BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                            



           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 171|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
                                           
                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 171
          Author:   Hueso (D)
          Amended:  4/8/13
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE GOVERNANCE & FINANCE COMMITTEE  :  6-1, 5/8/13
          AYES:  Wolk, Beall, DeSaulnier, Emmerson, Hernandez, Liu
          NOES:  Knight


           SUBJECT  :    Coachella Valley Water District: property related  
          fees

           SOURCE  :     Coachella Valley Water District


           DIGEST  :    This bill allows Coachella Valley Water District to  
          levy property related fees to pay for constructing, operating,  
          improving and maintaining the District's public works.

           ANALYSIS  :    Proposition 218 (1996) defined a property-related  
          fee or charge as any levy other than an ad valorem tax, a  
          special tax, or an assessment imposed by an agency on a parcel  
          or a person as an incident of property ownership, including a  
          user fee or charge for a property-related service.


          Before a local government can charge a new property-related fee,  
          or increase an existing fee, Proposition 218 requires local  
          officials to:


                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 171
                                                                     Page  
          2




             Identify the parcels to be charged.


             Calculate the fee for each parcel.


             Notify the parcels' owners in writing about the fees and the  
             hearing.


             Hold a public hearing to consider and count protests.

             Abandon the fees if a majority of the parcels' owners  
             protest.


          New or increased property-related fees also require:





             A majority-vote of the affected property owners. 


             Two-thirds registered voter approval.

             Weighted ballot approval by the affected property owners.

          The election requirements do not apply to property-related fees  
          for sewer, water, or refuse collection services.

          This bill authorizes the Coachella Valley Water District to  
          impose a fee or charge to pay for constructing, operating,  
          improving and maintaining the District's public works in  
          compliance with Article XIII D of the California Constitution.

          This bill clarifies that the Coachella Valley Water District's  
          benefit assessments must comply with the state laws that  
          implement Proposition 218, including majority vote threshold  
          requirements.







                                                                     SB 171
                                                                     Page  
          3


           Comments
           
          The Coachella Valley Water District covers more than 1,000  
          square miles, and there is only one drainage system in the Lower  
          Coachella Valley that handles stormwater, agricultural drainage,  
          and now urban drainage.  The system was originally constructed  
          by the Bureau of Reclamation to manage storm flows and  
          agricultural drainage, but urban development that is moving into  
          the Lower Valley also uses the system.  Operation and  
          maintenance costs of the system are currently paid by the  
          farmers in the Lower Valley.  As farm areas are urbanized, the  
          number of farmers has decreased while urban drainage has driven  
          costs up.  The current fee structure has caused shortages in  
          funding for operations and maintenance and is unsustainable as  
          agricultural contributions continue to decline.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No   Local:  
           No
           

          SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/9/13)

          Coachella Valley Water District (source)
          City of Mirage
          Desert Valleys Builders Association
          Noble & Company


          AB:d  5/9/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****