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SB-450 Fire protection: fire districts: funding: report.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/04/2021 09:00 PM
SB450:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 04, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 450


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Section 53978 of the Government Code, relating to local government. add and repeal Section 13142.5 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to fire protection.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 450, as amended, Hertzberg. Fire protection: police protection: special taxes. fire districts: funding: report.
Existing law creates in the Office of the State Fire Marshal a State Board of Fire Services, as provided. Existing law requires the board to make full and complete studies, recommendations, and reports to the Governor and the Legislature for the purpose of recommending the establishment of minimum standards with respect to fire protection, as provided. Section 2.2 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution establishes the California Fire Response Fund within the State Treasury and requires moneys in the fund to be appropriated by the Legislature for specified purposes, including for the purpose of funding fire suppression staffing in underfunded special districts that provide fire protection services.
This bill would require the board, on or before April 1, 2022, to develop a report for the Legislature that includes a set of recommendations regarding the administration of the fund, including, among other things, recommendations relating to mechanisms to ensure that underfunded special districts that provide fire protection services are aware of funding opportunities in the fund.

Existing law authorizes a local agency that provides fire protection or prevention services, or that provides police protection services, to propose a special tax for those services, as provided. Existing law requires the proposed special tax be submitted to voters in the area receiving the services, and the special tax then takes effect upon approval of 23 of the voters voting on the proposal. Existing law requires that all revenues from the special tax are used for the service for which the tax was imposed.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to that provision.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 13142.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

13142.5.
 (a) (1) On or before April 1, 2022, the State Board of Fire Services shall develop a report for the Legislature that includes a set of recommendations regarding the administration of the California Fire Response Fund, established pursuant to Section 2.2 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(2) The report shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations in all of the following areas:
(A) Mechanisms to ensure that underfunded special districts that provide fire protection services are aware of funding opportunities in the California Fire Response Fund.
(B) Recommendations on the grant submission process.
(C) Recommendations regarding the interval of grant opportunities.
(D) Mechanisms to support the grant application process for eligible special districts that provide fire protection services.
(E) Mechanisms to report the additional services provided to the community due to the funding.
(F) Opportunities to leverage funding from other sources to supplement the California Fire Response Fund.
(b) (1) The report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section shall be repealed on January 1, 2026.

SECTION 1.Section 53978 of the Government Code is amended to read:
53978.

(a)Any local agency which provides fire protection or prevention services directly, by contract with another local agency, or which provides such services pursuant to Section 25643 of this code or the Fire Protection District Law of 1987, Part 3 (commencing with Section 13800) of Division 12 of the Health and Safety Code, or which provides police protection services, may, by ordinance, determine and propose for adoption a special tax for fire protection and prevention provided by the local agency, or a special tax for police protection services provided by the local agency, or both of such special taxes if both such services are provided by the local agency, other than ad valorem property taxes, pursuant to this section. The legislative body may establish zones or areas within the local agency and may restrict the levy of the special tax to those zones or areas. Such proposition shall be submitted to the voters of the affected area or zone, or of the district, and shall take effect upon approval of two-thirds of the voters voting upon such proposition. The local agency which fixes such a special tax shall not, however, impose such tax upon a federal or state governmental agency or another local agency.

(b)The ordinance submitted to voter approval pursuant to subdivision (a), shall specify the amount of each of such special taxes. Each of such special taxes shall be levied on a parcel, class of improvement to property, or use of property basis, or a combination thereof, within the local agency to which fire protection services or police protection services are made available, for the purpose of obtaining, furnishing, operating, and maintaining fire suppression and police protection equipment or apparatus or either such service, respectively, for paying the salaries and benefits to firefighting and police protection personnel or either such personnel, respectively, and for such other necessary fire protection and prevention expenses and police protection expenses, respectively, or either such expenses of the local agency in such area, zone, or local agency to which fire protection and prevention services or police protection services, or both, are made available.

An ordinance which sets a maximum amount of the tax to be levied on a parcel, class of improvement to property, or use of property basis, or a combination thereof, and which permits the local agency proposing the tax to determine the amount to be levied, annually, within the maximum amount, shall satisfy the requirements of this section. However, in no case shall the amount of the tax to be levied exceed the maximum amount established by the ordinance without the approval of the voters as prescribed in subdivision (a).

(c)The amount of each such special tax established by the legislative body, and approved by the voters of the local agency, may be varied to each parcel, improvement, or use of property based on the degree of availability of fire protection and prevention services or police protection services, respectively, in the affected area, and may restrict such charges to areas lying within one or more zones or areas established in such local agency.

(d)The legislative body may provide for the collection of the special taxes in the same manner and subject to the same penalty as, or with, other charges and taxes fixed and collected by the local agency, or by the county on behalf of the local agency. If such special taxes are collected by the county on behalf of the local agency, the county may deduct its reasonable costs incurred for such service before remittal of the balance to the local agency.

(e)The revenues from each of such special taxes shall be used for the service or services for which it was imposed, and for no other purpose.

(f)This section does not limit or prohibit the levy or collection or any other fee, charge, or tax, or any license or service fee or charge for fire prevention or protection services or police protection services as provided by other provisions of law.