintage Parkway neighborhood in Oakley were paying into school districts in Brentwood, Knightsen and Byron.

Also interesting is that when you compare multiple Tax Rate Areas against one another, you will see each pays a different percentage to each allocated fund instead of the same flat rate regardless of home value.  This means people can live in the same city but pay different percentages of their property tax bill into the same pot.

When we asked the Auditor-Controller about this several months ago, his response was in the end, the percentages all equal out.

Going a step further for example… What you will see is that this Tax Rate Area (10010) in Brentwood is paying not only for the Brentwood Elementary School District, but it’s also paying into Byron Elementary (0.33631%), Knightsen Elementary (0.23996%) and Oakley Elementary (3.39866%).  What you have here is Brentwood assisting funding of other school districts and visa versa.

Here is a look at Tax Rate Area’s where we have provided it side by side for comparison purposes.

County General9.93462 %5.71466 %7.81442 %8.63219 %6.33550 %
County Library1.47537 %1.78442 %1.63362 %1.78839 %1.78260 %
CC Flood Control0.17308 %0.20934 %0.19168 %0.20987 %0.20791 %
Flood Control Z-11.64499 %1.98954 %1.82174 %1.99458 %1.98193 %
Co Water AgencyNA0.04265 %0.04257 %0.04250 %
East Co Co Fire6.47777 %7.19547 %7.11324 %13.60251%7.80181 %
CC Res Consv0.01597 %0.01934 %0.01772 %0.01929 %0.01923 %
Co Co Mosquito ABA1.52480 %1.84510 %1.69169 %0.19919 %1.80506 %
Byron  B K U Cemetery0.39414 %0.47647 %0.43654 %0.47796 %0.46932 %
BART0.62429 %0.75509 %0.69126 %0.75673 %0.75430 %
Bay Area  Air MGMNT0.18197 %0.22007 %0.20151 %0.22061 %0.21988 %
East BayRegnl Pk0.00001 %NA
East CC Irrigation4.34025%NA5.13664 %
City of Brentwood13.38022 %13.04929 %10.70163 %9.10907 %13.25044 %
Brentwd Recr & Park3.10942 %0.78995 %3.88670 %NA2.27588 %
NO Brtw RDA AMD 2NA0.00000 %0.00000 %NA0.00000 %
Liberty High14.50837 %17.45545 %15.87511 %18.02738 %18.27567 %
Brentwood Elem12.99808 %2.57949 %14.21499 %16.14218 %16.36120 %
Byron Elementary0.39464 %1.51125 %0.43241 %0.49102 %0.49807 %
Knightsen Elem0.27226 %18.61312 %0.30852 %0.35035 %0.35984 %
Oakley Elem3.99458 %3.03003 %4.36985 %4.96228 %5.03016 %
CO Supt. Schools1.80986 %2.17748 %1.98039 %2.24890 %2.27963 %


K-12 Schools ERAF15.79259 %13.06138 %14.31362 %12.08655 %12.56840 %


Co Co Comm College4.600925.53560 %5.03435 %5.71685 %5.79571 %


Comm College ERAF2.35180 %1.94481 %2.13237 %1.79977 %1.88496 %


Total100%100 %100%100%100%

To view your TRA to see where your Property Taxes go: visit

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Doug Knowles Nov 15, 2015 - 10:35 am

Please show your source for the following statement:

“In May of 2015, the District shuttered its Knightsen fire station. The closure came nearly two weeks after the 53.04% of the public rejected the idea of a Benefit Assessment to help supplement the District with $4.2 million for a period of 5-years to ensure a five-station model to serve the district. A majority of the public would have paid around $100 annually.”

How is it possible for 53.04 % of the public to reject something if less than 30% of the eligible voters actually voted? Not to mention only approx. 16% of the public voted NO.

If you are trying to call a non-vote a NO vote, you are expressing an opinion or conclusion and not a fact. The fact, is that approx. 16% of of the public that had a say actually voted no. Assuming, representing or projecting the percentage of actual voters as the percentage of the public is a disservice to the process and the fire district.

EastCountyToday Nov 15, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Perhaps you are not familiar with how elections numbers work, I would encourage you to go down and speak with county elections to decipher the figures more closely. Here is the source. If you recall the District released a breakdown in July. Per the agenda pack, it begins on page 10.

Joe Nov 15, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Mr Knowles unfortunately (or fortunately) not every eligible voter is registered to vote nor does every registered voter vote in every election The numbers are the numbers no matter how low the turnout is. Sometimes folks put items on the ballot at certain times based on projected turnouts and the political leanings of those that vote during certain conditions.

53.04% of the voters rejected the benefit assessment. That is not an opinion but a fact.

The ballot for the last benefit assessment went out to property owners and it was a complicated process for submitting it. I suspect there was a low participation because it was too complicated to participate. I suspect the reason the benefit assessment failed is that there was a higher number of property owners that were afraid of paying more taxes than there were people that understood the situation and were afraid of having fewer fire houses.

The problem is that there is very little outrage at this time. I am sure everyone involved is convinced until something happens that creates a community collectively outraged and ready to pay up nothing is going to happen to fix the fire district issues. My hope is that it will be a whole lot of people getting high insurance bills rather than a tragic incident where lives are lost.

Doug Nov 15, 2015 - 3:00 pm

Joe, first and foremost, this was not registered voter election. It was a mailed ballot of property owners of record within the fire district.

Most importantly, what you’re u say was said, “53.04% of the voters rejected the benefit assessment.” Is not was printed in the article. It was “53.04% of the “Public” rejected the assessment”.

This inaccurate.

EastCountyToday Nov 15, 2015 - 3:30 pm

voters = public. The public, being the voters, decided whether or not to support the tax or not. It’s really not that complicated.

Local Nov 16, 2015 - 9:03 am

This is where you are wrong ECT. You should take your stats based on land owners not voters. You should not even use the word voters as there were none. They were land owners representing land. They either agreed to participate in an assessment or not. This was not a vote. It was also an illegal attempt to skirt a real vote.

Joe Nov 15, 2015 - 3:51 pm

If you read my third paragraph I said the benefit assessment went out to property owners….
SOOOOO 53.04% of that voting pool that participated rejected the assessment, those ARE THE Voters (and THE PUBLIC) that they are talking about.

You are wasting time and space arguing about words.

The outcome was that the public (the voters/property owners) rejected the assessment. Period.

Local Nov 16, 2015 - 3:01 pm

So, being a property owner that does not vote nor registered to vote means nothing to the stats?
It should be clarified for the readers so they are not misled or missinformed. Cheers!

Doug Knowles Nov 15, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Public – adj. Of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community; — opposed to private.

Voters – n. One who votes.
n. One who has the right to vote.

EastCountyToday. They are not the same and implying to your readers that they are is unethical journalisum.

EastCountyToday Nov 15, 2015 - 6:49 pm


There is nothing unethical about what we stated which is the truth. 53% of the public in the last election voted against the tax. You are arguing semantics. Again, take our advice and go meet with County elections or the fire chief to go over the vote. You are entitled to your opinion, not your own facts.

Danny Gordan Nov 15, 2015 - 8:08 pm


Your comment here may just be the dumbest thing I’ve heard this week next to Bernie Sanders blaming terrorism on climate change. Out of all things on this page you pick this to argue about? Looks like you have too much time on your hands.

Using your logic, I guess the public never speaks because I don’t believe in the history of the world, there has ever been a 100% voter turnout election. I am sure if we all go look up the word troll in the dictionary, your photo will show up.

There is nothing wrong with the wording, it would appear you are either ignorant or just trying to get a response out of people. Good for ECT for being polite.

Doug Knowles. Nov 15, 2015 - 9:04 pm

Danny Gordon. You are rude and have no idea what is going on.

Ect, semantics, are not misdescribing the meaning of a statistical number.

Fact There were 43,684 ballots distributed that were able to vote.

Fact. There were 11,599 ballots cast, of which 53.04 % voted no. Or approximately 16% of everyone deemed eligible to vote actually took the time to cast a no ballot.

Fact. Voters can be those that voted, it can also be those that were eligible to vote with further clairification.

Fact. Many more than 43,684 people or public are impacted by the results. To say that 53.04% those in defined as public Rejected the assesment is not what happened.

Numbers not cited in specific context to what they actually represent are wrong. There are not a concept of semantics that make it true or acceptable.

What is so hard about reporting it truthfully ” 53.94% of those that actually cast ballots voted down the assessment” which can not be disputed or misunderstood as to its true meaning?

No one can say for a fact that any more than approximately 16% of the ballots returned by eligible voters turned down the assessment. Eligible voters does not even come close to the number of people that is defined as public within ECCFPD.

Call me all the names and insults that you wish, it will not change the fact that the statement is false.

As for made with malice intent, I can not prove it. However, I have had this same discussion before, yet ECT still insists that the statement as quoted is indeed a fact. It would not hold up in any court based on the ballot results published.

Doug Knowles Nov 15, 2015 - 9:25 pm

As the issues and potential remedies play out, those “Symantics” ECT describes, will become more and more significant. The fact that it is not even 50% of the public defined by service from ECCFPD, will be the only way that trying to vote again has a snow ball chance in hell of solving the problem.

It is important to everyone involved to be very clear when they are making statements as statistical fact, particularly since its is continually argued that if people only understood a the real facts and issues.

EastCountyToday Nov 15, 2015 - 9:43 pm


I really have to ask, do you even know who casts ballots? Is it the public? Aliens? Mickey Mouse? You still do not get it. The public decides.

It doesn’t matter if 100% voter turnout occurs, 40% or 11% votes. As long as 66.3% of the turnout approves a potential tax in 2016 it passes = the public makes the decision.

North Clayton Resident Nov 15, 2015 - 10:01 pm

Chat room fight!!!!!! This is better than the last Mayweather fight.

Doug Knowles Nov 15, 2015 - 10:27 pm

It will matter sooner than you think….. I do get it…. But saying it means something other than it does by assumption does not make it true… Unless you canvas the effected public you have no data to back up your statement. Assuming that one means the other will bite ECCFPD in the butt in the very near future. Particularly if you consider that the task force has recommended researching the possibility of yet another election for an assessment.

Less than 50,000 eligible parcel holder ballots for a district that represents over 100,000 residents? Do the math my friend.

Is 1% a lie? Nov 16, 2015 - 12:25 pm

As far as accurate reporting is concerned, this statement:
“…after the 53.04% of the public rejected the idea of a Benefit Assessment District…”
fall far short of the mark.

Public is certainly not accurate – at best the decision was made by property owners. And even then, it was a relatively small percentage of property owners and some owners’ were given more votes than others.

Why doesn’t ECT simply correct the statement by saying the vote failed 53-47, and move on? No harm in admitting a mistake.

The point of the story is the fire district may find a new source for most of the amount sought in the BAD vote. This could be a game changer.

Stan Nov 16, 2015 - 3:06 pm

Thanks goes out to Supervisor Mary Piepho for bringing this forward and trying to get more revenue to the fire district.

Local Nov 16, 2015 - 3:16 pm

1 %. I’m saying what you are saying. The public was not invited or eligible to vote. Only property owners were. This leaves a huge amount of the public not voting that if done correctly could vote.Therefore the numbers are incorrect when identifying them as the voting public, insinuating all residents in the district. Educating non property owners would be far more successfull on the third try instead of selling an illegal tax to property owners. The non property owners registered to vote far outweigh the property owners.

anon Nov 16, 2015 - 4:59 pm

Local, 1% and D Knowles, you are all missing the point and you are all looking ridiculous doing so. It was a public vote of landowners under the law, get over it!. Take a NANOSECOND and do your FRIGGEN homework. There are all types of voting protocols based on many things. Call Joe Canciamilla the clerk recorder and educate yourselves for Christ’s sake!
The three of you probably still believes the public vote for the President of the U.S gets counted towards the election. It’s doesnt. All you guys do is show up here and spew self proclaimed crap, none of which is correct.

BoS should do more Nov 16, 2015 - 7:25 pm

Interesting point from the rude guy, anon. I wasn’t clear that the vote was public, but if anon is correct that sounds like we can see how (or if) property owners voted.

It doesn’t explain his rudeness or anger, but if he is correct that may interest some people.

It still doesn’t mean that 54% of the public voted against the assessment. That’s obviously not the case.

Good for the Supervisors for looking for common sense ways to bring money to the fire districts!

anon Nov 17, 2015 - 10:32 am

@BoS should do more, sorry I hate to inform you but individual votes are not made public. In all public elections individual votes cast are private.

Isn’t it ironic that this protection is afforded so that people like you don’t try to use voter information to work whatever agenda you are pursuing. Your wording in your comments is smarmy and disturbing.

Better yet, why don’t you explain yourself or your motives? We are waiting for an honest answer.

Local Nov 17, 2015 - 2:32 pm

Anon, all this semantics about voters and votes is getting more confusing with your comment. The votes as some call it here from the last ECCFPD ballot measure are public record. For those who are still confused about the last ballot and statistics, do your homework. You will find there was a scam to pass a tax that needs voter approval to only property owners. The scam or illegal ballot was that only 50 percent needed approval instead of the mandated 2/3 rds or 67 percent required. This is the scam played on the public. See the Rodeo Fire lawsuit trying to sell the same scam. A vote and voter can be two things not one like some here sell.

jb Nov 17, 2015 - 11:46 am

So there is money for this fire district without taking more from the tax payers………..

Now the cities and county likely will be kicking in some of the revenue they have earned from the growth in tract development and the revenue related to the anomalies pointed out in this article, once corrected, will be helpful to the fire district…. if that is where it ends up.

Many have long said the fix for this fire district will not be a new add-on tax but a series of things that when combined with a more efficient/future oriented (county wide) structure will have great impact. It seems like now the series is starting materialize….but why did it take this long?

When do we get to hear who pushed the buttons to create the overlapping tax allocations? When is someone (employed or elected) ever going to be held accountable for this kind of thing? And why did those in county government who knew or should have known not step forward long ago? The elected officials who have long been in office should be embarrassed by this …but instead I fully expect they will try to take credit for their own ineptitude.

More reasons to not reelect any county or local office holders. Elect new people who feel a responsibility to the public vs. the same old crew who are more interested in maximizing their government pensions.

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