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ACA-8 Local government financing: water facilities and infrastructure: voter approval.(2015-2016)

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ACA8:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Constitutional Amendment
No. 8


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 18, 2016


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Sections 1 and 4 of, and by adding Section 4.5 to, Article XIII   A thereof, by amending Section 2 of Article XIII   C thereof, by amending Section 3 of Article XIII   D thereof, and by amending Section 18 of Article XVI thereof, relating to water facilities and infrastructure.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACA 8, as introduced, Bloom. Local government financing: water facilities and infrastructure: voter approval.
(1) The California Constitution prohibits the ad valorem tax rate on real property from exceeding 1% of the full cash value of the property, subject to certain exceptions.
This measure would create an additional exception to the 1% limit for a rate imposed by a city, county, city and county, or special district to service bonded indebtedness incurred to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of wastewater treatment facilities and related infrastructure, potable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, nonpotable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, and stormwater treatment facilities and related infrastructure, that is approved by 55% of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, if the proposition meets specified requirements, and would authorize a city, county, city and county, or special district to levy a 55% vote ad valorem tax.
(2) The California Constitution conditions the imposition of a special tax by a city, county, or special district upon the approval of 2/3 of the voters of the city, county, or special district voting on that tax, and prohibits these entities from imposing an ad valorem tax on real property or a transactions or sales tax on the sale of real property.
This measure would instead condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a city, county, city and county, or special district for the purpose of funding wastewater, stormwater, and water treatment, supply and delivery facilities and infrastructure, upon the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition, if the proposition meets specified requirements. This measure would also make conforming changes to related provisions.
(3) The California Constitution prohibits specified local government agencies from incurring any indebtedness exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, without the assent of 2/3 of the voters and subject to other conditions. In the case of a school district, community college district, or county office of education, the California Constitution permits a proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, to be adopted upon the approval of 55% of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition at an election.
This measure would similarly lower to 55% the voter-approval threshold for a city, county, or city and county to incur bonded indebtedness, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, that is in the form of general obligation bonds issued to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of wastewater treatment facilities and related infrastructure, potable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, nonpotable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, and stormwater treatment facilities and related infrastructure.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

Resolved by the Assembly, the Senate concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2015–16 Regular Session commencing on the first day of December 2014, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California, that the Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

First—

 That Section 1 of Article XIII A thereof is amended to read:

SECTION 1.
 (a) The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed One 1 percent (1%) of the full cash value of such that property. The one 1 percent (1%) tax to shall be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.
(b) The limitation provided for in subdivision (a) shall not apply to ad valorem taxes or special assessments to pay the interest and redemption charges on any of the following:
(1) Indebtedness approved by the voters prior to July 1, 1978.
(2) Bonded indebtedness for to fund the acquisition or improvement of real property approved on or after July 1, 1978, by two-thirds of the votes cast by the voters voting on the proposition.
(3) Bonded indebtedness incurred by a school district, community college district, or county office of education for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, approved by 55 percent of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition on or after the effective date of the measure adding this paragraph. November 8, 2000. This paragraph shall apply only if the proposition approved by the voters and resulting in the bonded indebtedness includes all of the following accountability requirements:
(A) A requirement that the proceeds from the sale of the bonds be used only for the purposes specified in Article XIII A, Section 1(b)(3), this paragraph and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
(B) A list of the specific school facilities projects to be funded and certification that the school district board, community college board, or county office of education has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing that list.
(C) A requirement that the school district board, community college board, or county office of education conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the funds have been expended only on the specific projects listed.
(D) A requirement that the school district board, community college board, or county office of education conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the proceeds from the sale of the bonds until all of those proceeds have been expended for the school facilities projects.
(4) (A) Bonded indebtedness, approved by 55 percent of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as appropriate, voting on the proposition on or after the effective date of the measure adding this paragraph, incurred by a city, county, city and county, or special district to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of wastewater treatment facilities and related infrastructure, potable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, nonpotable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, and stormwater treatment facilities and related infrastructure. This paragraph shall apply only if the proposition approved by the voters and resulting in the bonded indebtedness includes all of the following accountability requirements:
(i) A requirement that the proceeds from the sale of the bonds be used only for the purposes specified in this paragraph and not for any other purpose.
(ii) A list of any and all specific facilities and projects to be funded.
(iii) A requirement that the governing board of the city, county, city and county, or special district conduct an annual independent performance audit to ensure that the funds have been expended only on the specific projects listed.
(iv) A requirement that the governing board of the city, county, city and county, or special district conduct an annual independent financial audit of the proceeds from the sale of the bonds until all of those proceeds have been expended for the projects identified.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “special district” has the same meaning as that term is used in subdivision (c) of Section 1 of Article XIII C, excluding a school district and redevelopment agency.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law or of this Constitution, school districts, community college districts, and county offices of education may levy a 55 percent vote ad valorem tax pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b).
(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law or of this Constitution, a city, county, city and county, or special district may levy a 55 percent vote ad valorem tax pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).

Second—

 That Section 4 of Article XIII A thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 4.
 Cities, Counties and special districts, Except as provided by Section 4.5, a city, county, or special district, by a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors of such district, its voters voting on the proposition, may impose special taxes on such district, a special tax within that city, county, or special district, except an ad valorem taxes tax on real property or a transaction transactions tax or sales tax on the sale of real property within such City, County that city, county, or special district.

Third—

 That Section 4.5 is added to Article XIII A thereof, to read:

SEC. 4.5.
 (a) The imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a city, county, city and county, or special district, as may otherwise be authorized by law for the purpose of funding wastewater, stormwater, and water treatment, supply and delivery facilities and infrastructure projects, is subject to approval by 55 percent of the voters in the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, voting on the proposition, if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The proposition is approved by a majority vote of the membership of the governing board of a city, county, city and county, or special district.
(2) The proposition contains all of the following accountability requirements:
(A) A list of the specific projects that are to be funded.
(B) A requirement that the proceeds be used only for the projects specified in the proposition, and not for any other purpose.
(C) To ensure compliance with subparagraph (B), a requirement that the governing board of a city, county, city and county, or special district conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the amount of special tax proceeds collected and expended, and the specified projects funded.
(D) To ensure compliance with subparagraph (B), a requirement that the governing board of a city, county, city and county, or special district establish a citizens’ oversight committee to review all expenditures of proceeds and financial audits, and report its findings to the governing board and to the public.
(b) For purposes of this section, “wastewater, stormwater, and water treatment, storage, supply, and delivery facilities and infrastructure projects” include, but are not limited to, projects that promote any of the following:
(1) Water reuse and recycling for nonpotable reuse and direct and indirect potable reuse.
(2) Local and regional surface and underground water storage, including groundwater aquifer cleanup or recharge projects.
(3) Regional water conveyance facilities that improve integration of separate water systems.
(4) Watershed protection, restoration, and management projects, including projects that reduce the risk of wildfire or improve water supply reliability.
(5) Stormwater resource management, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Projects to reduce, manage, treat, or capture rainwater or stormwater.
(B) Projects that provide multiple benefits such as water quality, water supply, flood control, or open space.
(6) Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater storage facilities.
(7) Water desalination.
(8) Improvement of water quality, including drinking water treatment and distribution, groundwater and aquifer remediation, matching water quality to water use, wastewater treatment, water pollution prevention, and management of urban and agricultural runoff.

Fourth—

 That Section 2 of Article XIII C thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 2.
 Local Government Tax Limitation. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution:
(a) All taxes Any tax imposed by any local government shall be deemed to be is either a general taxes tax or a special taxes. Special purpose districts tax. A special district or agencies, agency including a school districts, shall have no power district, has no authority to levy a general taxes. tax.
(b) No A local government may not impose, extend, or increase any general tax unless and until that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a majority vote. A general tax shall is not be deemed to have been increased if it is imposed at a rate not higher than the maximum rate so approved. The election required by this subdivision shall be consolidated with a regularly scheduled general election for members of the governing body of the local government, except in cases of emergency declared by a unanimous vote of the governing body.
(c) Any general tax imposed, extended, or increased, without voter approval, by any local government on or after January 1, 1995, and prior to the effective date of this article, shall may continue to be imposed only if that general tax is approved by a majority vote of the voters voting in an election on the issue of the imposition, which election shall be held within two years of the effective date of this article no later than November 6, 1996, and in compliance with subdivision (b).
(d) No Except as provided by subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 1 of, or Section 4.5 of, Article XIII A, a local government may not impose, extend, or increase any special tax unless and until that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds vote. A special tax shall is not be deemed to have been increased if it is imposed at a rate not higher than the maximum rate so approved.

Fifth—

 That Section 3 of Article XIII D thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 3.
 Property Taxes, Assessments, Fees and Charges Limited. (a) No An agency shall not assess a tax, assessment, fee, or charge shall be assessed by any agency upon any parcel of property or upon any person as an incident of property ownership except:
(1) The ad valorem property tax imposed pursuant to Article XIII and Article XIII A.
(2) Any special tax receiving a two-thirds vote pursuant to Section 4 of Article XIII A or, as applicable, a 55 percent vote pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 1 of, or Section 4.5, of Article XIII A.
(3) Assessments as provided by this article.
(4) Fees or charges for property related property-related services as provided by this article.
(b) For purposes of this article, fees for the provision of electrical or gas service shall are not be deemed charges or fees imposed as an incident of property ownership.

Sixth—

 That Section 18 of Article XVI thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 18.
 (a) No A county, city, town, township, board of education, or school district, district shall not incur any indebtedness or liability in any manner or for any purpose exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided for such that year, without the assent of two-thirds of the voters of the public entity voting at an election to be held for that purpose, except that with respect to any such public entity which that is authorized to incur indebtedness for public school purposes, any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the purpose of repairing, reconstructing reconstructing, or replacing public school buildings determined, in the manner prescribed by law, to be structurally unsafe for school use, shall be adopted upon the approval of a majority of the voters of the public entity voting on the proposition at such that election; nor unless before or at the time of incurring such indebtedness the indebtedness, provision shall be made for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such the indebtedness as it falls due, and to provide for a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof, on or before maturity, which maturity that shall not exceed forty 40 years from the time of contracting the indebtedness.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), on or after the effective date of the measure adding this subdivision, November 8, 2000, in the case of any school district, community college district, or county office of education, any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, shall be adopted upon the approval of 55 percent of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition at an election. This subdivision shall apply only to a proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the purposes specified in this subdivision if the proposition meets all of the accountability requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), on or after the effective date of the measure adding this subdivision, in the case of any city, county, or city and county, any proposition to incur indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds shall be adopted by 55 percent of the voters of the city, county, or city and county, as applicable, voting on the proposition at an election, where the general obligation bonds would fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of wastewater treatment facilities and related infrastructure, potable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, nonpotable water producing facilities and related infrastructure, and stormwater treatment facilities and related infrastructure.

(c)

(d) When two or more propositions for incurring any indebtedness or liability are submitted at the same election, the votes cast for and against each proposition shall be counted separately, and when two-thirds or a majority or 55 percent or a majority of the voters, as the case may be, voting on any one of those propositions, vote in favor thereof, the proposition shall be deemed adopted.