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AB-2189 Water replenishment districts: replenishment assessment.(2013-2014)

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AB2189:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2189


Introduced by Assembly Member Garcia

February 20, 2014


An act to amend Sections 60305, 60306, 60307, 60315, and 60317 of, and to add Section 60306.5 to, the Water Code, relating to water replenishment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2189, as amended, Garcia. Water replenishment districts: replenishment assessment.
Article XIII D of the California Constitution generally requires that assessments, fees, and charges be submitted to property owners for approval or rejection after the provision of written notice and the holding of a public hearing. Existing law, the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act, prescribes specific procedures and parameters for local jurisdictions to comply with Article XIII D of the California Constitution. Existing law provides notice, protest, and hearing procedures for the levying of new or increased fees and charges by local government agencies pursuant to Article XIII D of the California Constitution.
Existing law, the Water Replenishment District Act, provides for the formation of water replenishment districts and grants authority to a water replenishment district relating to the replenishment, protection, and preservation of groundwater supplies within that district. The act requires the governing board of each district to follow specified procedural processes when determining whether to assess, and the amount of, a replenishment assessment. The act requires the board to hold a public hearing to determine whether and to what extent a replenishment assessment should be levied and for the board to provide public notice of the hearing in each affected county, as specified. The act requires the board, after completing the hearing, to make certain findings and determinations. If the board determines that a replenishment assessment should be levied upon the production of groundwater from groundwater supplies, the act requires the board to fix the replenishment assessment at a uniform rate per acre-foot of groundwater produced.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions to conform the act to Article XIII D of the California Constitution. The bill would require the board to make the specified findings and determinations before holding the public hearing and would require the board to identify water-producing facilities within the district that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment and give written notice by mail to operators the owners of those water-producing facilities within the district that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment facilities, as specified. By requiring the board to make the specified findings and determinations at an earlier date, this bill would increase the duties of local officials and would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the replenishment assessment be based upon the proportion of the costs actually incurred by the assessed operator of a water-producing facility. The bill would authorize an operator owner of a water-producing facility to submit a written protest opposing the replenishment assessment and would prohibit the board from imposing the a replenishment assessment assessment that exceeds the rate of the prior fiscal year, as specified, if a majority protest exists, as specified exists. The bill would prohibit a replenishment assessment from being extended, imposed, or increased under certain conditions.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 60305 of the Water Code is amended to read:

60305.
 On or before the second Tuesday in March of each year, and provided the survey and report called for by Section 60300 has been made, the board shall do all of the following:
(a) Declare, by resolution, whether funds shall be raised to purchase water for replenishment during the next ensuing fiscal year and whether the funds shall be raised either by (a) a water charge, as provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 60245) of Part 5, (b) a general assessment, as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 60250) of Part 5, (c) a replenishment assessment as provided in this chapter, or (d) a combination of any two or more of the foregoing, and whether the funds to be raised, whether by a water charge, a general assessment, a replenishment assessment, or a combination of those means, will benefit, directly or indirectly, all of the persons or real property and improvements within the district. The resolution shall also declare whether funds shall be raised to remove contaminants from groundwater supplies during the next ensuing fiscal year or to exercise any other power under Section 60224, and whether funds for that purpose shall be raised by a replenishment assessment as provided in this chapter, with a like statement of benefit.
(b) Comply with the requirements of Section 60315.
(c) Comply with the requirements of Section 60316.

SEC. 2.

 Section 60306 of the Water Code is amended to read:

60306.
 (a) If the board, by resolution, determines that all or a portion of the funds needed to purchase replenishment water, or to remove contaminants from the groundwater supplies of the district, or to exercise any other power under Section 60224, shall be raised by the levy of a replenishment assessment, and after the board makes the findings and determinations required by Sections 60315 and 60316, the board shall immediately publish a notice that a public hearing will be held on the fourth Tuesday of May for the purpose of considering the board’s determination regarding whether and to what extent the estimated costs of purchasing replenishment water, removing contaminants from the groundwater supplies of the district, or exercising any other power under Section 60224 for the ensuing year shall be paid for by a replenishment assessment. The notice shall contain a copy of the board’s resolution, the time and place of the hearing, an invitation to all interested parties to attend and be heard in support of or opposition to the proposed assessment, the engineering survey and report, and the board’s determination, and shall invite inspection of the engineering survey and report upon which the board acted. The notice shall be published in each affected county pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code, at least 10 days before the hearing date.
(b) In addition to the notice requirements of subdivision (a), the board shall identify the water-producing facilities within the district from which the groundwater is produced as the facilities that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment, and give written notice by mail to, operators owners of those water-producing facilities within the district that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment facilities. The notice shall be provided at least 45 calendar days before the date of the hearing and shall include all of the following:
(1) The proposed rate of the replenishment assessment proposed to be imposed on each parcel water-producing facility.
(2) The basis upon which the replenishment assessment rate was calculated, as determined by the board pursuant to subdivision (f) (e).
(3) The reason for the replenishment assessment.
(4) The date, time, and location of the public hearing required pursuant to this section.

(c)To fulfill the requirements of subdivision (b), the board may send a general notice to all operators of water-producing facilities that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment and may include on the general notice the different applicable rates that apply to different areas of the district.

(d)

(c) An operator owner of a water-producing facility that would be subject to the proposed water replenishment assessment may submit a written protest to the board opposing the proposed replenishment assessment. An operator of a water-producing facility that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment may submit one written protest for each parcel with a water-producing facility under the operator’s control that would be subject to the proposed replenishment assessment Each protest shall be weighted based on the amount of groundwater produced from the water-producing facility in the prior water year, as reported pursuant to Section 60326 or 60326.1, as applicable.

(e)

(d) At the conclusion of the public hearing, the board shall consider all written protests against the proposed replenishment assessment and if a majority protest exists, the board shall not impose the a replenishment assessment that exceeds the rate of the prior fiscal year if the replenishment assessment for the prior fiscal year is in compliance with Section 60306.5. A majority protest exists if the submitted written protests against the replenishment assessment represent a majority of the number of parcels identified pursuant to this subdivision total weighted votes, determined by the total amount of groundwater produced from the water-producing facility in the prior water year, as reported pursuant to Section 60326 or 60326.1, as applicable.

(f)

(e) The board shall determine the amount of the proposed replenishment assessment that would be imposed upon the operators of water-producing facilities within the district. The assessment shall be based upon the proportion of the costs actually incurred by the assessed operator and may vary depending on the location of the parcel.

SEC. 3.

 Section 60306.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:

60306.5.
 (a) A replenishment assessment shall not be extended, imposed, or increased unless all of the following are met:
(1) Revenue derived from the replenishment assessment does not exceed the funds required by the district to purchase the replenishment water, to remove contaminants from the groundwater supplies of the district, or to exercise any other power under Section 60224 provide services to the water-producing facilities within the district, as authorized by this part.
(2) Revenue derived from the replenishment assessment is not used for any purpose other than to purchase replenishment water, to remove contaminants from groundwater supplies of the district, or to exercise any other power under Section 60224 the purposes for which the replenishment assessment was imposed, as authorized by this part.
(3) The amount of the replenishment assessment imposed upon a parcel with a water-producing facility or any person as an incident of ownership of a water-producing facility does not exceed the proportional costs of the service attributable to the water-producing facility. The proportional cost of the service attributable to the water-producing facility shall be determined either based on the basin the parcel with the water-producing facility overlies or by zones of benefit determined by the board.
(b) A replenishment assessment shall not be imposed upon a person for a service unless that service water-producing facility for a service unless that service is actually used by, or immediately available to, that person water-producing facility. Replenishment assessments based on the cost of potential or future use of a service services are not permitted.
(c) A replenishment assessment shall not be imposed for general services that are provided to the public, including, but not limited to, conservation and gardening programs, if the service is available to the general public in substantially the same manner as it is available to the operator of a water-producing facility not directly related to the district’s services to water-producing facilities, as authorized by this part.

SEC. 4.

 Section 60307 of the Water Code is amended to read:

60307.
 The public hearing required pursuant to this chapter shall be held before the board and a quorum shall be present. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time by the president, presiding officer, or hearing officer but shall be completed by the second Tuesday of the following June of May.

SEC. 5.

 Section 60315 of the Water Code is amended to read:

60315.
 No later than the second Tuesday in March, the board shall, by resolution, find all of the following:
(a) The annual overdraft for the preceding water year.
(b) The estimated annual overdraft for the current water year.
(c) The estimated annual overdraft for the ensuing water year.
(d) The accumulated overdraft as of the last day of the preceding water year.
(e) The estimated accumulated overdraft as of the last day of the current water year.
(f) The total production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district during the preceding water year.
(g) The estimated total production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district for the current water year.
(h) The estimated total production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district for the ensuing water year.
(i) The changes during the preceding water year in the pressure levels or piezometric heights of the groundwater contained within pressure-level areas of the district, and the effects of the changes in the pressure levels or piezometric heights upon the groundwater supplies within the district.
(j) The estimated changes during the current water year in the pressure levels or piezometric heights of the groundwater contained within pressure-level areas of the district, and the estimated effects of the changes in the pressure levels or piezometric heights upon the groundwater supplies within the district.
(k) The quantity of water that should be purchased for the replenishment of the groundwater supplies of the district during the ensuing water year.
(l) The source and estimated cost of water available for the replenishment.
(m) The estimated costs of replenishing the groundwater supplies with the water purchased.
(n) The estimated costs of purchasing, in water years succeeding the ensuing water year, that portion of the quantity of water that should be purchased for the replenishment of the groundwater supplies of the district during the ensuing water year, but that is estimated to be unavailable for purchase during the ensuing water year; estimated costs shall be based on the estimated price of water for replenishment purposes during the ensuing water year.
(o) The estimated rate of the replenishment assessment required to be levied upon the production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district during the ensuing fiscal year for the purposes of accomplishing the replenishment and providing a reserve fund to purchase in future years, when available, that portion of the quantity of water that should be purchased for the replenishment of the groundwater supplies of the district during the ensuing water year, but that is estimated to be unavailable for purchase during that ensuing water year.
(p) Whether any contaminants should be removed from groundwater supplies during the ensuing fiscal year, and whether any other actions under Section 60224 should be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal year, the estimated costs of removing contaminants from groundwater supplies or other actions under Section 60224, and the estimated additional rate of replenishment assessment required to be levied upon the production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district during the ensuing fiscal year for those purposes.
(q) Whether any program for removal of contaminants or other actions under Section 60224 should be a multiyear program or is a continuation of a previously authorized multiyear program.
(r) The amount the estimated reserve funds on hand at the end of the current fiscal year exceeds the annual reserve fund limit determined pursuant to Section 60290.

SEC. 6.

 Section 60317 of the Water Code is amended to read:

60317.
 If the board determines that a replenishment assessment shall be levied upon the production of groundwater from groundwater supplies within the district during the ensuing fiscal year and the district has complied with Section 60306, following the making of that determination the board shall levy a replenishment assessment on the production of groundwater from the groundwater supplies within the district during the fiscal year commencing on the following July 1, and the replenishment assessment shall be fixed by the board at a rate per acre-foot of groundwater produced in compliance with Section 60306.5. The replenishment assessment shall be imposed upon each parcel with a water-producing facility within the district and shall be paid by the operator of the water-producing facility pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 60325). The part of the assessment levied pursuant to the determination provided in subdivision (c) of Section 60316, exclusive of any part of the assessment for district administrative and overhead expenses, shall not exceed 50 percent of the average assessment levied for the current and four preceding fiscal years pursuant to determinations under subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 60316, exclusive of any part of the assessment for district administrative and overhead expenses.

SEC. 7.

 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.