On Friday, August 21, 2020, the Santa Margarita Water District ("SMWD") Board of Directors unanimously approved new, lower tax rates for 2021. Customers in Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Esencia, and Sendero will see lower property tax bills for the coming year. At the same time, the District issued 30-years bonds at 2.4% interest which will also save customers throughout the District some $500,000 annually while ensuring the SMWD’s continued ability to maintain and improve its infrastructure.
"After 30 years of careful financial management and strategic refinancing over the years, we are now able to lower property taxes while maintaining our focus on capital improvements and maintenance," said Dr. Betty Olson, President of the Santa Margarita Water District Board.
The District has long had the vision to develop local, reliable, and sustainable water supplies for its customers and the region. Key efforts like Orange County’s largest recycled water reservoir (Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir) and proactively maintaining critical infrastructure - thousands of miles of pipelines and over 100 facilities – are key elements in the District’s long-term strategic planning.
The District received strong credit ratings (AA+/AA) on its new bonds, which allowed the District to minimize borrowing costs at 2.4% interest over a 30-year period. "Our sound fiscal policies and reserves positioned the District to earn this rating,” said Dan Ferons, General Manager of the District.
The District continues to work on grants and other low-cost financing options to fund the additional infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing community.