Fees, Taxes & Assessments

California’s public agencies’ ability to raise revenues for infrastructure and services is significantly constrained by the adoption of a series of ballot propositions. They limit property tax rates, require voter approval of general and special taxes, and impose substantive limitations on structuring rates and charges, and the use of their revenues and procedural requirements for their adoption.
 
With one of California’s most extensive public agency practices, offices throughout the state and decades of experience addressing the full range of fees, tax and assessment matters, Best Best & Krieger LLP lawyers advise cities and special districts on revenue matters associated with the adoption, levy and defense of taxes, assessments, fees and charges.
 
Comprehensive Service
We help our agency clients protect, preserve and enhance their limited public resources and revenues while making sure they meet the requirements of Propositions 13, 62, 218, and 26. Additionally, we assist clients with:

  • Reviewing utility rate and fee studies and assessment engineering reports
  • Preparing notices of public hearings for the adoption of fees, charges and assessments
  • Complying with public hearing and protest procedures that must be followed to consider and adopt rates and charges
  • Forming assessment districts
  • Establishing new taxes, assessments, fees and charges and increasing and extending existing ones
  • Assuring compliance with the California Constitution and state laws governing the imposition of taxes, assessments, fees and charges
  • Financing major public infrastructure and public services
  • Litigating disputes regarding applicable rules, taxes, fees and charges
Sigrid K. Asmundson

Sigrid K. Asmundson

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2853

Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Elections | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Carlos L. Campos

Carlos L. Campos

Partner

(760) 837-1602

Areas of Focus: Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Piero C. Dallarda

Piero C. Dallarda

Partner

(951) 826-8338

Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Special Districts
Steven C. DeBaun

Steven C. DeBaun

Partner

(951) 826-8201

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Transportation
Warren B. Diven

Warren B. Diven

Partner

(619) 525-1337

Areas of Focus: Fees, Taxes & Assessments | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Public Finance
Jeffry F. Ferre

Jeffry F. Ferre

Partner

(951) 826-8271

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Lutfi Kharuf

Lutfi Kharuf

Associate

(213) 787-2550

Areas of Focus: Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Public Finance | Special Districts
Michael J. Maurer

Michael J. Maurer

Associate

(213) 787-2557

Areas of Focus: General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
Joshua Nelson

Joshua Nelson

Partner

(916) 551-2859

Areas of Focus: California Public Utilities Commission | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Telecommunications
William J. Priest

William J. Priest

Of Counsel

(909) 483-6648

Areas of Focus: Elections | Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction
Mrunal M. Shah

Mrunal M. Shah

Of Counsel

(951) 826-8259

Areas of Focus: Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Municipal Law | Public Finance | School Finances, Developer Fees & Mitigation
A. Haviva Shane

A. Haviva Shane

Of Counsel

(951) 826-8289

Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts | Transportation | Water
Ward H. Simmons

Ward H. Simmons

Of Counsel

(951) 826-8366

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Ann M. Siprelle

Ann M. Siprelle

Partner

(916) 551-2834

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Harriet A. Steiner

Harriet A. Steiner

Partner

(916) 551-2821

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Telecommunications
Kara K. Ueda

Kara K. Ueda

Partner

(916) 551-2822

Areas of Focus: Elections | Environmental Litigation | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Victor L. Wolf

Victor L. Wolf

Partner

(951) 826-8231

Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Public Agency Litigation
Taxes By Voter Initiative Not Restricted By Article XIII C of the California Constitution
Legal Alerts Aug 29, 2017

Taxes By Voter Initiative Not Restricted By Article XIII C of the California Constitution

California Supreme Court Holds That Article XIII C Does Not Restrict Initiative Power To Impose Taxes

Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement is Not a Tax
Legal Alerts Jul 5, 2017

Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement is Not a Tax

California Supreme Court Holds Surcharge for Franchise Rights Not Subject to Voter Approval if Reasonably Related to Value of Franchise

Local Taxes on Non-Indian Possessory Interests in Indian Country OK’d by Court
Client Successes Jun 22, 2017

Local Taxes on Non-Indian Possessory Interests in Indian Country OK’d by Court

BB&K Wins Major Victory for Local Agencies Confirming Authority for Taxation

BB&K In the News Jun 22, 2017

Calif. County Tax On Leased Tribal Lands Gets Judge's OK

Law360 Interviews Partner Rod Walston on Ruling

No Mandatory Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies for Proposition 218 Challenge
Legal Alerts Jun 19, 2017

No Mandatory Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies for Proposition 218 Challenge

California Court of Appeal Allows Challenge to Prop. 218 Without Public Protest

Non-Property Owners in Cities and Counties May Now Sue for Wasteful Government Spending
Legal Alerts Jun 16, 2017

Non-Property Owners in Cities and Counties May Now Sue for Wasteful Government Spending

California Supreme Court Decision Widens Potential Claimant Pool

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review a Legal Challenge to Mello-Roos Special Taxes
Legal Alerts May 31, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review a Legal Challenge to Mello-Roos Special Taxes

Funding Mechanism for “Additional Services” for New Development Remains

Haviva Shane Video Bio
Videos May 9, 2017

Haviva Shane Video Bio

Of Counsel

Event May 9-12, 2017

One Water, One Future

ACWA's 2017 Spring Conference & Exhibition

Event Apr 12, 2017

Structuring Conservation-Based Rates Under Current California Law

CA-NV AWWA's 2017 Spring Conference

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services
Legal Alerts Apr 10, 2017

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services

California Appellate Court Finds Constitutional Mandate Supersedes Statutory Exemption

Event Mar 15, 2017

Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting (Oakland)

California Special Districts Association

Event Feb 23, 2017

Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting (Vista)

California Special Districts Association

Event Jan 12, 2017

Ensuring the Financial Health of Your Utility After California's Historic Drought

Rate Workshop Hosted by Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. (Oakland)

Event Jan 11, 2017

Ensuring the Financial Health of Your Utility After California's Historic Drought

Rate Workshop Hosted by Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. (Sacramento)

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies
Legal Alerts Dec 22, 2016

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies

Laws Passed in 2016 That Will Impact Public Agency Work

Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Taxes May be Limited by Ruling
Legal Alerts Dec 14, 2016

Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Taxes May be Limited by Ruling

Online Booking Rates Addressed by California Supreme Court

Hillsborough Residents File Suit Over Water Rates
BB&K In the News Dec 2, 2016

Hillsborough Residents File Suit Over Water Rates

Rates Comply with Law, BB&K Partner Kelly Salt Tells East Bay Times

William J. Priest Video Bio
Videos Nov 18, 2016

William J. Priest Video Bio

Of Counsel

Drought Policies, Price of Water Lands in Court
BB&K In the News Nov 17, 2016

Drought Policies, Price of Water Lands in Court

Hillsborough, Represented by BB&K Attorney Kimberly Hood, Faces Suit from Residents

New Laws of 2017 Series Part I: Parcel Taxes and Property Related Fees
Authored Articles & Publications Nov 8, 2016

New Laws of 2017 Series Part I: Parcel Taxes and Property Related Fees

CSDA Series Kicks Off With Analysis by BB&K Attorney Lutfi Kharuf

Event Nov 2, 2016

Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance Course

Council of Development Finance Agencies Training Institute

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”
Legal Alerts Oct 24, 2016

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982

Event Oct 6, 2016

Ensuring the Financial Health of Your Utility After California's Historic Drought

Rate Workshop Hosted by Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc.

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

Event Apr 26, 2016

Groundwater Law Conference

American Groundwater Trust

Statute Authorizing Transfer of Local Taxes as Penalty is Unconstitutional
Legal Alerts Mar 7, 2016

Statute Authorizing Transfer of Local Taxes as Penalty is Unconstitutional

California Appellate Court Ruling on Proposition 22

PEG Fees Set by Ordinance Under California Video Franchise Law Are Not Taxes Subject to Prop. 26
Legal Alerts Jan 22, 2016

PEG Fees Set by Ordinance Under California Video Franchise Law Are Not Taxes Subject to Prop. 26

State AG Opinion Could Positively Impact Many Local Governments

New California Laws Impacting Public Agencies
Legal Alerts Dec 18, 2015

New California Laws Impacting Public Agencies

This comprehensive round-up includes new legislation that will impact cities, counties, special districts and schools.

California Water Restrictions Could Continue Under New Executive Order
Legal Alerts Nov 16, 2015

California Water Restrictions Could Continue Under New Executive Order

Governor Orders Extension If Drought Conditions Linger

California Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Case
Legal Alerts Jul 23, 2015

California Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Case

Action Means the Closely Watched Tiered Water Rate Case Is Final

City’s Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified
Legal Alerts Jun 4, 2015

City’s Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified

California Appellate Court Holds that Transfer Did Not Violate Proposition 218

Press Releases Feb 18, 2015

BB&K Attorneys Garner Top Verdict Recognition

Jeff Dunn, Thomas Eastmond and Steven DeBaun Recognized by the Daily Journal for WRCOG v. Beaumont

Legislation Broadening Infrastructure Financing Districts Signed by Gov. Brown
Legal Alerts Oct 6, 2014

Legislation Broadening Infrastructure Financing Districts Signed by Gov. Brown

Four bills broaden the appeal of IFDs as a funding mechanism for local infrastructure, environmental mitigation, private industrial facilities, affordable housing and broadband

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