Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 5. SANITATION [4600 - 6127]

  ( Division 5 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

PART 3. COMMUNITY FACILITIES [4600 - 6127]

  ( Heading of Part 3 amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 420. )

CHAPTER 6. General Provisions with Respect to Sewers [5400 - 5474.10]

  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

ARTICLE 4. Sanitation and Sewerage Systems [5470 - 5474.10]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 979. )

5470.
  

The following words wherever used in this article shall be construed as defined in this section, unless from the context a different meaning is intended, or unless a different meaning is specifically defined and more particularly directed to the use of such words:

(a)  Assessment Roll. “Assessment roll” refers to the assessment roll upon which general taxes of the entity are collected.

(b)  Auditor. “Auditor” means the financial officer of the entity.

(c)  Clerk. “Clerk” means the clerk of the legislative body or secretary of the entity.

(d)  Chambers. “Chambers” refers to the place where the regular meetings of the legislative body of the entity are held.

(e)  Entity. “Entity” means and includes counties, cities and counties, cities, sanitary districts, county sanitation districts, county service areas, sewer maintenance districts, and other public corporations and districts authorized to acquire, construct, maintain and operate sanitary sewers and sewerage systems.

(f)  Rates or Charges. “Rates or charges” shall mean fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services and facilities furnished by an entity in connection with its sanitation or sewerage systems, including garbage and refuse collection.

(g)  Real Estate. “Real estate” includes:

(1)  The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to possession of land; and

(2)  Improvements on land.

(h)  Tax Collector. “Tax collector” means the officer who collects general taxes for the entity.

The amendment of this section made by the 1972 Regular Session of the Legislature does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, the preexisting law.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 269, Sec. 18. (SB 184) Effective January 1, 2016.)

5471.
  

(a) In addition to the powers granted in the principal act, any entity shall have power, by an ordinance or resolution approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislative body thereof, to prescribe, revise and collect, fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services and facilities furnished by it, either within or without its territorial limits, in connection with its water, sanitation, storm drainage, or sewerage system.

(b) In addition to the powers granted in the principal act, any entity shall have power, pursuant to the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code, to prescribe, revise, and collect water, sewer, or water and sewer standby or immediate availability charges for services and facilities furnished by it, either within or without its territorial limits, in connection with its water, sanitation, storm drainage, or sewerage system.

(c) The entity may provide that the charge for the service shall be collected with the rates, tolls, and charges for any other utility, and that any or all of these charges may be billed upon the same bill. Where the charge is to be collected with the charges for any other utility service furnished by a department or agency of the entity and over which its legislative body does not exercise control, the consent of the department or agency shall be obtained prior to collecting water, sanitation, storm drainage, or sewerage charges with the charges for any other utility. Revenues derived under the provisions in this section, shall be used only for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and operation of water systems and sanitation, storm drainage, or sewerage facilities, to repay principal and interest on bonds issued for the construction or reconstruction of these water systems and sanitary, storm drainage, or sewerage facilities and to repay federal or state loans or advances made to the entity for the construction or reconstruction of water systems and sanitary, storm drainage, or sewerage facilities. However, the revenue shall not be used for the acquisition or construction of new local street sewers or laterals as distinguished from main trunk, interceptor, and outfall sewers.

(d) If the procedures set forth in this section as it read at the time a standby charge was established were followed, the entity may, by ordinance or resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislative body thereof, continue the charge pursuant to this section in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the entity shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 366, Sec. 16. (SB 974) Effective January 1, 2017.)

5472.
  

After fees, rates, tolls, rentals or other charges are fixed pursuant to this article, any person may pay such fees, rates, tolls, rentals or other charges under protest and bring an action against the city or city and county in the superior court to recover any money which the legislative body refuses to refund. Payments made and actions brought under this section, shall be made and brought in the manner provided for payment of taxes under protest and actions for refund thereof in Article 2, Chapter 5, Part 9, of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, insofar as those provisions are applicable.

(Added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 865.)

5472.5.
  

The rates may be collected with the rates for any other utility service furnished by a department or agency of that entity over which the legislative body thereof does not exercise control, or with a publicly or privately owned public utility, with the written consent and agreement of that department or agency or public utility owner, which agreement shall establish the terms and conditions upon which the collections shall be made. The agreement, in the discretion of the department or agency or public utility owner making the collections, also may provide that those rates shall be itemized, billed upon the same bill, and collected as one item, together with, and not separately from, the other utility service charge.

(Added by renumbering Section 5472 (as amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 862) by Stats. 1981, Ch. 714.)

5473.
  

Any entity which has adopted an ordinance or resolution pursuant to this article or an order pursuant to Section 6520.5 may, by such ordinance or resolution or by separate ordinances or resolutions approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislative body thereof, elect to have such charges collected on the tax roll in the same manner, by the same persons, and at the same time as, together with and not separately from, its general taxes. In such event, it shall cause a written report to be prepared each year and filed with the clerk, which shall contain a description of each parcel of real property receiving such services and facilities and the amount of the charge for each parcel for the year, computed in conformity with the charges prescribed by the ordinance or resolution.

Any ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this section authorizing the collection of charges on the tax roll shall remain in effect for the time specified in the ordinance or resolution or, if no time is specified in the ordinance or resolution, until repealed or until a change is made in the rates charged by the entity.

The powers authorized by this section shall be alternative to all other powers of any entity, and alternative to other procedures adopted by the legislative body thereof for the collection of such charges.

The real property may be described by reference to maps prepared in accordance with Section 327 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and on file in the office of the county assessor or by reference to plats or maps on file in the office of the clerk.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 366, Sec. 17. (SB 974) Effective January 1, 2017.)

5473a.
  

Any entity may make the election specified in Section 5473 with respect only to delinquent charges and may do so by preparing and filing the written report, giving notice and holding the hearing therein required only as to such delinquencies.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1259.)

5473.1.
  

The clerk shall cause notice of the filing of said report and of a time and place of hearing thereon to be published pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code prior to the date set for hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation printed and published within the entity if there is one and if not then in such paper printed and published in the county within which the greater part of such district is located.

Before any entity may have such charges collected on the tax roll for the first time following the effective date of this section, the clerk shall cause a notice in writing of the filing of said report proposing to have such charges for the forthcoming fiscal year collected on the tax roll and of the time and place of hearing thereon, to be mailed to each person to whom any parcel or parcels of real property described in said report is assessed in the last equalized assessment roll available on the date said report is prepared, at the address shown on said assessment roll or as known to said clerk. If the legislative body adopts the report, then the requirements for notice in writing to the persons to whom parcels of real property are assessed shall not apply to hearings on reports prepared in subsequent fiscal years but notice by publication as herein provided shall be adequate.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 357.)

5473.2.
  

At the time stated in the notice, the legislative body shall hear and consider all objections or protests, if any, to said report referred to in said notice and may continue the hearing from time to time. If the legislative body finds that protest is made by the owners of a majority of separate parcels of property described in the report, then the report shall not be adopted and the charges shall be collected separately from the tax roll and shall not constitute a lien against any parcel or parcels of land.

(Amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 862.)

5473.3.
  

Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the legislative body may adopt, revise, change, reduce or modify any charge or overrule any or all objections and shall make its determination upon each charge as described in said report which determination shall be final.

(Amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 862.)

5473.4.
  

On or before August 10 of each year following the final determination upon each charge, the clerk shall file with the county auditor a copy of the report prepared pursuant to Section 5473 with a statement endorsed on the report over his or her signature that the report has been finally adopted by the legislative body of the entity and the county auditor shall enter the amounts of the charges against the respective lots or parcels of land as they appear on the current assessment roll. Where any of the parcels are outside the boundaries of the entity they shall be added to the assessment roll of the entity for the purpose of collecting the charges. If the property is not described on the roll, the county auditor may enter the description on the roll together with the amounts of the charges, as shown in the report.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 269, Sec. 19. (SB 184) Effective January 1, 2016.)

5473.5.
  

Except as provided in Section 5473.8, the amount of the charges shall constitute a lien against the lot or parcel of land against which the charge has been imposed as of noon on the first Monday in March immediately preceding the date of levy.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 861.)

5473.6.
  

The tax collector shall include the amount of the charges on bills for taxes levied against the respective lots and parcels of land.

(Added by renumbering Section 5473.5 by Stats. 1953, Ch. 862.)

5473.7.
  

Thereafter the amount of the charges shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner and by the same persons as, together with and not separately from, the general taxes for the entity, and shall be delinquent at the same time and thereafter be subject to the same delinquency penalties.

(Added by renumbering Section 5473.6 by Stats. 1953, Ch. 862.)

5473.8.
  

All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of general taxes of the entity, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to the matters of delinquency, correction, cancellation, refund, and redemption, are applicable to the charges authorized pursuant to this article, except that if any real property to which these charges relate has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value or a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon during the year prior to the date on which the first installment of the general taxes that include the charges appears on the assessment roll, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by Section 5473.5 shall not attach to the real property and the charges relating to that property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll of collection.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 330, Sec. 17. (SB 1090) Effective January 1, 2013.)

5473.9.
  

The tax collector may, in his discretion, issue separate bills for such charges and separate receipts for collection on account of such charges. The county shall be compensated for services rendered in connection with the levy, collection and enforcement of such charges for an entity other than the county in an amount to be fixed by agreement between the board of supervisors and the legislative body of the entity. The compensation shall not exceed five dollars ($5) for each account handled, or 1 percent of all money collected, whichever is greater. The compensation shall be paid into the county salary fund.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 318.)

5473.10.
  

The entity may provide for a basic penalty of not more than 10 percent for nonpayment of the charges within the time and in the manner prescribed by it, and in addition may provide for a penalty of not exceeding 1 and one-half percent per month for nonpayment of the charges and basic penalty. It may provide for collection of the penalties herein provided for.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 341, Sec. 1.)

5473.11.
  

(a)  An entity shall notify the assessee shown on the latest equalized assessment roll whenever delinquent and unpaid charges for services which would become a lien on the property pursuant to subdivision (b) remain delinquent and unpaid for 60 days.

(b) The amount of the unpaid charges may, in the discretion of the entity, be secured at any time by filing for record in the office of the county recorder of any county, a certificate specifying the amount of the unpaid charges and the name and address of the person liable for those unpaid charges. From the time of recordation of the certificate, the amount required to be paid together with interest and penalty constitutes a lien upon all real property in the county owned by the person or afterwards, and before the lien expires, acquired by him or her. The lien shall have the force, priority, and effect of a judgment lien and shall continue for 10 years from the date of the filing of the certificate unless sooner released or otherwise discharged. The lien may, within 10 years from the filing of the certificate or within 10 years from the date of the last extension of the lien in the manner herein provided, be extended by filing for record a new certificate in the office of the county recorder of any county and from the time of this filing the lien shall be extended to the real property in this county for 10 years unless sooner released or otherwise discharged.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 330, Sec. 18. (SB 1090) Effective January 1, 2013.)

5474.
  

An entity shall have the power by ordinance or resolution approved by two-thirds vote of the members of the legislative body thereof to fix fees or charges for the privilege of connecting to its sanitation or sewerage facilities and improvements constructed by the entity pursuant to Sections 5463 and 5464, to fix the time or times at which the fees or charges shall become due, to provide for the payment of the fees or charges prior to connection or in installments over a period of not to exceed 30 years, to provide the rate of interest, not to exceed 12 percent per annum, to be charged on the unpaid balance of the fees or charges, and to provide that the amount of the fees or charges and the interest thereon shall constitute a lien against the respective lots or parcels of land to which the facilities are connected at the time and in the manner specified in Sections 5473.5 and 5473.8. Prior to making the fees or charges a lien against the land, the legislative body shall give notice to the owners of the lots or parcels of land affected, and the notice shall set forth all of the following:

(a) The schedule of fees or charges to be imposed by the entity.

(b) A description of the property subject to the fees or charges, which description may be by reference to a plat or diagram on file in the office of the clerk of the legislative body, or to maps prepared in accordance with Section 327 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and on file in the office of the county assessor.

(c) The time or times at which the fees or charges shall become due.

(d) The number of installments in which the fees or charges shall be payable.

(e) The rate of interest, not to exceed 12 percent per annum, to be charged on the unpaid balance of the fees or charges.

(f) That it is proposed that the fees or charges and interest thereon shall constitute a lien against the lots or parcels of land to which the facilities are furnished.

(g) The time and place at which the legislative body will hold a hearing at which persons may appear and present any and all objections they may have to the imposition of the fees or charges as a lien against the land.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 366, Sec. 18. (SB 974) Effective January 1, 2017.)

5474.1.
  

The notice shall be published pursuant to Section 6063 of the Government Code prior to the date set for hearing. At least 10 days prior to the date of hearing written notice thereof shall be mailed to all persons owning land subject to such fees or charges, whose names and addresses appear on the last equalized assessment roll.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 754.)

5474.2.
  

At the time stated in the notice the legislative body shall hear and consider all objections or protests, if any, to the imposition of the fees or charges as set forth in said notice and may continue the hearing from time to time.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 578.)

5474.3.
  

Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the legislative body may adopt, revise, change, reduce or modify the fees or charges or may overrule any or all objections and make its determination, which determination shall be final.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 578.)

5474.4.
  

On or before August 10 of each year following the final determination, the legislative body shall certify to the county auditor a list of the lots or parcels of land, as they appear on the current assessment roll, subject to any fees or charges and the amounts of the installments of those fees or charges and interest to be entered against the lots or parcels on the assessment roll. In the event a lot or parcel connected to the facilities is subsequently divided into two or more lots or parcels as shown on the current assessment roll, the legislative body shall designate the lot or parcel that remains connected to the facilities and against which the installments of the fees or charges and interest are to be entered.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 269, Sec. 20. (SB 184) Effective January 1, 2016.)

5474.5.
  

The county auditor shall enter on the current assessment roll the amounts of the installments of any fees or charges and interest and, except as provided in Section 5474.6, the amounts thereof shall constitute a lien against the lot or parcel of land against which levied as of noon on the first Monday in March immediately preceding the date of entry.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 269, Sec. 21. (SB 184) Effective January 1, 2016.)

5474.6.
  

(a) The tax collector shall include the amounts of the installments of fees or charges and the interest on bills for taxes levied against the respective lots and parcels of land. Thereafter, all laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of taxes of the entity, including penalties and interest thereon and cancellation or refund thereof, shall be applicable to those installments of fees or charges and interest, except that, if any real property to which the fees or charges relate has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value or a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon during the year prior to the date on which the first installment of the general taxes that include the fees or charges appears on the assessment roll, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by Section 5474.5 shall not attach to the real property and the fees or charges and interest shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

(b) The amount of the unpaid installments of fees or charges and interest may, in the discretion of the entity, be secured at any time by filing for record in the office of the county recorder of any county, a certificate specifying the amount of the fees or charges and interest and the name and address of the person liable therefor. From the time of recordation of the certificate, the amount required to be paid together with interest and penalty constitutes a lien upon all real property in the county owned by the person or afterwards, and before the lien expires, acquired by him or her. The lien shall have the force, priority, and effect of a judgment lien and shall continue for 10 years from the date of the filing of the certificate unless sooner released or otherwise discharged. The lien may, within 10 years from the filing of the certificate or within 10 years from the date of the last extension of the lien in the manner herein provided, be extended by filing for record a new certificate in the office of the county recorder of any county and from the time of this filing the lien shall be extended to the real property in this county for 10 years unless sooner released or otherwise discharged.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 330, Sec. 19. (SB 1090) Effective January 1, 2013.)

5474.7.
  

The tax collector may, in his discretion, issue separate bills for such installments of fees or charges and interest. The county shall be compensated for services, if any, rendered in connection with the levy, collection and enforcement of such installments of fees or charges and interest in an amount to be fixed by agreement between the board of supervisors and the legislative body of the entity. The compensation shall not exceed 1 percent of all money collected for the entity.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 754.)

5474.8.
  

Fees or charges imposed by an entity by ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to Section 5474 may differ in amount or method of computation from fees or charges imposed by any other ordinance or resolution of such entity adopted pursuant to Section 5474.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 366, Sec. 19. (SB 974) Effective January 1, 2017.)

5474.9.
  

Revenues derived from fees or charges imposed pursuant to Section 5474 shall be used only for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, maintenance and operation of sanitation or sewerage facilities, to pay municipalities for sewer service collection charges, to repay principal and interest on bonds issued for construction or reconstruction of such sanitation or sewerage facilities and to repay federal or state loans or advances made to entities for the construction or reconstruction of sanitation or sewerage facilities; provided, however, that such revenue shall not be used for the acquisition or construction of new local street sewers or laterals as distinguished from main trunk, interceptor and outfall sewers.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 754.)

5474.10.
  

The authority for the imposition of fees or charges by entities pursuant to Section 5474 shall be in addition to the authority granted to such entities by any other law authorizing such entities to establish fees, tolls, rates, rentals or other charges.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 754.)

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