|RECENT CALIFORNIA DECISIONS|
First Appellate District finds Monthly Base Rate for Water Service Is a Property-Related Fee, Not an Assessment, under Article XIII D of the California Constitution
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Paland v. Brooktrails Township Community Services Dist. Bd. of Directors, ___Cal.App.4th___
This case involved the application of certain provisions in the taxpayer initiative Proposition 218 distinguishing between an assessment, for which voter approval is required, and a property-related fee, which is exempt from the ballot approval requirement. The plaintiff-homeowner (Paland) asserted that a fixed monthly base rate for water services constituted an assessment under the constitutional framework, but the trial court held that the base rate was a fee. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding the base rate was a fee because the water service was “immediately available” to the plaintiff, even if he chose to discontinue the service or his use was cut off for failure to pay. So long as it is the unilateral act of the homeowner that causes the service not to be used, the base rate is a fee, for which no voter approval is required.
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Read related items on:
Statutes - State) California) California Constitution
Statutes - State) California) Proposition 218
Topics) Land Use) Assessments
Topics) Land Use) Service Fees
Topics) Water Supply) Rates and fees
California) Brooktrails Township
1st District Court of Appeal
Paland v. Brooktrails Township Community Services District Board of Advisors