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SB-1349 Transactions and use taxes: County of Contra Costa.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/08/2020 09:00 PM
SB1349:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 08, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1349


Introduced by Senator Glazer

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Section 4213 of the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention. An act to amend Sections 29140 and 180201 of the Public Utilities Code, and to amend Section 7291 of, and to add Chapter 3.94 (commencing with Section 7299.2) to Part 1.7 of Division 2 of, the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1349, as amended, Glazer. State responsibility area fire prevention fees. Transactions and use taxes: County of Contra Costa.
Existing law authorizes various specified cities and counties, subject to certain limitations and approval requirements, to levy a transactions and use tax for general or specific purposes, in accordance with the procedures and requirements set forth in the Transactions and Use Tax Law. A provision of the Transactions and Use Tax Law prohibits the combined rate of all taxes that may be imposed in accordance with that law in a county from exceeding 2%.
Existing law, the Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act, generally authorizes a county board of supervisors to create or otherwise designate a transportation authority in the county that may impose a transactions and use tax at a rate not to exceed 1% for specified county streets and highway projects or public transit projects, in conformity with the Transaction and Use Tax Law, if the tax ordinance is adopted by a 2/3 vote of the authority and if the ordinance is subsequently approved by a majority of the voters. Existing law, before January 1, 2021, also authorizes the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to impose a transactions and use tax for the support of countywide transportation programs at a rate of no more than 0.5% that, in combination with other transactions and use taxes, exceeds the above-described combined rate limit of 2%, if certain requirements are met, including a requirement that the ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax be submitted to, and approved by, the voters.
Existing law, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Act, creates the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, which comprises a territory that includes the County of Contra Costa, and, among other things, authorizes the board of directors of the district to impose transactions and use taxes in conformity with the Transactions and Use Tax Law for specified purposes, subject to periodic legislative review and amendment, as provided.
This bill would provide that, notwithstanding the combined rate limit under the Transactions and Use Tax Law, neither a transaction and use tax rate imposed in the County of Contra Costa by the transportation authority for those county streets and highway projects, public transit projects, or countywide transportation programs nor a transactions and use tax rate imposed by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, as specified, will be considered for purposes of that combined rate limit within the County of Contra Costa. The bill would declare that the changes made with regard to taxes imposed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority for countywide transportation programs are declaratory of existing law.
This bill would also authorize the County of Contra Costa to impose a transactions and use tax in conformity with the Transactions and Use Tax Law for general or specific purposes to support countywide programs at a rate of no more than 0.50% that, in combination with other transactions and use taxes, would exceed the above-described combined rate limit of 2% if certain requirements are met, including a requirement that the ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax be submitted to, and approved by, the voters. The bill would provide that, notwithstanding the combined rate limit under the Transactions and Use Tax Law, a transaction and use tax rate imposed in the County of Contra Costa imposed pursuant to the authority provided by this bill will not be considered for purposes of that combined rate limit within the County of Contra Costa.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the County of Contra Costa.

Existing law provides that the state has the primary financial responsibility for preventing and suppressing fires in areas that the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has determined are state responsibility areas, as defined. Existing law, until July 1, 2017, required that a fire prevention fee be charged on each habitable structure on a parcel that is within a state responsibility area, to be used for specified fire prevention activities, and prescribed procedures for the collection and processing of the fees by the State Board of Equalization. Existing law requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide to the State Board of Equalization certain information, including a contact number for the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to be printed on a bill for the fee to respond to questions about the fee. Existing law repeals those provisions requiring the payment of the fee on January 1, 2031.

In 2017, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and the Office of Tax Appeals were established, and existing law transferred many of the tax and fee administration and appeals of taxes and fees from the State Board of Equalization to the department and the office, respectively.

This bill would change the reference in the fire prevention fee provisions from the “State Board of Equalization” to the “California Department of Tax and Fee Administration” or the “Office of Tax Appeals,” as appropriate. The bill would require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide the above information to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. The bill would additionally require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s internet website information regarding the fee to be printed on the bill.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 29140 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

29140.
 (a) The board shall, by ordinance, impose transactions and use taxes in conformity with Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code for the purposes specified in Sections 29142 and 29142.2, subject to periodic legislative review and amendment.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 7251.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a transactions and use tax rate imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) on or before the effective date of the act adding this subdivision January 1, 2020, that applies within the County of Alameda shall not be considered for purposes of the combined rate limit within the County of Alameda established by that section.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 7251.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a transactions and use tax rate imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) on or before the effective date of the act adding this subdivision that applies within the County of Contra Costa shall not be considered for purposes of the combined rate limit within the County of Contra Costa established by that section.

SEC. 2.

 Section 180201 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

180201.
 (a) (1) A retail transactions and use tax ordinance applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of a county may be imposed by the authority in accordance with this chapter and Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, if the tax ordinance is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the authority and imposition of the tax is subsequently approved by a majority of the electors voting on the measure, or by any otherwise applicable voter approval requirement, at a special election called for that purpose by the board of supervisors, at the request of the authority, and a county transportation expenditure plan is adopted pursuant to Section 180206.

A retail

(2) A transactions and use tax approved by the electors pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in effect for the period of time specified in the tax ordinance. The tax may be continued in effect, or reimposed, by a tax ordinance adopted by a two-thirds vote of the authority and the reimposition of the tax is approved by any applicable majority of the electors.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 7251.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a transactions and use tax rate imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) in the County of Contra Costa shall not be considered for purposes of the combined rate limit within the County of Contra Costa established by that section.

SEC. 3.

 Section 7291 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

7291.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority may impose a transactions and use tax for the support of countywide transportation programs at a rate of no more than 0.5 percent that would, in combination with all taxes imposed pursuant to Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251), exceed the limit established in Section 7251.1, if all of the following requirements are met:

(a)

(1) The Contra Costa Transportation Authority adopts an ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax by any applicable voting approval requirement.

(b)

(2) The ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax is submitted to the electorate and is approved by the voters voting on the ordinance pursuant to Article XIII C of the California Constitution.

(c)

(3) The transactions and use tax conforms to the Transactions and Use Tax Law, Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251), other than Section 7251.1.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 7251.1, a transactions and use tax rate imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be considered for purposes of the combined rate limit established by Section 7251.1.
(2) This subdivision does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.

SEC. 4.

 Chapter 3.94 (commencing with Section 7299.2) is added to Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3.94. Local Government Finance in the County of Contra Costa

7299.2.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the County of Contra Costa may impose a transactions and use tax for general or specific purposes to support countywide programs at a rate of no more than 0.5 percent that would, in combination with all taxes imposed in accordance with the Transactions and Use Tax Law (Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251)), exceed the limit established in Section 7251.1, if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The county adopts an ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax by any applicable voting approval requirement.
(2) The ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax is submitted to the electorate and is approved by the voters voting on the ordinance pursuant to Article XIII C of the California Constitution.
(3) The transactions and use tax conforms to the Transactions and Use Tax Law (Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251)), other than Section 7251.1.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 7251.1, a transactions and use tax rate imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be considered for purposes of the combined rate limit established by Section 7251.1.

SEC. 5.

  The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique fiscal pressures being experienced in the County of Contra Costa.
SECTION 1.Section 4213 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
4213.

(a)(1)Commencing with the 2011–12 fiscal year, the fire prevention fee imposed pursuant to Section 4212 shall be collected annually by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in accordance with the Fee Collection Procedures Law (Part 30 (commencing with Section 55001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code).

(2)Notwithstanding the appeal provisions in the Fee Collection Procedures Law, a determination by the department that a person is required to pay a fire prevention fee, or a determination by the department regarding the amount of that fee, is subject to review under Article 2 (commencing with Section 4220) and is not subject to a petition for redetermination by the Office of Tax Appeals.

(3)(A)Notwithstanding the refund provisions in the Fee Collection Procedures Law, the Office of Tax Appeals shall not accept any claim for refund that is based on the assertion that a determination by the department improperly or erroneously calculated the amount of the fire prevention fee, or incorrectly determined that the person is subject to that fee, unless that determination has been set aside by the department or a court reviewing the determination of the department.

(B)If it is determined by the department or a reviewing court that a person is entitled to a refund of all or part of the fire prevention fee, the person shall make a claim to the Office of Tax Appeals pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 55221) of Part 30 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(b)The annual fire prevention fee shall be due and payable 30 days from the date of assessment by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

(c)On or before each January 1, the department shall annually transmit to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration the appropriate name and address of each person who is liable for the fire prevention fee and the amount of the fee to be assessed, as authorized by this article, and at the same time the department shall provide to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration the board’s internet website information and a contact telephone number for the board to be printed on the bill to respond to questions about the fee.

(d)Commencing with the 2012–13 fiscal year, if in any given fiscal year there are sufficient amounts of money in the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund created pursuant to Section 4214 to finance the costs of the programs under subdivision (d) of Section 4214 for that fiscal year, the fee may not be collected that fiscal year.