City Announces Tax Hike for Property Owners to Pay for Mosquito Abatement

Published : Monday, October 16, 2017 | 7:15 PM

The City of Pasadena will start collecting an annual benefit assessment charge as part of the property tax bill for residential and commercial properties in the City, to pay for mosquito-abatement services provided by the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The Pasadena City Council has approved the City’s annexation into the SGV Vector Control District, and has also approved a joint tax transfer agreement between the District, Los Angeles County and the City, which will mean the benefit assessment charge collected by the City will go to the Vector Control District.

In a letter sent out to about 32,000 property owners in Pasadena, Pasadena Public Health Director Michael Johnson said the annual benefit assessment charge will be $11.98 for residential properties, and up to $20 for commercial properties. Collection will start when the annexation process is complete, Johnson said.

“Once the annexation is complete, the Vector Control District will conduct mosquito surveillance by trapping and testing mosquitoes for diseases, target mosquito-breeding areas (including unmaintained swimming pools), treat storm drains and gutters, deliver mosquito fish to residents upon request, and use specialized equipment to combat mosquito populations,” Johnson said.

The annexation process includes a 30-day protest period during which anyone who does not agree with the annexation and with the annual benefit assessment charge can file a protest with the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO). The protest period started on September 13 and any protest must be submitted not later than November 8.

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Last year, the City Council resolved that transferring vector control responsibilities to the SGV Vector Control District was necessary to reduce the threat of vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Zika virus.

Even before annexation, the SGV Vector Control District has deployed personnel and equipment in Pasadena to actively monitor mosquito presence in the City. In June, their monitoring traps were instrumental in the discovery of eggs of the Aedes albopictus mosquito, commonly called the Asian tiger mosquito, marking the first time the small, daytime-biting mosquito – capable of carrying the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses – was detected in Pasadena.

The Pasadena Public Health Department said the Vector Control District is staffed with scientists and experts in entomology, ecology and vector education, who can provide educational outreach at public events, distribute printed information to households and conduct youth education at schools. Their facility also includes an in-house testing laboratory for rapid identification of vector-borne disease.

In the event of a significant disease transmission in Pasadena, trained emergency response teams from the Vector Control District will operationalize outbreak response protocols defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PPHD said.





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