Code Section Group

Harbors and Navigation Code - HNC


  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 368. )


  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1235, Sec. 3. )

CHAPTER 1. Findings and Definitions [1690 - 1699]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1235, Sec. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. Legislative Findings [1690- 1690.]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1235, Sec. 3. )


The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The state has a compelling interest in the success of its ports and harbors because they provide significant economic benefit to the state in terms of jobs, personal income, business revenue, and taxes. It is the policy of the state that, because of that compelling interest, legislation in this area is a matter of statewide concern and is necessary to develop the harbors and ports of this state for the benefit of the people.

(b) Ports and harbors are the vital interface between water and land transportation for trade with the Pacific Rim countries and other trade. In this respect, the specific management of the state’s ports and harbors by specific harbor and port districts established pursuant to Division 8 (commencing with Section 5800) are of equal statewide concern and importance as the management of granted lands held in trust for the state by a local port or harbor district.

(c) Historically, California’s ports and harbors have been self-supporting. Most port and harbor districts do not levy or expend funds generated by local taxes, as most of their operations are funded directly through fees and other revenue the ports generate from their users or tenants, in addition to occasional state and federal grants.

(d) The report of the California Transportation Commission entitled “Improving Access to California’s Ports,” dated February 1990, found that eight hundred ninety-seven million dollars ($897,000,000) is needed for port access transportation projects. By December 2014, the “California Freight Mobility Plan” report of the Department of Transportation identified a comprehensive list of freight projects in the state, including port access transportation projects, with an estimated total cost of one hundred thirty-eight billion dollars ($138,000,000,000).

(e) In addition to port access transportation projects, there is a need for new harbor facilities and infrastructure investments that will enhance California’s competitiveness for international cargoes, grow employment, yield significant economic development, increase state and local tax revenues, and reduce impacts to environmental quality from goods movement.

(f) Because of limited revenues from port operations, shrinking federal and state funding and the increasing demand for those limited funds, ports and harbors are no longer able to finance projects of this magnitude without new funding mechanisms. One such mechanism that can be used to finance port and harbor development projects is the enhanced infrastructure financing district.

(g) It is the intent of the Legislature to assist in the reduction of local borrowing costs, help accelerate the construction, repair, and maintenance of port capital improvements, and promote greater use of existing and new financial instruments and mechanisms.

(h) It is further the intent of the Legislature to assert the state’s plenary power over the financing of port and harbor infrastructure by harbor agencies as matters of statewide concern and to authorize the use of tax increment financing, as provided in Chapter 2.99 (commencing with Section 53398.50) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code, to support investment of tax revenues in port and harbor infrastructure.

(i) The Legislature empowers local legislative bodies with specific and exclusive delegated authority to manage the state’s ports and harbors by legislative grant and by establishment of special districts pursuant to this code. In addition, the Legislature delegates to public financing authorities the power to establish seaport infrastructure financing districts for the purpose of leveraging investment in support of the statewide interest in improving port and harbor infrastructure.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 793, Sec. 8. (SB 63) Effective January 1, 2016.)

HNCHarbors and Navigation Code - HNC1.