Legal Alerts Sep 22, 2016

New Legislation Impacts Special Parcel Taxes, Community Facilities Districts, and Notices for Property-Related Fees

Public Agencies Must Comply Beginning Jan. 1

New Legislation Impacts Special Parcel Taxes, Community Facilities Districts, and Notices for Property-Related Fees

Three new laws require local agencies to comply with new notice requirements for special parcel taxes, publication of annual reports on community facilities district special taxes, and retention of any written protests to any new or increase in any existing property-related fee or charge. The new laws are contained in Assembly Bills 2476, 1666 and 2801. Public agencies are required to comply with these new requirements beginning Jan. 1.

Assembly Bill 2476
AB 2476 adds section 54930 to the Government Code and requires a local agency to provide notice of a new parcel tax to an owner of a parcel affected by the new tax if that owner does not reside within the jurisdictional boundaries of the taxing entity. The notice must contain certain information, including: 1.) the amount or rate of the parcel tax in sufficient detail to allow the property owner to calculate the amount of the tax to be levied against the owner’s property; 2.) the method and frequency for collecting the tax; and 3.) the telephone number and address of an individual, office or organization that interested persons may contact to receive additional information. The form of the notice is included in the legislation. A copy of the bill may be obtained by clicking here.

Assembly Bill 1666
The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 authorizes the formation of a community facilities district to finance various facilities and services. The Act requires a community facilities district formed after Jan. 1, 1992 to prepare an “Annual Report,” if requested by a person who resides or owns property in a CFD, and within 120 days after the last day of each fiscal year. The report contains information regarding the activities and finances of the CFD. The Act also requires local agencies to report information regarding the sale of bonds to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission. Other existing law requires each county, city and special district that assesses a parcel tax to provide specific information to the State Controller in connection with reports compiled and published by the Controller on the financial transactions of those entities.

AB 1666 adds section 53343.2 to the Government Code and requires local agencies that have a website to prominently display on the website a copy of the annual report, if requested, a copy of the bond sale report to CDIAC and a copy of the report to the State Controller within seven months after the last day of each fiscal year of the CFD. Local agencies that impose CFD special taxes should consider amending their reporting procedures to reflect this new change in the law. A copy of the bill may be obtained by clicking here.

Assembly Bill 2801
California Constitution article XIII D, section 6 (commonly referred to as Proposition 218) generally requires that any local agency proposing to impose a new or increase an existing property-related fee must provide written notice by mail to the record owner of each parcel upon which the fee will be imposed and hold a public hearing not less than 45 days after the mailing of the notice. If a majority of property owners send written protests to the new fee or increase, the fee may not be imposed. The Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act (Government Code section 53750, et seq.) prescribes certain procedures and parameters for local jurisdictions to comply with article XIII D, including that one written protest per parcel, filed by an owner or tenant of the parcel, is counted in calculating a majority protest to a proposed new or increased property-related fee. AB 2801 amends Government Code section 53755 and requires that any written protests submitted to a local agency be retained by the local agency for a minimum period of two years following the date of the public hearing. Local agencies that impose property-related fees should consider amending their records retention schedules to reflect this new requirement. A copy of the bill may be obtained by clicking here.

If you have any questions about this legislation or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this Legal Alert listed to the right in the firm’s Public Finance practice group, or your BB&K attorney.

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