Chapter 1. Benefit Assessment Districts of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 10. >> Part 11. >> Chapter 1.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the
(a) "Benefit district" means a special benefit assessment district
established pursuant to this chapter, the area of which shall lie
not more than one-half mile from the center point of any transit
station or proposed transit station.
(b) "Board" means the governing board of the operator.
(c) "Eligible transit project" means transit stations and rail
facilities and associated services, but excludes operating costs of
rail or transit services.
(d) (1) For purposes of this chapter, "legal representative" means
an official of a corporation owning real property in the benefit
(2) For purposes of this chapter, "legal representative" also
means a guardian, conservator, executor, or administrator of the
estate of the holder of title to real property in the benefit
district who is all of the following:
(A) The person is appointed under the laws of this state.
(B) The person is entitled to the possession of the estate's real
(C) The person is authorized by the appointing court to exercise
the particular right, privilege, or immunity which he or she seeks to
(e) "Operator" means a transit district, municipal operator, or
other public agency operating or contracting for the operation of
transit, commuter rail, or intercity rail services.
(f) "Rail" means rail transit, commuter rail, or intercity rail.
(g) "Rail facilities" means land, buildings, and equipment, or any
interest therein, whether or not the operation thereof produces
revenue, which has, as its primary purpose, the operation of the rail
system or the providing of services to the passengers of the rail
system, but does not mean any land, buildings, or equipment, or
interest therein, which is used primarily for the production of
revenue not arising from the operation of the rail system.
(h) "Transit station" means a rail station, or a ferry terminal,
or a bus transfer station as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision
(b) of Section 65460.1 of the Government Code.
The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) It is necessary and in the best interest of the citizens of
the state to authorize operators to levy special benefit assessments
for needed eligible transit projects on the property that benefits
from those transit projects.
(b) The eligible transit projects provide special benefits to
parcels of land, and improvements thereon, in the vicinity of transit
stations, and provide general benefits to the community at large.
The board of the operator shall be the conclusive judge of the
proportion of special and general benefits produced by the eligible
transit projects and of the distribution of the special benefits
among parcels of property within the benefit assessment district.
(a) Whenever the board finds that property adjacent to, or
in the vicinity of, one or more transit stations, or proposed transit
stations, of the operator receives or will receive special benefit
by reason of the location or operation of one or more of those
transit stations, the board may, by resolution adopted by a
two-thirds vote of its members, provide for notice and hearing on its
intention to establish one or more special benefit districts and
levy a special benefit assessment on real property therein for the
purpose of financing, in whole or in part, the acquisition,
construction, development, joint development, operation, maintenance,
or repair of one or more eligible transit projects located within
the benefit district.
(b) In connection with the levy of a special benefit assessment,
the board shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing
procedures set forth in Section 53753 of the Government Code.
(c) The resolution may provide that the proposed benefit district
will contain separate zones, which may consist of either contiguous
or noncontiguous areas of land within the service area of the
operator. The proposed benefit district and each proposed zone, if
any, therein shall be an area adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, one
or more transit stations or proposed transit stations. The
boundaries of the benefit district and of each zone, if any, therein
shall be drawn so as to reflect, as accurately as possible, the areas
in which special benefits are conferred by reason of the proximity
and operation of one or more transit stations.
(d) A notice stating the time and place of the hearing, and
setting forth the boundaries and purpose of the proposed benefit
district, shall be published prior to the time fixed for the hearing
pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
(e) An operator other than a transit district, city, or county may
implement a special benefit district under this chapter only if the
action is consistent with the general or specific plans of the city
or county within which the special benefit district is to be created.
(a) The resolution shall state, as appropriate, the maximum
and minimum rate of assessment, the amount of the special benefit
assessment and the purposes for which it is to be levied, the
estimated cost of accomplishing the purposes, and the dates or
approximate intervals at which the assessment shall be levied. The
resolution shall also state that the exterior boundaries of the
benefit district are set forth on a map on file with the operator,
which map shall govern for all purposes as to the extent of the
benefit district and zones, if any, therein and that the area set
forth on the map shall thereupon constitute and be known as "Benefit
District No. ____ of the [insert name of operator]," or as "Benefit
Zone ____ of the Benefit District No. ____ of the [insert name of
operator]," as designated by the board.
(b) A copy of the resolution shall be included with the notice
given pursuant to Section 53753 of the Government Code.
(a) In determining the amount of a special benefit
assessment, the board shall measure the benefit to real property in
the benefit district or zones therein according to the procedures and
approval process set forth in Section 4 of Article XIII D of the
(b) The special benefit assessment constitutes a charge imposed on
particular real property for an eligible transit project of direct
benefit to that property, and does not constitute an ad valorem tax
or any other form of general tax levy applying a given rate to the
assessed valuation of all taxable property within the service area of
(c) The operator shall possess all powers necessary for,
incidental to, or convenient for, the collection, enforcement,
administration, or distribution of the special benefit assessment in
accordance with California law.
(d) The revenue from a special benefit assessment, which is
imposed pursuant to this chapter, or from bonds secured by such a
special benefit assessment, for the purpose of financing an eligible
transit project located within the benefit district, shall be used
only for financing of the project for which it was levied, and that
revenue shall not be used for any other purpose or the payment of any
other expense of the operator, including, but not limited to, a
transit, transportation, or operating expense.
(a) Where any parcel in the benefit district is owned in
joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or any other multiple ownership,
the owners of that parcel may designate in writing which one of the
owners shall be deemed the owner of the parcel for purposes of
submitting an assessment ballot pursuant to Section 53753 of the
Government Code. In the absence of a designation, paragraph (3) of
subdivision (e) of Section 53753 of the Government Code shall apply.
(b) The legal representative of a corporation or an estate owning
real property in the benefit district may act on behalf of the
corporation or the estate.
If a majority does not protest the imposition of an
assessment, the board may levy the assessment in accordance with the
resolution adopted pursuant to Section 99002.
(a) Any owner or owners of real property, which is, in whole
or in part, within the benefit district, or their legal
representatives, may jointly or severally file with the board a
petition requesting that the real property owned by them or for which
they are the legal representative be excluded from the benefit
district on the ground that the real property sought to be excluded
is not benefited or that the assessment be reduced on the ground that
the assessment exceeds the benefit to that real property.
(b) The real property sought to be excluded or upon which the
assessment is sought to be reduced shall be described by its legal
description and shall be accompanied by a map depicting its location
in relation to the benefit district.
(c) The petition shall contain a statement of facts in support of
the petition and shall be acknowledged by the owner or the legal
representative filing the petition.
Notice of each hearing upon the petition for exclusion or
reduction shall be given in accordance with subdivision (d) of
Section 99002. Notice shall also be mailed at least 30 days prior to
the hearing to all record owners of each identified parcel within the
boundaries of the benefit district or zone.
At the time and place provided in the notice or at any time
and place to which the hearing is adjourned, the board or its
appointed hearing officer shall hear all of the following:
(a) The petition for exclusion or reduction.
(b) All evidence or proof that may be introduced by or on behalf
of the petitioners.
(c) All objections to the petition that may be presented in
writing by any person, including the authority.
(d) All evidence or proof that may be introduced in support of
objections to the petition.
The expenses of giving the notice provided for herein and of
the hearing on the exclusion or reduction petition shall be paid by
the persons filing the petition.
Upon the hearing on an exclusion or reduction petition by
the board, or upon the record of hearing by a hearing officer, the
board shall order the petition be denied if the petitioner has not
shown by a preponderance of the evidence that in an exclusion
petition the real property is not benefited or in a reduction
petition that the assessment exceeds the benefit to the property.
The board, after the hearing on an exclusion or reduction
petition, shall order one of the following by resolution:
(a) In the case of an exclusion petition, order the exclusion of
all or any part of the real property described in the petition upon
its finding that the property will not be benefited by the operations
of the operator in the vicinity of the benefit district.
(b) In the case of a reduction petition, order a change in the
benefit assessment to all or any portion of the real property
described in the petition to provide that it not exceed the amount of
benefit derived by the operations of the operator in the vicinity of
the benefit district.
(c) Confirm the assessment on the real property subject to the
petition as correctly reflecting the amount of benefit to the real
(a) Following formation of the benefit district or
concurrently therewith, if the board deems it necessary to incur a
bonded indebtedness for the acquisition, construction, development,
joint development, completion, operation, maintenance, or repair of
one or more eligible transit facilities located within the benefit
district, the board may provide, by resolution, that the bonded
indebtedness shall be payable from special benefit assessments levied
within the benefit district. The resolution shall be adopted by a
two-thirds vote of the members of the board, and shall declare and
state all of the following:
(1) That the board intends to incur an indebtedness, by the
issuance of bonds of the operator, for the benefit district which the
board has formed, or intends to form, within a portion of the
service area of the operator.
(2) The purposes for which the proposed debt is to be incurred,
which may include all costs and estimated costs necessary or
convenient for, incidental to, or connected with, the accomplishment
of the purposes, including, without limitation, engineering,
inspection, legal, fiscal agent, financial consultant, bond and other
reserve funds, working capital, bond interest estimated to accrue
during the construction period, if any, and for a period not
exceeding three years thereafter, and the expenses of all proceedings
for the authorization, issuance, and sale of the bonds.
(3) The estimated cost of accomplishing the purposes and the
amount of the principal of the indebtedness to be incurred.
(4) That a general description of the benefit district and of each
zone, if any, therein and maps showing the exterior boundaries
thereof are on file with the operator and available for inspection by
any interested person.
(5) That special benefit assessments for the payment of the bonds,
and the interest thereon, have been, or are proposed to be levied in
the benefit district or zones therein in accordance with the
procedures and approval process set forth in Section 4 of Article
XIII D of the California Constitution.
(6) The extent to which, if at all, all or a portion of the
revenues of the operator are to be used to pay the principal of,
interest on, and sinking fund payments for, the bonds, including the
establishment and maintenance of any reserve fund therefor.
(7) The time and place set for hearing on the proposed issuance of
(8) That, prior to levying a special benefit assessment, the board
shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures set
forth in Section 53753 of the Government Code.
(9) The maximum term the proposed bonds shall run before maturity,
which shall not exceed 40 years from the date of the bonds or any
(10) The maximum rate or rates of interest to be paid, which shall
not exceed 12 percent per annum.
(11) That the pledge of special benefit assessment revenues to the
bonds authorized by this section has priority over the use of any of
those revenues for pay-as-you-go financing, except to the extent
that this priority is expressly restricted by any of the operator's
agreements with bondholders.
(b) The notice stating the time and place of the hearing on the
proposed issuance of bonds shall be published prior to the time fixed
for the hearing pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
At the time and place fixed for the hearing on the issuance
of bonds payable from special benefit assessments levied under this
chapter, or at any time and place to which the hearing is adjourned,
the board shall proceed with the hearing. Interested persons may
appear at the hearing and present matters material to the questions
set forth in the resolution. At the conclusion of the hearing on the
proposed issuance of bonds, the board shall, by resolution adopted by
a two-thirds vote of the members, determine whether to incur the
The resolution shall state the amount of the proposed debt, the
purposes for which it is to be incurred, and the estimated cost of
accomplishing the purposes. The determinations made in the resolution
are final and conclusive.
Special benefit assessments for the payment of the principal
of, and interest on, bonds issued for a benefit district or zone
shall be levied in the benefit district or zone at rates that are
sufficient in the aggregate, together with revenues already collected
and available, to pay the principal of, and interest on, all bonds
the authority issued for the benefit district or zone. Other revenues
of the operator shall be used for the payment of the principal of,
and interest on, the bonds only to the extent set forth in any
agreement of the authority for the benefit of bondholders.
Special benefit assessments in the benefit district and zones, if
any, therein shall be calculated in accordance with the requirements
set forth in Section 4 of Article XIII D of the California
The bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall bear
interest at a rate or rates not exceeding 12 percent per annum,
payable semiannually, except that the first interest payable on the
bonds or any series thereof may be for any period not to exceed one
year as determined by the board.
In the resolution or resolutions providing for the issuance of
bonds, the board may also provide for call and redemption of the
bonds prior to maturity at times and prices and upon any other terms
that it may specify. However, no bond is subject to call or
redemption prior to maturity unless the bond contains a recital to
that effect. The denomination or denominations of bonds shall be
stated in the resolution providing for their issuance, but shall not
be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000). The principal of, and
interest on, the bonds shall be payable in lawful money of the United
States at the office of the treasurer of the authority or at any
other place or places that may be designated by the board, or at
either place or places at the option of the holders of the bonds. The
bonds shall be dated, numbered consecutively, signed by the board
chairperson and chief financial officer, and countersigned by the
secretary and shall have the official seal of the authority attached.
The interest coupons of the bonds shall be signed by the chief
financial officer. The seal and all signatures and countersignatures
may be printed, lithographed, or mechanically reproduced, except that
one signature or countersignature shall be manually affixed.
If an officer, whose signature or countersignature appears on the
bonds or coupons, leaves office for any reason prior to the delivery
of the bonds, the officer's signature is as effective as if the
officer had remained in office.
The bonds issued pursuant to this chapter may be sold as the
board determines by resolution. The board may sell the bonds at a
price below par.
If the board determines by resolution that the bonds shall be sold
by competitive bid, the board, before selling the bonds, or any part
thereof, shall give notice inviting sealed bids in the manner that
it prescribes. If satisfactory bids are received, the bonds offered
shall be awarded to the highest responsible bidder. If no bids are
received, or if the board determines that the bids received are not
satisfactory as to price or responsibility of the bidders, the board
may reject all bids received, if any, and either readvertise or sell
the bonds at private sale or by negotiation, or by other lawful
If the board determines by resolution that the bonds shall not be
sold by competitive bid, the board may sell the bonds at public or
private sale, by negotiation, or by other lawful means.
Delivery of any bonds issued under this chapter may be made
at any place either inside or outside the state, and the purchase
price may be received in cash or bank credits.
All accrued interest and premiums received on the sale of
bonds issued by the operator pursuant to this chapter shall be placed
in the fund to be used for the payment of principal of, and interest
on, those bonds. The remainder of the proceeds received on the sale
of the bonds shall be placed in the treasury to secure those bonds or
for the purposes for which the debt was incurred.
When the purposes for which the debt was incurred have been
accomplished, any money remaining shall be either (a) transferred to
the fund to be used for the payment of principal of, and interest on,
the bonds or (b) placed in a fund to be used for the purchase of
those outstanding bonds of the operator, from time to time, in the
open market at the prices and in the manner, either at public or
private sale or otherwise, that the board determines. Bonds so
purchased shall be canceled immediately.
The board may provide for the issuance, sale, or exchange of
refunding bonds to redeem or retire any bonds issued by the operator
under this chapter upon the terms, at the times, and in the manner
that it determines. Refunding bonds may be issued in a principal
amount sufficient to pay all, or any part, of the principal of the
outstanding bonds issued under this chapter, the interest thereon,
and the premiums, if any, due upon call and redemption thereof prior
to maturity and all expenses of the refunding.
The provisions of this chapter, for the issuance and sale of bonds
apply to the issuance and sale of refunding bonds, except that, when
refunding bonds are to be exchanged for outstanding bonds, the
method of exchange shall be as determined by the board.
Any bonds issued under this chapter are legal investment for
all trust funds; for the funds of insurance companies, commercial
and savings banks, and trust companies; for state school funds; and,
whenever any money or funds may, by any law now or hereafter enacted,
be invested in bonds of cities, counties, school districts, or other
districts within this state, the money or funds may be invested in
the bonds issued under this chapter.
Whenever bonds of cities, counties, school districts, or other
districts within this state may, by any law now or hereafter enacted,
be used as security for the performance of any act or the deposit of
any public money, bonds issued under this chapter may be so used.
The provisions of this chapter are in addition to all other laws
relating to legal investments and are controlling as the latest
expression of the Legislature with respect thereto.
The board may change the purposes for which any proposed
debt is to be incurred, the estimated cost, the amount of bonded debt
to be incurred, or the boundaries of the benefit district or zones,
if any, therein or one or all of those matters, except that the board
shall not change the boundaries to include any territory which will
not, in its judgment, be benefited by the action of the operator.
(a) The board shall not change the purposes, the estimated
cost, the boundaries of the benefit district or zones, if any,
therein, or the amount of bonded debt to be incurred until after it
gives notice of its intention to do so, stating each proposed change
in the purpose and stating, if applicable, that the exterior
boundaries proposed to be changed are set forth on a map on file with
the operator. The notice shall also specify the time and the place
set for hearing.
(b) The notice shall be published prior to the time set for the
hearing pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
(c) The notice shall also be mailed at least 30 days prior to the
hearing to all owners of real property affected by the proposed
change whose names and addresses appear on the last equalized
assessment roll or are otherwise known to the board of supervisors of
the county in which the benefit district is located or to the
operator. However, any proposed increases to a special benefit
assessment may not be made unless all notice, protest, and hearing
procedures set forth in Section 53753 of the Government Code have
At the time and place fixed for a hearing on changes, or at
any time and place to which the hearing is adjourned, the board shall
proceed with the hearing. At the hearing, interested persons may
appear and present matters material to the changes set forth in the
At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall, by resolution,
determine whether to make any or all of the changes set forth in the
notice. The determinations made in the resolution are conclusive and
All decisions and determinations of the board, upon notice
and hearing, are final and conclusive upon all persons entitled to
appeal to the board as to all errors, informalities, and
irregularities which the board might have avoided or remedied during
the progress of the proceedings or which it can, at that time,
Any objection, appeal, or protest not made at the time of any
hearing is deemed to be waived voluntarily by any person who might
have made the appeal, protest, or objection, and the person is deemed
to have consented to the action taken following the hearing and any
other matter on which objection, protest, or appeal could have been
Any action or proceeding which contests, questions, or
denies the validity or legality of the formation of any benefit
district or zone, the issuance of any bonds therefor pursuant to this
chapter, or any proceedings relating thereto, shall be commenced
within six months from the date of the formation, or the formation of
the benefit district or zone, the issuance of the bonds, and all
proceedings relating thereto shall be held to be in every respect
valid, legal, and incontestable.
When the board has imposed a special benefit assessment, the
secretary shall so certify to the assessor of the county in which
the territory of any benefit district is located and deliver to the
assessor copies of all maps and diagrams of the benefit district and
zones, if any, therein, indicating the amount of the special benefit
assessment to be levied within the benefit district and zones, if
Special benefit assessments authorized by this chapter shall be
levied and collected by the county at the same time and in the same
manner as taxes are levied and collected. The county may deduct its
reasonable expenses of collection and shall transmit the balance of
the assessments to the operator.
In the event of conflict with any other law, this chapter
shall prevail with respect to benefit districts within the service
area of the operator.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the
operator shall not pledge any portion of its general fund revenues to
pay any part of any bonded indebtedness incurred under this chapter
unless required by the California Constitution.
This chapter shall be repealed on January 1, 2021.