Article 7. Rates And Collection of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 5. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 5. >> Article 7.
The governing body shall establish just and equitable rates
for the use and maintenance of the works, to be paid by the person
leasing or occupying the building or premises served thereby or that
in any way uses or is served by the works, and may change and
readjust the rates from time to time. The rates shall be sufficient
in each year for the payment of the proper and reasonable expenses of
operation, repair, replacement, and maintenance of the works, and
for payment of the principal of and the interest on the bonds.
The governing body shall establish rates that, beyond all
reasonable doubt, will bring in sufficient money to meet the interest
and principal on all outstanding bonds as they fall due, in addition
to the expense of operation.
Whenever it appears that the rates are insufficient to
provide enough money to pay the principal and interest, in addition
to the operating expenses, and the governing body neglects or refuses
to fix adequate rates therefor, any bondholder may petition the
superior court for a writ of mandate to compel the governing body to
increase the rates to such an extent as will make them sufficient to
provide enough money for those purposes.
The governing body may establish variable rates for different
classes of users, or for different parts of the area, where all or
any portion of the sewage works have been previously installed and
financed under other laws or methods, so that the variable rates may
be most equitable and just to all concerned.
However, the rates may only be imposed and collected from the
users of all or any portion of such works as are constructed with
money derived from the sale of the bonds.
If the users of all or any portion of any works previously
acquired and financed by other methods receive any additional
benefits from the construction or operation of all or any portion of
the works subsequently constructed or acquired from the proceeds of
the bonds, the governing body may impose reasonable rates on the
works previously acquired, but only sufficient to cover the value of
the additional benefits.
No rates shall be established until after a public hearing,
at which all the users of the works and owners of property served or
proposed to be served thereby and others interested have opportunity
to be heard concerning the proposed rates.
After introduction of the ordinance, resolution, or order
fixing the rate, and before it is finally enacted, notice of the
hearing, setting forth the proposed schedule of rates shall be given
by one publication in a newspaper published in the district, if there
is such a newspaper, but otherwise in a newspaper having general
circulation in the district. The notice shall be published at least
ten days before the date fixed in the notice for the hearing. The
hearing may be adjourned from time to time.
After the hearing the ordinance, resolution, or order
establishing rates, either as originally introduced or as modified
and amended, shall be passed and put into effect.
A copy of the schedule of the rates shall be kept on file in
the office of the clerk, and shall be open to inspection by any
The rates for any class of users or property served may be
extended to cover any additional premises thereafter served which
fall within the same class, without the necessity of hearing or
Any change or readjustment of the rates shall be made in the
same manner as the rates were originally established.
If the rate is not paid when due, on the first day of each
calendar month thereafter a penalty of ten per cent of the amount of
the delinquent rate shall be added.
The rates and penalties may be collected in the following
(a) An action may be brought in the name of the district against
the person who occupied the property when the service was rendered
for the collection of the amount of the delinquent rate and all
penalties. A reasonable attorney's fee shall be awarded the
(b) The governing body may provide that the rates shall be
collected with the rates for any other utility service rendered by
the district and all the rates shall be itemized, billed upon the
same bill, and collected as one item, together with and not separate
from such other utility service charge.
(c) Such rates may be collected with the rates for any other
utility service furnished by a department or agency of such district
over which the legislative body thereof does not exercise control, or
with a publicly or privately owned public utility, with the written
consent and agreement of said department or agency or public utility
owner, which agreement shall establish the terms and conditions upon
which such collections shall be made. Such agreement, in the
discretion of such department or agency or public utility owner
making the collections, also may provide that said rates shall be
itemized, billed upon the same bill, and collected as one item,
together with and not separately from such other utility service
The remedies specified for collecting and enforcing rates are
cumulative and may be pursued alternatively or may be used
consecutively when the governing body so determines.
If any remedy is invalid, all valid remedies shall remain
Until the principal and interest of the bonds are fully paid
any holder of any bond outstanding at any time may compel the use of
any or all of the remedies provided in this chapter.
After rates are fixed pursuant to this article, any person
may pay such rates under protest and bring an action against the
governing body in the superior court to recover any money which the
governing body refuses to refund. Payments made and actions brought
under this section, shall be made and brought in the manner provided
for the payment of taxes under protest and actions for refund thereof
in Article 2, Chapter 5, Part 9, Division 1 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code, insofar as those provisions are applicable.