Today's Law As Amended


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SB-656 Stockton-East Water District: water rates and budget.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 4 of Chapter 819 of the Statutes of 1971, as added by Chapter 1126 of the Statutes of 1979, is amended to read:

Sec. 4.
 (a) The definition of a word applies to any of its variants.
(b) The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Accumulated overdraft” means the aggregate amount by which the quantity of ground water removed from the ground water supplies within the district during all preceding water years have exceeded the quantity of water replaced therein by the replenishment of the ground water supplies in such water years by any natural or artificial means, based upon reports, records, and other data or evidence appropriate for the purpose of making such determination.
(2) “Administration division” means the budgeting and accounting division established by Section 9 which is primarily concerned with administration of the district and with obtaining and making available to the other divisions a supply of water.
(3) “Advisory commission” means the California Districts Securities Advisory Commission.
(4) “Agricultural division” means the budgeting and accounting division established by Section 9 which is primarily concerned with the supply of water for agricultural purposes.
(5) “Agricultural water” and “water used for agricultural purposes” mean water used primarily in the commercial production of agricultural crops or livestock on parcels of land of more than two acres and do not include water used for agricultural product-processing purposes.
(6) “Annual overdraft” means the amount by which the production of water from the ground water supplies within the district during the water year exceeds the natural replenishment of such ground water supplies in such year.
(7) “Assessor” means the assessor of the county.
(8) “Auditor” means the auditor of the county.
(9) “Benefit review procedure” means the procedure set forth in subdivisions (g) to (i), inclusive, of Section 28.
(10) “Board” means the board of directors of the Stockton-East Water District.
(11) “Board of supervisors” means the board of supervisors of the county.
(12) “Collector” means the person appointed by the board to determine and collect the accounts due the district prior to their transfer to the auditor, as set forth in this act. The collector shall be appointed by the board and hold office at the pleasure of the board. The collector may hold other offices, including, but not limited to, the office of secretary, or may perform other duties for the district but shall not be a member of the board.
(13) “Committee” means a group of directors of the district consisting of three directors, one of whom shall be appointed chairperson by the president of the board, together with an alternate member, which shall study particular areas and recommend policy to the full board. The members and alternate member shall be appointed by the president of the board. There shall be the Agricultural Operations Committee and the Municipal Operations Committee, and there may be such other committees as may be established by the board.
(14) “County” means the County of San Joaquin.
(15) “Delinquent account” means any sum or sums due the district from an owner as disclosed by an annual bill presented by the collector pursuant to Section 13 which is not paid within the times set forth in Section 15, together with all penalties applicable to such sum or sums pursuant to this act.
(16) “Delinquent landowner” means the owner or owners of a parcel of land upon which one or more delinquent water-producing facilities are located as such ownership is disclosed by the last equalized assessment roll of the county.
(17) “Delinquent parcel” means a parcel of land upon which one or more delinquent water-producing facilities are located.
(18) “Delinquent water-producing facility” means a water-producing facility for which payment is required by this act and for which payment in full has not been received by the district within the times set forth in Section 15.
(19) “Director” means a member of the board.
(20) “District” means the Stockton-East Water District.
(21) “Division” means a division of the district established pursuant to the Water Conservation District Act of 1931 (Division 21 (commencing with Section 74000) of the Water Code).
(22) “Domestic ground water” means water produced from the underground on any parcel of two acres or less where the water is used and disposed of on that parcel, and also means water produced from the underground and used for residential or commercial purposes on agricultural parcels larger than two acres.
(23) “Dry year” means any year in which the board determines that there may be insufficient quantities of surface water to meet the needs of users who are dependent upon surface water sources.
(24) “Full tax area” means any area within a planning area which has been excluded from the partial tax area in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 27.
(25) “Ground water” means potable water beneath the surface of the ground suitable for municipal, domestic, and irrigation use.
(26) “Ground water assessment” means “ground water assessment or charge.”
(27) “Municipal division” means the budgeting and accounting division established by Section 9 which is primarily concerned with the supply of water for municipal and industrial purposes.
(28) “Municipal ground water” means water produced from the underground other than domestic ground water or agricultural ground water.
(29) “Owner” means the person or persons owning any water-producing facility or any interest therein other than a lien to secure the payment of a debt or other obligation. Unless there is filed with the district by an owner information to the contrary, the district may presume that the owner of the parcel of land on which a water-producing facility is located is the owner of the water-producing facility.
(30) “Partial tax area” means all areas of the district which pursuant to the terms of subdivision (a) of Section 27 are not required to pay the taxes, assessments, and charges specified in subdivision (a) of Section 27.
(31) “Person” means any public agency or public corporation, whether federal, state, or local, or any private corporation, firm, partnership, individual, or group of individuals.
(32) “Planning area” means any one of the planning areas mentioned in subdivision (a) of Section 24 or in Section 35.
(33) “Prior act” means Chapter 1775 of the Statutes of 1963, as amended.
(34) “Production” or “producing” means the diversion or taking of stream-delivered water or the extraction or extracting of ground water, by any means, for domestic, municipal, irrigation, industrial, or other beneficial use.
(35) “Revenue sources” means those sources of expected revenue which shall be used to establish a budget, respectively, for each of the administration, agricultural, and municipal divisions. These revenue sources for each division are as follows:
(A) Administration division: General property taxes, other general revenue sources which may be provided by state law, payments from other divisions, or other sources of revenue which may be established in the future by law or by rule of the board.
(B) Agricultural division: Stream-delivered water charges, domestic ground water assessments and charges, agricultural ground water assessments and charges, penalties collected on such charges and assessments, and other sources of revenue which may be established in the future by law or by rule of the board.
(C) Municipal division: Contract sales of treated surface water, contract sales of ground water, municipal ground water assessments and charges, penalties collected on such sales, assessments and charges, and other sources of revenue which may be established in the future by law or by rule of the board.
(36) “Stream-delivered water” means surface water used for agricultural purposes and taken by an owner’s water-producing facility directly from the Stockton Diverting Canal, the Calaveras River, the Old Calaveras River, Mosher Creek, Mormon Slough, Potter Creek, or any other watercourse within the district except those portions of any of the foregoing watercourses which are located within the boundaries of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as such boundaries are presently defined by Section 12220 of the Water Code.
(37) “Tax collector” means the tax collector of the county.
(38) “Treasurer” means the treasurer of the county.
(39) “Water-producing facility” means any device or method, mechanical or otherwise, for the production of ground water from the ground water supplies within the district, or for the diversion of stream-delivered water.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9.2 of Chapter 819 of the Statutes of 1971, as added by Chapter 1126 of the Statutes of 1979, is amended to read:

Sec. 9.2.
 (a) The board at a regular, special, or continued meeting between November 1 and December 15 of each year shall hold a public hearing to consider the budget for each of the administration, agricultural, and municipal divisions, and an overall budget for the district, for the next fiscal year.
(b) Notice of the hearing shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing. Any person interested in the district may, in person or by representative, appear and submit evidence concerning the water conditions of the district, the financial needs of the district, proposals for rates, and other relevant matters.
(c) The board shall at the hearing receive recommendations from the Agricultural Operations Committee as to the budget to be established for the agricultural division, and from the Municipal Operations committee as to the budget to be established for the municipal division. Each of such committees shall also make recommendations to the board as to the budget of the administration division.
(d) Following the budget hearing by the full board, the board shall adopt by resolution prior to December 15 of each year, a budget for the administration division, for the agricultural division, for the municipal division, and for the district overall.

SEC. 3.

 Section 9.4 of Chapter 819 of the Statutes of 1971, as added by Chapter 1126 of the Statutes of 1979, is amended to read:

Sec. 9.4.
 (a) The board at a regular, special, or continued meeting between March 15 and April 15 of each year shall hold a public hearing to consider the necessity, amount, and rates of a municipal ground water assessment or charge, an agricultural ground water assessment or charge, and a domestic ground water assessment or charge, if any, to be levied for the then current calendar year and charges to be made for stream-delivered water to the extent that such charges for stream-delivered water are not controlled by contract or agreement.
(b) Notice of the hearing shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing. Any person interested in the district may, in person or by representative, appear and submit evidence concerning the water conditions of the district, the financial needs of the district, proposals for rates, and other relevant matters.
(c) Following the hearing, and prior to April 15 of that year, the board may, by adoption of an ordinance, determine, levy, and assess a municipal ground water assessment or charge against all owners of water-producing facilities within the district which produce municipal ground water during the current year, an agricultural ground water assessment or charge against all owners of water-producing facilities within the district which produce water from the ground during the current year for agricultural purposes, and a domestic ground water assessment or charge against all owners of water-producing facilities within the district which produce domestic ground water, and shall determine and fix charges for stream-delivered water for the current year to the extent that such charges for stream-delivered water are not governed by contract or agreement.
(d) The method of computing ground water assessments or charges, and charges for stream-delivered water, may be uniform for all water-producing facilities or may be uniform for each of several classes of water-producing facilities. The board shall, by rule, establish one or more methods to be used in computing the amount of water production from a water-producing facility which is not measured by a water-measuring device approved by the collector. Such methods shall be established by rule adopted by the board and may be based on any criteria which may be used to determine or estimate with reasonable accuracy the amount of water production.
(e) The board, by rule, may waive any assessment or charge upon any class or classes of water-producing facilities which it determines because of the small amount of water produced by such facilities, would yield to the district a sum less than the estimated cost of making and collecting the assessment or charge.
(f) Any ground water assessment or charge, or charges for stream-delivered water, levied or made pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any general assessment levied by the district.
(g) Clerical errors in the name of any owner or in other recorded information, or in the making or extension of any assessment or charge upon the records which do not affect the substantial rights of the subject owner or owners, shall not invalidate the assessment or charge.
(h) In the 2020 calendar year, under authority granted by this section, as added by Chapter 1126 of the Statutes of 1979, the board was authorized to impose the following rates:
(1) A domestic ground water assessment or charge of forty-five dollars and fifty cents ($45.50) per domestic use unit, as such unit is established by the board.
(2) A rate for sales of stream-delivered water of thirty-seven dollars ($37) per acre-foot of water.
(3) An agricultural ground water assessment or charge of five dollars and thirty-six cents ($5.36) per acre-foot of water.
(4) A municipal ground water assessment or charge of three hundred thirty-four dollars and ninety-seven cents ($334.97) per acre-foot of water.
(i) For the 2022 calendar year and thereafter, water rates shall be established in accordance with Sections 9 to 9.4, inclusive, except that no rate may be established in any calendar year which exceeds the individual rates set in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (h) by 20 percent plus a factor to reflect the percentage increase in the federal consumer price index with the prior calendar year as a base; provided, however, that water rates that exceed those amounts may be adopted in accordance with law.
(j) Water rates shall be established by ordinance following public notice. Such ordinances shall be subject to referendum, provided, however, that no referendum shall modify or affect the terms of any bond resolution issuing bonds approved by the voters.