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Effective July 1, 2020, Sewer

Billing is Moving to Property Tax

Invoices

  • What has changed?

    The City of El Cajon was the last city in our region to issue its own sewer bills and will now be billing for sewer services on an annual basis as part of the County of San Diego property tax bill, versus six bi-monthly bills per year.

  • What do I need to do?

    Please pay your current bill for sewer service via the website link below for billings through July 1, 2020. The annual property tax bill, which now includes billing for sewer service, will be mailed by the County of San Diego in September 2020. If you pay your property tax bill through an escrow account, you can contact your bank / account holder to withhold enough funds to cover the sewer services added to the property tax bill. You can review your estimated annual sewer service bill through the “Sewer Account Lookup Tool”. Additional details are provided for renters, HOAs and any customers whose ability to pay their current sewer bill is affected by COVID-19 at: www.cityofelcajon.us/sewer.

  • Without an impound account, paying my sewer charges will create a significant financial burden. What can you do to help?

    If you do not have an impound account, and will face significant challenges in paying your sewer charges with your property taxes (2 equal payments), please contact our office for assistance. You can reach us at 619-441-6203, or by email at sewerbilling@cityofelcajon.us.

 FAQs - Tax Roll Transition

  • How do I check my bill once the City goes to tax roll and know that I’m getting charged correctly? (especially as tenants)

    A letter was sent on 6/23/2020, with the annual amount of sewer charges being added to the property tax bill. The annual charge can be divided by 6 to compare to previous bi-monthly bills. Additionally, the new enhanced sewer lookup tool can be used any time of year to obtain the annual charge for your property. Please visit www.cityofelcajon.us/sewer.

  • How will this affect my escrow impound account?

    The City recommends notifying your escrow company of the additional amount being added to your tax bill. This will allow the escrow company to begin collecting sufficient monthly funds.

  • How will this affect my renters?

    Property owners will collect sewer charges directly from renters, as warranted through rental agreements.

  • I am an HOA where all the units own their property. We bill them their water, sewer, and trash in their HOA fees. How will the bill be calculated for our usage for the year when all units share one single watermeter and have been based on consumption?

    For this first year’s calculation, there was not sufficient data available to appropriately split the sewer charges per individual condo owner within the property.Therefore, instead of putting sewer billing on the tax roll for this first year a majority of all HOAs, mobile home parks, and condominiums will receive a single annual invoice in September 2020 with 2 pay-by dates for the for the 12-month billing period from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021. We request that each HOA fill out an online questionnaire at https://www.cityofelcajon.us/your-government/departments/hoa-questionnaire.This form will assist with faster communication from HOA customers to the City and from the City to customers, in addition to helping the City determine the proper billing method for future invoices..

  • I moved-out in June, how will I be receiving a final pro-rated bill? How would it affect me as a renter vs owner?

    Renters will have to work with their landlords to pay their share of the annual sewer charges. Owners who sell their property will have to work with their escrow company to pay their share of the annual sewer charges.

  • I’m a landlord having tenants move out right before the tax roll, how would I get my final bill?

    A letter is being sent by 6/23/2020, which provides the annual amount of sewer charges being added to the property tax bill. This annual amount can be divided by 12 to obtain the monthly amount to be collected from tenants.

  • If I haven’t paid my bill due to being affected by COVID-19, will my previous balance be transferred to the tax roll?

    All sewer bills with bill dates prior to June 30, 2020 will still need to be paid to the City. However, to help ease any potential immediate financial burden that customers may experience as a result of COVID-19, the City has suspended penalty practices at this time. Be advised, late fee charges on unpaid sewer balances will resume beginning January 2021.
  • If I move out/sell my house in the middle of the tax roll year and paid in full, how will this affect me? Will I be refunded?

    The division and credit of any tax bill payments, including the future sewer fees, is part of the process already conducted during the final calculation of escrow fees. Make sure to provide a copy of the notification of charges to escrow to ensure they have all the information they need.

  • The meter number listed on my Tax Roll billing notice does not match the meter number on my Helix water bill. What should I do?

    No need for action! The meter number used for the Tax Roll billing notices are expected to be different from what is listed on the Helix water bills.  The number listed on the notice is the Helix’ “Location” number as the “Meter” number, with the addition of 01 at the end.  
  • What does "FY" on the Tax Roll billing notice mean?

    FY stands for fiscal year. The fiscal year being referenced in the tax roll notice is fiscal year 2019-2020, which includes dates from June 30, 2019 to July 1, 2020.
  • What is "Flow"?

    Flow is how usage is billed.  Flow is measured in units.  100 CF (Cubic Feet) = 748 gallons = 1 unit

    If your flow rate is 10, you are using 10 units, which is the equivalent of 7480 gallons.

  • What is the prorated amount listed on my Tax Roll billing notice?

    For this first year’s calculations and tax bill, there is a prorated charge included for a portion of the last 8 weeks of FY19-20. All notices clearly annotate the breakdown.

    Because of contractual limitations, the City’s billing process had to have a clear end date, not to exceed July 1, 2020. There are 17 different billing cycles, developed from the timing of the water meter reads provided by Helix Water District and Padre Dam Municipal Water district. A portion of the billing period that occurs between May 8, 2020 and June 30, 2020, for which a next regular reading wouldn’t occur until after June 30, 2020, will be listed as a prorated charge for the sewer service that was not yet billed.

    These prorated amounts were determined using the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 billing rates. The date of the previous regular meter read occurring in May or June 2020 determines the beginning of the billing cycle and the rate of proration.

  • Will my water bill be included on the Tax Roll?

    No.  The tax roll will only include your property taxes and the sewer service charge.  The sewer service charge will be listed as a fixed assessment charge on your invoice.
  • With the change to the property tax bill will my credit balance carry forward, or can I request a refund of the over payment?

    No balances will carry to the future assessments. The Finance department will be reviewing all accounts and refund checks will be issued as warranted for the final credit balance. Credit reviews will occur after 07/14/2020 when, final action is given by City Council. We ask for all customers to be patient with this process; it will take an unknown number of weeks to fully review all sewer accounts, process credits, and mail checks after the City Council has approved the final assessments.

FAQs - Sewer Billing prior to July 1, 2020

  • Can I pay my sewer bill and my water bill with one check?

    No. The City of El Cajon is a separate entity from the water districts; therefore, the bills need to be paid separately.

  • Due to COVID-19, I am unable to pay my bill. What options are available to me?

    The City of El Cajon is committed to ensuring the continuity of its services.  Taking into consideration the health and well-being of the community and to help ease any potential immediate financial burden that customers may experience as a result of COVID-19:

    Any amount not paid will be added to the next bill, without penalty or interest.

    Please be advised, late fee charges on unpaid sewer balances will resume beginning January 2021.

  • How can I find my sewer account balance?

    To find your sewer account balance email sewerbilling@cityofelcajon.us, TEXT (619) 333-6618, or click here.
  • How can I find my sewer account number?

    To request your 19-digit account number you can TEXT (619) 333-6618, email sewerbilling@cityofelcajon.us, or complete this form

  • How can I pay my bill?

    You can explore the different options for paying your bill here.

  • How can I request a Release of Lien?

    To request a Release of Lien, please email Finance@cityofelcajon.us.

  • How can I set up Auto-Pay or Bill Pay through my bank?

    ***********AUTO-PAY IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE***********

    In December of 2019, the company that the City contracted with for sewer billing and customer service, Fathom, unexpectedly went out of business. With Fathom, customers were able to login to their customer portal, view their balance, transaction history, pay their bills, set up auto-payment options, and much more. Since this company is no longer in service, those features are no longer available.

    BILL PAY

    To set-up a new bill payee with your bank, please use the following information:

    City of El Cajon

    P.O Box 51943

    Los Angeles, CA 90051

    619-873-1660

    *Please note that it is best to DELETE the old payee information and create an entirely new payee account to ensure your sewer payments are delivered to the City.

  • How do I request a copy of my sewer invoice?

    To request a copy of your sewer invoice, email sewerbilling@cityofelcajon.us or complete this form.
  • How do I start or end my service?

    All Move In and Move Outs are processed based on files received from Helix Water District and Padre Dam Municipal Water District for the associated water accounts.

    All sewer accounts must be opened or closed by opening or closing a water account with the corresponding water district.  To find water district information click here.

  • How often do I get a sewer bill?

    Sewer is billed every two months.

  • I'm going on vacation, what can I do about my sewer bill?

    For most single-family residential customers, typically your sewer charge remains the same amount for a twelve (12) month period beginning with your July/August bill and ending with your May/June bill. You can always prepay your account before you leave on vacation. Pre-payments can be made by calling Customer Care at (619) 873-1660 or in the Finance Department, located in City Hall at 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon. Please note your customer and account numbers on the check.

  • Payments that I made are showing as a past due balance on my account. How can I remedy this?

    To assist us in resolving this issue, please submit the following form and upload a copy of the cleared check that you or your bank issued.

    If a copy of the cleared check is unavailable, please provide us with one of the following alternative documents:

    •Copy of the bank debit/statement showing details of the transaction

    •Any other proof of payment showing the payee and address of where the payment was mailed

     You will be notified by email if the credit is approved or if additional information may be requested.

    To ensure that your future sewer payment are delivered to the City, please contact your bank to create a new payee with the following information:

    City of El Cajon

    P.O Box 51943

    Los Angeles, CA 90051

    619-873-1660

  • What are the Current Sewer Rates?

    On October 8, 2019, El Cajon City Council adopted new sewer service rates effective November 22, 2019. You can see the current Sewer Service Rates on the Sewer Rates page.

  • What is the base charge that is shown on my bill?

    The base charge is used to pay “fixed” costs; those expenditures that are not affected by sewage flow such as regular sewer line maintenance. The base charge for residential customers is $24.86 and for non-residential customers is $33.90 per bi-monthly billing. For multi-family residential units, the base charge is $24.86 for the first dwelling unit plus $12.43 per additional dwelling unit. 

  • What is the Late Payment Policy?

    Effective May 2020

    The City of El Cajon is committed to ensuring the continuity of its services.  Taking into consideration the health and well-being of the community and to help ease any potential immediate financial burden that customers may experience as a result of COVID-19:

     The City will continue to send sewer bills in May and June but customers can choose to pay part of it or none at all.  The amount not paid will be added to the next bill, without penalty or interest.

     Please be advised, late fee charges on unpaid sewer balances will resume beginning January 2021.

     

    **The regular late payment policy is suspended due to the City Council's response to the COVID-19 pandemic**

    Your sewer bill is due 28 days from the issue date. Late payments are assessed a 10% penalty and accrue interest at 1.5% per month. If you are paying your bill on or near the due date, it is recommended that you pay your bill in person to avoid the late penalty. Please note that payments through the City’s website may take up to 3 business days to post to your account.

    Due dates are based on current water meter reads that are provided by the water districts (Helix Water District or Padre Dam Municipal Water District) and cannot be modified.

    Payment arrangements cannot be accommodated and a lien is placed on property for delinquent balances.  Unpaid delinquent amounts are added to the owner’s property tax bill.

  • Why did my bill increase?

    On October 8, 2019, El Cajon City Council adopted new sewer service rates effective November 22, 2019. You can see the current Sewer Service Rates here.

    In addition, Fixed Winter Averages (FWA) also went into affect in November, an occurrence that usually happens in July. 

    For a sample of how your bi-monthly sewer bill is calculated click here.