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California Standby Charge Procedures

Applies to any local agency authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or water and sewer service

By Chris Micheli, August 6, 2022 8:10 am

California has numerous formal acts in statute. Government Code Title 5, Division 2, Part 1, Chapter 12.4 provides the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act, which is contained in Sections 54984 to 54984.9. Chapter 12.4 was added in 1988 by Chapter 834. Section 54984 names the Act.

Section 54984.1 provides that the procedures set forth in this chapter are to be available to any local agency authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or water and sewer service, and authorized to fix, levy, or collect any standby or availability charge or assessment in connection with the provision of that service.

Section 54094/2 specifies that any local agency which is authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or water and sewer service, and which is providing either or both of those services within its jurisdiction, may fix, before either (a) August 10 of any given year with respect to local agencies the taxes or assessments of which are collected for the local agency by the county or (b) the start of the fiscal year with respect to local agencies the taxes or assessments of which are collected by the local agency, a water or sewer standby charge, or both, on land within the jurisdiction of the local agency to which water, sewer, or water and sewer services are made available for any purpose by the agency, whether the water or sewer services are actually used or not.

Section 54984.3 requires the governing body of the local agency to adopt a resolution to initiate proceedings to fix a standby charge. The resolution must contain specified provisions. Section 54984..4 requires the local agency to comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in existing law/

Section 54984.7 provides that, if the procedures set forth in this chapter at the time a charge was established were followed, the governing body may, by resolution, continue a charge in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the governing body must comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in existing law.

Section 54984/8 requires the local agency, after the making of a final determination, to cause the charge to be collected at the same time, and in the same manner, as is available to it under applicable law. Section 54984.9 allows a local agency, by resolution or ordinance, to provide that charges that have become delinquent, together with interest and penalties thereon, are a lien on the property when a certificate is filed in the office of the county recorder.

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