Today's Law As Amended

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SB-268 Ballot measures: local taxes.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 9400 of the Elections Code is repealed.

9400.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this chapter applies to all bond issues proposed by a county, city and county, city, district, or other political subdivision, or by any agency, department, or board thereof, the security for which constitutes a lien on the property for ad valorem taxes within the jurisdiction and the proposal for which is required to be submitted to the voters for approval.

SEC. 2.

 The heading of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 9400) of Division 9 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

CHAPTER  5. Local Tax or Bond Measures

SEC. 3.

 Section 9400 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

9400.
 (a) For each tax measure specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 13119, a statement shall be mailed to the voters, or electronically submitted to the voters pursuant to Section 13300.7, with the sample ballot for the election to authorize the tax. The statement required by this section shall be filed with the elections official conducting the election not later than the 88th day before the election, and it shall include all of the following:
(1) A concise description of the purpose of the tax proposed, including how the bond proceeds or tax revenue will be spent to benefit the community.
(2) If the measure imposes a tax with more than one tax rate, a list of all the tax rates that would apply and a description of how the tax will be imposed.
(3) A plain language description of any mechanism that would cause the tax rate or rates to vary over time.
(4) An explanation of the duration of the tax stating whether the tax expires on a specific date, expires upon final payment of indebtedness, does not expire until further action by the voters or the local governing body, or expires as the result of some other action or occurrence.
(5) The best estimate from official sources of the average annual dollar amount of taxes that would be collected during the ten-year period following the initial levy.
(6) If the tax measure would authorize the issuance of bonds, the security for which constitutes a lien on the property for ad valorem taxes, all the disclosures required by Section 9401.
(b) For purposes of an election to approve a tax under the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982, Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 53311) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code, or a charter city’s authority under Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, the statement required by subdivision (a) may consist entirely of a complete copy of the report and resolution of formation described in Sections 53321.5 and 53325.1 of the Government Code, or, in the case of a charter city, the applicable charter or ordinance provision.

SEC. 4.

 Section 9401 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9401.
 (a) In connection with each bond issue specified in Section 9400, a  proposed by a county, city and county, city, school district, community college district, or special district, or by any agency, department, or board thereof, the security for which constitutes a lien on the property for ad valorem taxes within the jurisdiction and the proposal for which is required to be submitted to the voters for approval, a  statement shall be mailed to the voters  voters, or electronically transmitted to the voters pursuant to Section 13300.7,  with the sample ballot for the bond election. The statement required by this section shall be filed with the elections official conducting the election not later than the 88th day before the election, and shall include all of the following:
(1) The best estimate from official sources of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund that bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors. The estimate shall also identify the final fiscal year in which the tax is anticipated to be collected.
(2) The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund that bond issue, and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors.
(3) The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold. The estimate may include information about the assumptions used to determine the estimate.
(b) In addition, the statement may contain a declaration of policy of the legislative or governing body of the applicable jurisdiction, proposing to use revenues other than ad valorem taxes to fund the bond issue, and the best estimate from official sources of these revenues and the reduction in the tax rate levied to fund the bond issue resulting from the substitution of revenue.
(c) The words “tax rate” as used in this chapter means tax rate per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation on all property to be taxed to fund a bond issue described in Section 9400.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9403 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9403.
 Failure to comply with this chapter shall not affect the validity of any bond issue following the sale and delivery of the bonds. either of the following: 
(a) A bond issue following the sale and delivery of the bonds.
(b) A tax following its initial imposition.

SEC. 6.

 Section 9405 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9405.
 Whenever (a)  If  the elections official is required to mail a statement, as provided in Section 9400 or  9401, only one copy of the statement shall be mailed to a postal address where two or more registered voters have the same surname and the same postal address. address, or the statement may be transmitted electronically pursuant to Section 13300.7. 
(b)  This section shall  only apply applies  if the legislative body adopts this section and the election official conducting the election approves of the procedure.

SEC. 7.

 Section 9406 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

9406.
 An estimate or projection made in the statement required pursuant to Section 9400 or 9401 shall not restrict the tax imposed in accordance with the measure.

SEC. 8.

 Section 13119 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13119.
 (a) The ballots used when voting upon a measure proposed by a local governing body or submitted to the voters as an initiative or referendum measure pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000), including a measure authorizing the issuance of bonds or the incurrence of debt,  9000)  shall have printed on them the words “Shall the measure (stating the nature thereof) be adopted?” To the right or below the statement of the measure to be voted on, the words “Yes” and “No” shall be printed on separate lines, with voting targets. If a voter stamps a cross (+) in  marks  the voting target after  next to  the printed word “Yes,” his or her  the voter’s  vote shall be counted in favor of the adoption of the measure. If he or she stamps a cross (+) in  a voter marks  the voting target after  next to  the printed word “No,” his or her  the voter’s  vote shall be counted against its adoption.
(b) If (1)  Except for a measure described in paragraph (2), if  the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on an estimate of  the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.
(2) If the proposed measure imposes or increases a tax with more than one rate, or authorizes the issuance of bonds, the jurisdiction submitting the measure to the voters, or, in the case of an initiative measure, the proponents, shall, not later than 88 days before the election, inform the elections official conducting the election which of the following shall be included in the statement of the measure:
(A) The estimate, rate, and duration information described in paragraph (1).
(B) The phrase “See voter guide for tax rate information.”
(3) If the elections official is informed that the statement of the measure shall include the phrase contained in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2), the requirements of Section 9400 shall apply to the measure, and the seven words of the phrase shall count toward any word limit that applies to the statement of the measure.
(c) The statement of the measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure, and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
(d) Any estimate or projection included in the statement of the measure pursuant to this section, or included in the statements required pursuant to Section 9400 or 9401, shall not restrict the tax imposed in accordance with the measure.
(d) (e)  For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings: definitions apply: 
(1) “Local governing body” means the governing body of a city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county, or district, including a school district.
(2) “Target” means an object designated as the aim for a voter to make a vote selection.
SEC. 9.
  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SEC. 10.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that elections officials prepare ballot materials for the March 3, 2020, primary election in compliance with this act.