BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 171
                                                                  Page  1

          SB 171 (Hueso)
          As Amended  April 8, 2013
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :29-8  
           LOCAL GOVERNMENT    8-1                                         
          |Ayes:|Achadjian, Levine, Alejo, |     |                          |
          |     |Bradford, Gordon, Mullin, |     |                          |
          |     |Rendon, Waldron           |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Melendez                  |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes the Coachella Valley County Water District  
          (District) to impose a fee in compliance with Proposition 218.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Authorizes the District to impose a fee, in compliance with  
            Proposition 218, to pay the costs and expenses of carrying out  
            projects and providing services authorized under existing law.

          2)Clarifies that existing law that implements Proposition 218  
            applies to the District's current authority to levy benefit  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes the District to carry on the construction,  
            operation, and maintenance of works, improvements and  
            functions authorized by the Storm Water District Act of 1909. 

          2)Authorizes the District to raise funds by special assessment  
            on benefited land in proportion to the benefits derived by  
            benefited lands.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None

           COMMENTS  :  Article XIII D of the California Constitution  


                                                                  SB 171
                                                                  Page  2

          [Proposition 218, 1996] distinguishes among taxes, assessments  
          and fees for property-related revenues, and requires certain  
          actions before such revenues may be collected.  Counties and  
          other local agencies with police powers may impose any one of  
          these options on property owners, after completing the  
          Proposition 218 process.  Special districts created by statute,  
          however, must have specific authority for each of these revenue  

          The District was formed in 1918 to provide irrigation and  
          drinking water, collect and recycle wastewater, provide storm  
          water protection, replenish the groundwater basin, and promote  
          water conservation.  The District now provides services to over  
          107,000 homes and businesses across 1,000 square miles mostly  
          within the Coachella Valley (Riverside County).  

          The District's enabling statute authorizes the District to  
          impose assessments, not fees.  This bill expands the District's  
          authorization to add the levying of property-related fees to its  
          current authorization for levying assessments.  This bill is  
          sponsored by the District.  
          This bill requires the District to comply with the provisions of  
          Proposition 218 which require a local government to identify the  
          parcels, calculate the fee for each parcel, and conduct a  
          majority protest proceeding 45 days after mailing notice of a  
          new fee to all fee payers.  Additionally, Article XIII D,  
          Section 6 subdivision (c) of the California Constitution,  
          provides, "Except for fees or charges for sewer, water, and  
          refuse collection services, no property related fee or charge  
          shall be imposed or increased unless and until that fee or  
          charge is submitted and approved by a majority vote of the  
          property owners of the property subject to the fee or charge or,  
          at the option of the agency, by a two-thirds vote of the  
          electorate residing in the affected area."  

          According to the author "There is one drainage system in the  
          Lower Coachella Valley which handles stormwater, agricultural  
          drainage, and now urban drainage.  Operation and maintenance  
          costs of the system are currently paid by the farmers in the  
          Lower Valley, but as farm areas are urbanized, the number of  
          farmers has decreased while urban drainage has driven the costs  
          up.  This bill would provide a mechanism for the District to  
          seek to charge urban development an equitable share of the  
          operation and maintenance costs of the drainage system through  


                                                                  SB 171
                                                                  Page  3

          the use of fees and charges, as an alternative to the use of  
          assessment districts, the formation and implementation of which  
          are cumbersome and costly."  

          The Legislature has previously granted the authority to impose a  
          fee consistent with Proposition 218.  AB 2554 (Brownley),  
          Chapter 602, Statutes of 2010, authorized the Los Angeles County  
          Flood Control District to impose a fee consistent with  
          Proposition 218.  Additionally, AB 554 (Nava), Chapter 510,  
          Statutes of 2005, authorized the Ventura County Watershed  
          Protection District to levy a fee on taxable real property both  
          district-wide and by zone.  

          The title of this bill is currently "The California Seed Law"  
          which reflects the contents of a prior version of the bill.  The  
          Assembly Local Government Committee staff is aware that  
          Legislative Counsel is updating the bill title to reflect the  
          current version of the bill.  

          Support arguments:  Supporters argue that this bill "provides a  
          mechanism to collect equitable fees and other charges to fund  
          the continued operation and maintenance of the drainage system  
          with respect to urban users in the Lower Valley."  

          Opposition arguments:  None.

          Analysis Prepared by :    Misa Yokoi-Shelton / L. GOV. / (916)  

                                                                FN: 0001150