Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 16. COUNTY WATERWORKS DISTRICTS [55000 - 55991]

  ( Division 16 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 155. )

PART 4. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS [55500 - 55720]

  ( Part 4 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 155. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [55500 - 55507]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 155. )

55500.
  

The board may control and order the expenditure of tax revenues, secured to pay the cost and expenses of maintaining, operating, extending and repairing the district’s waterworks, for that purpose.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 155.)

55501.
  

The board may fix and collect rates or charges for the use and supply of water furnished by the system, and to apply the receipts from the rates or charges to the expenses of the administration and government of the district and the use, operation and extension of the waterworks and water supply.

The revenues obtained from such rates or charges may be in lieu of or supplemental to revenues obtained by the levy of taxes.

The district board may provide for the collection of the charges for services rendered in the current or immediately preceding fiscal year as a part of the annual general county tax bill provided the district furnishes, on or before August 10, in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In such case the charge shall become a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the charge or the amount thereof unpaid in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes shall be applicable to such charges, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of such taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the charges relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

If the district collects charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 713, Sec. 10.)

55501.1.
  

Any water service standby or immediate availability charge which remains unpaid for a period of 60 or more days after the date upon which they were billed may be collected thereafter by the county as provided herein.

(a) Once a year the board shall cause to be prepared a report of delinquent fees. The board shall fix a time, date and place for hearing the report and any objections or protests thereto.

(b) The board shall cause notice of the hearing to be mailed to the landowners listed on the report not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.

(c) At the hearing the board shall hear any objections or protests of landowners liable to be assessed for delinquent fees. The board may make such revisions or corrections to the report as it deems just, after which, by resolution, the report shall be confirmed.

(d) The delinquent fees set forth in the report as confirmed shall constitute special assessments against the respective parcels of land and are a lien on the property for the amount of such delinquent fees. A certified copy of the confirmed report shall be filed with the county auditor for the amounts of the respective assessments against the respective parcels of land as they appear on the current assessment roll. The lien created attaches upon recordation, in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the property is situated, of a certified copy of the resolution of confirmation. The assessment may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary county ad valorem property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for such taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of county ad valorem property taxes shall be applicable to such assessment, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of such taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the delinquency fees, as confirmed, relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

This remedy is in addition to all other means available for collection.

If the district is governed by a board of directors, this section shall only apply to such district if the board of supervisors consents to collect the delinquent fees in the manner prescribed herein.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 874, Sec. 3.)

55501.5.
  

A district may, pursuant to the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code, fix a water service standby or immediate availability charge to be applied on an area or frontage or parcel basis, or a combination thereof, within the district to be charged to areas to which water service is made available for any purpose by the district, whether the water service is actually used or not. The district may establish schedules varying the charge according to the land uses and the degree of availability or quantity of use of the water service to the affected lands, and may restrict the charge to lands lying within one or more zones or areas of benefits established within the district. The district may not, however, except as is otherwise provided in this section, fix a charge in excess of thirty dollars ($30) per acre or for a parcel of less than one acre, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

If the procedures set forth in this section as it read at the time a standby or availability charge was established were followed, the district may, by resolution, continue the charge pursuant to this section in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the district shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code.

The maximum charge which may be fixed by the district may be increased from one fiscal year to the next by the same percentage increase as reflected by the Consumer Price Index, as issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, relative to the immediately preceding fiscal year.

If a person for more than one year obtains substantially all of his or her water requirements for the contiguous parcels of land which the person occupies from rainfall, springs, streams, lakes, rivers or wells, and if the person’s primary economic activity on the land is the commercial extraction or processing of minerals, the land is exempt from any water standby or availability charges.

The district may collect the standby or availability charge by billing the charged lands on a fiscal year basis or by other means available.

The district may collect the standby or availability charge as a part of the annual general county tax bill if the district furnishes in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed, together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel, in sufficient time to meet the schedule established by the county for inclusion of those items on the county general tax bill. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In that case, the standby or availability charge is a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the standby or availability charge, or the amount thereof unpaid, in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes are applicable to those charges, except that, if any real property to which the lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of the taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to the real property and the charge relating to the property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

If the district collects standby charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the standby charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 27, Sec. 36. Effective January 1, 2008.)

55502.
  

The receipts from the rates or charges may also be used to reduce the principal or interest of any bonded indebtedness that the waterworks district may have.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 674.)

55502.1.
  

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the board may establish and include in the annual budget for a district a general unappropriated reserve not to exceed 25 percent of the total appropriations contained in the budget, exclusive of all items for bond interest and redemption, the general unappropriated reserve, and the general reserve.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1059.)

55503.
  

The board may borrow funds from the county, other waterworks districts, and, where the district is a subsidiary district, the city, not to exceed 85 percent of the district’s anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which they are borrowed or for the next ensuing fiscal year. In levying taxes as authorized by this division, the board may raise sufficient revenues to repay such loans.

The board may lend available district funds to another waterworks district, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this section.

Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the board from borrowing such funds from banks or other financial institutions when the best interests of the district are served thereby.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 674.)

55503.5.
  

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, such funds, when so borrowed by a waterworks district, shall forthwith increase the appropriations of the district for which they are needed. The governing body of the entity from which the funds are borrowed may specify the date and manner in which the funds shall be repaid. In no case shall repayment of the loan be deferred longer than 10 calendar years.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 674.)

55503.6.
  

The district shall pay interest on all funds borrowed from the county, at the same rate that the county applies to funds of the district on deposit with the county.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 674.)

55504.
  

Where a district has an assessed valuation of less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the board of supervisors of the county may loan county funds, in a sum not in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), to the district to be used for the purpose of repairing, improving, extending or renewing the district water system, to be returned to the county by the district from revenues and taxes of the district during the period of 10 years following the date of the loan.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 365.)

55505.
  

The board may by resolution establish a revolving fund for any officer or employee of the district in the same manner revolving funds for county officers are established by the board of supervisors of a county pursuant to Sections 29321 to 29330, inclusive, of the Government Code and for such purpose the term “board of supervisors” shall mean the board. Any revolving fund so established shall be limited to the uses and expenditures applicable to revolving funds for county officers.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1578.)

55506.
  

Any money belonging to the district or paid into the county treasury to the credit of the district may be deposited by the officer of the district who has legal custody of the money, in accordance with the general laws governing the deposit of public money.

(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 674.)

55507.
  

A district may, pursuant to the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code, fix a sewer service standby or immediate availability charge to be applied on a parcel basis within the district to be charged to the parcels to which sewer service is made available by the district, whether the sewer service is actually used or not. The district may establish schedules for the charge, and may restrict the charge to lands lying within one or more zones or areas of benefits established within the district. The district may not, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), fix a charge in excess of thirty dollars ($30) a year for a residential parcel. Commercial or other parcels shall be charged according to equivalent residential parcels, but shall not exceed thirty dollars ($30) per acre per year, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

If the procedures set forth in this section as it read at the time a standby or availability charge was established were followed, the district may, by resolution, continue the charge pursuant to this section in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the district shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code.

The district may collect the standby or availability charge by billing the charged lands on a fiscal year basis or by other means available.

The district may collect the standby or availability charge as a part of the annual general county tax bill if the district furnishes in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed, together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel, in sufficient time to meet the schedule established by the county for inclusion of those items on the county general tax bill. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In that case, the standby or availability charge shall become a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the standby or availability charge, or the amount thereof unpaid, in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes are applicable to those charges, except that, if any real property to which the lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of the taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to the real property and the charge relating to the property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

If the district collects standby charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the standby charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 27, Sec. 37. Effective January 1, 2008.)

WATWater Code - WAT