Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-1386 Local government: assessments, fees, and charges: water.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/01/2020 09:00 PM
SB1386:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1386


Introduced by Senator Moorlach

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Section 56000 of the Government Code, relating to local government. An act to amend Section 53750 of, and to add Section 53750.5 to, the Government Code, relating to local government finance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1386, as amended, Moorlach. Local government. Local government: assessments, fees, and charges: water.
The California Constitution specifies various requirements with respect to the levying of assessments and property-related fees and charges by a local agency, including requiring that the local agency provide public notice and a majority protest procedure in the case of assessments and submit property-related fees and charges for approval by property owners subject to the fee or charge or the electorate residing in the affected area following a public hearing.
Existing law, known as the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act, prescribes specific procedures and parameters for local jurisdictions to comply with these requirements and, among other things, authorizes an agency providing water, wastewater, sewer, or refuse collection services to adopt a schedule of fees or charges authorizing automatic adjustments that pass through increases in wholesale charges for water, sewage treatment, or wastewater treatment or adjustments for inflation under certain circumstances. Existing law defines, among other terms, the term “water” for these purposes to mean any system of public improvements intended to provide for the production, storage, supply, treatment, or distribution of water from any source.
This bill would specify that “water” for purposes of the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act also includes the public fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances connected to an above-described system of public improvements intended to provide for the production, storage, supply, treatment, or distribution of water from any source. The bill would specify that a property-related water service fee or charge by a local agency may include the costs to construct, maintain, repair, or replace public hydrants attached to a water system, and the cost of water dispensed through public hydrants, to the extent those fees or charges are consistent with the California Constitution.

Existing law, the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000, provides the exclusive authority and procedure for the initiation, conduct, and completion of changes of organization and reorganization for cities and districts, except as specified.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to the provision naming the act.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 53750 of the Government Code is amended to read:

53750.
 For purposes of Article XIII C and Article XIII D of the California Constitution and this article, the following words have the following meanings, and shall be read and interpreted in light of the findings and declarations contained in Section 53751:
(a) “Agency” means any local government as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII C of the California Constitution.
(b) “Assessment” means any levy or charge by an agency upon real property that is based upon the special benefit conferred upon the real property by a public improvement or service, that is imposed to pay the capital cost of the public improvement, the maintenance and operation expenses of the public improvement, or the cost of the service being provided. “Assessment” includes, but is not limited to, “special assessment,” “benefit assessment,” “maintenance assessment,” and “special assessment tax.”
(c) “District” means an area that is determined by an agency to contain all of the parcels that will receive a special benefit from a proposed public improvement or service.
(d) “Drainage system” means any system of public improvements that is intended to provide for erosion control, for landslide abatement, or for other types of water drainage.
(e) “Extended,” when applied to an existing tax or fee or charge, means a decision by an agency to extend the stated effective period for the tax or fee or charge, including, but not limited to, amendment or removal of a sunset provision or expiration date.
(f) “Flood control” means any system of public improvements that is intended to protect property from overflow by water.
(g) “Identified parcel” means a parcel of real property that an agency has identified as having a special benefit conferred upon it and upon which a proposed assessment is to be imposed, or a parcel of real property upon which a proposed property-related fee or charge is proposed to be imposed.
(h) (1) “Increased,” when applied to a tax, assessment, or property-related fee or charge, means a decision by an agency that does either of the following:
(A) Increases any applicable rate used to calculate the tax, assessment, fee, or charge.
(B) Revises the methodology by which the tax, assessment, fee, or charge is calculated, if that revision results in an increased amount being levied on any person or parcel.
(2) A tax, fee, or charge is not deemed to be “increased” by an agency action that does either or both of the following:
(A) Adjusts the amount of a tax, fee, or charge in accordance with a schedule of adjustments, including a clearly defined formula for inflation adjustment that was adopted by the agency prior to November 6, 1996.
(B) Implements or collects a previously approved tax, fee, or charge, so long as the rate is not increased beyond the level previously approved by the agency, and the methodology previously approved by the agency is not revised so as to result in an increase in the amount being levied on any person or parcel.
(3) A tax, assessment, fee, or charge is not deemed to be “increased” in the case in which the actual payments from a person or property are higher than would have resulted when the agency approved the tax, assessment, fee, or charge, if those higher payments are attributable to events other than an increased rate or revised methodology, such as a change in the density, intensity, or nature of the use of land.
(i) “Notice by mail” means any notice required by Article XIII C or XIII D of the California Constitution that is accomplished through a mailing, postage prepaid, deposited in the United States Postal Service and is deemed given when so deposited. Notice by mail may be included in any other mailing to the record owner that otherwise complies with Article XIII C or XIII D of the California Constitution and this article, including, but not limited to, the mailing of a bill for the collection of an assessment or a property-related fee or charge.
(j) “Record owner” means the owner of a parcel whose name and address appears on the last equalized secured property tax assessment roll, or in the case of any public entity, the State of California, or the United States, means the representative of that public entity at the address of that entity known to the agency.
(k) “Sewer” includes systems, all real estate, fixtures, and personal property owned, controlled, operated, or managed in connection with or to facilitate sewage collection, treatment, or disposition for sanitary or drainage purposes, including lateral and connecting sewers, interceptors, trunk and outfall lines, sanitary sewage treatment or disposal plants or works, drains, conduits, outlets for surface or storm waters, and any and all other works, property, or structures necessary or convenient for the collection or disposal of sewage, industrial waste, or surface or storm waters. “Sewer system” shall not include a sewer system that merely collects sewage on the property of a single owner.
(l) “Registered professional engineer” means an engineer registered pursuant to the Professional Engineers Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code).
(m) “Vector control” means any system of public improvements or services that is intended to provide for the surveillance, prevention, abatement, and control of vectors as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 2002 of the Health and Safety Code and a pest as defined in Section 5006 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(n) “Water” means any system of public improvements improvements, and the public fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances connected to that system, intended to provide for the production, storage, supply, treatment, or distribution of water from any source.

SEC. 2.

 Section 53750.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

53750.5.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The provision of fire service is a different and distinct category of service from the water service made available by a water service provider, which aids the fire service provider in providing fire service.
(2) Hydrants owned by water service providers are a public fixture, appliance, or appurtenance connected to a water system for the purpose of providing an immediately available water service and are often used by a water service provider for water system maintenance.
(3) Hydrants are generally designed, installed, and used to provide an immediately available supply of water to extinguish fires that threaten structures and other improvements on property served by the water service provider, and are not for the purpose of extinguishing wildfires or fires that threaten personal property, vacant lands, or structures without water service.
(4) Hydrants generally are not available to the public at large in substantially the same manner as they are to property owners.
(5) The fact that water from a hydrant could be used for a purpose other than property protection in an emergency does not make either the hydrant or the water dispensed from the hydrant available to the public at large in substantially the same manner as to property owners.
(6) The water dispensed through a public hydrant owned by a water service provider is a property-related water service provided to all property owners, as an incident of property ownership, because the water is immediately available to be used to extinguish a direct threat to structures and other improvements on property and concurrently benefits all parcels, which are threatened with damage or destruction by the fire not being extinguished.
(7) There are water service costs associated with maintaining, repairing, and replacing hydrants and costs associated with the water dispensed through hydrants to protect real property.
(b) To the extent consistent with the requirements of Section 6 of Article XIII D of the California Constitution, fees or charges for property-related water service may include the costs to construct, maintain, repair, or replace public hydrants attached to a water system, and the cost of water dispensed through public hydrants. The fee or charge may be fixed and collected consistent with Section 53069.9 of the Government Code, or consistent with any other method consistent with Section 6 of Article XIII D of the California Constitution.
(c) This section is declaratory of existing law.

SECTION 1.Section 56000 of the Government Code is amended to read:
56000.

This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000.