California Public Utilities Code
A district may levy and collect, or cause to be levied and collected, taxes for the purpose of carrying on its operations and paying its obligations.
A district may impose a special tax pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 50075) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code. The special taxes shall be applied uniformly to all taxpayers or all real property within the district, except that unimproved property may be taxed at a lower rate than improved property.
Farm products and crops which are stored within the exterior boundaries of the district are not subject to taxation by the district.
The board shall annually levy and collect a tax sufficient (a) to pay the annual interest on bonds, (b) to pay such part of the principal as will fall due within the succeeding year, and (c) to provide for the sinking fund payments of the next succeeding fiscal year.
When the interest and sinking fund payments for any fiscal year on bonds issued for a public utility or public utility works can be met out of the surplus earnings of such public utility, or out of moneys in the general fund of the district theretofore appropriated and transferred to the sinking fund of the public utility, no tax shall be levied for such purpose.
If from any cause the revenues of a district are inadequate to pay the principal or interest on any bonded debt as it becomes due, the board shall, or if funds are needed to carry out the objects and purposes of the district which cannot be provided out of the revenues of the district the board may, levy a tax for such purposes.
The board shall state the purposes for which taxes are necessary, and shall fix by ordinance the amount of money necessary to be raised by taxation.
By ordinance, the provisions of which conform to general law, the board may provide the manner of assessing and of correcting and equalizing assessments upon the taxable property situated within the district.
The board may provide for the collection of delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and costs by actions or legal proceedings brought, prosecuted, and maintained in the name of the district against the several owners of property from whom taxes are due and delinquent.
The board may elect to avail itself of the assessments made by the assessors of the counties in which the district is situated, and may take such assessments as the basis for district taxation. It shall declare its election by ordinance and file a certified copy of the ordinance with the auditors of the counties in which the district is situated.
An election pursuant to Section 16648 is effective with respect to all taxes levied and assessed after February 1 next succeeding the date upon which the certified copy is filed. Thereafter all assessments shall be made and taxes collected by the assessors or tax collectors of the counties in which the district is situated until the board by ordinance elects otherwise. When the board elects otherwise, a certified copy of such ordinance shall be filed with the auditors of the counties in which the district is situated and it is effective with respect to all taxes levied and assessed after February 1st next succeeding the date upon which the certified copy is filed.
Upon receipt of the certified copy filed pursuant to Section 16648 the county auditors shall, on or before the second Monday in August of each year, transmit to the board a statement in writing showing the total value of all property within the district, ascertained from the assessment book of the counties for that year as equalized and corrected by the boards of supervisors.
If the board elects to avail itself of county assessments, it shall, before September 1st, fix the rate of taxes, designating the number of cents upon each one hundred dollars ($100), using as a basis the value of property as ascertained from the equalized assessment rolls of the county or counties. The rate of taxation shall be sufficient to raise the amount previously fixed by the board. These acts by the board are a valid assessment of the property and a valid levy of the taxes so fixed.
Immediately after fixing the rate of taxes the board shall transmit to the county auditors of the counties in which the district is situated a statement of the rate so fixed by it.
The county auditors shall compute and enter in the assessment rolls, the district tax on the property enumerated and assessed as being in the district, using the rate of levy fixed by the board, and the assessed value as found in the assessment rolls.
Taxes levied pursuant to Sections 16648 to 16653, inclusive, shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes. When collected, the net amount, as provided in this article, shall be paid to the treasurer of the district, under the general requirements and penalties provided by law for the settlement of other taxes.
Each county auditor and tax collector shall annually file with the board of supervisors of his county itemized statements showing the additional expense to his office caused by performance of the duties imposed upon him by this article. Upon the filing of such statements the board of supervisors, by an order upon its minutes, shall deduct such expenses from the tax money of the district while in the hands of the tax collector and transfer the amount deducted into the county salary fund. Not more than one-half of 1 percent on the amount collected shall be so charged or deducted by any county.
The boards of supervisors may provide extra help for their county offices or officers as in their judgment is necessary for the proper performance of their duties under this article.
Whenever any real property situate in any district which has availed itself of county assessments has been sold for taxes and has been redeemed, the money paid for redemption shall be apportioned and paid by the county treasurer receiving it to the district, in the proportion which the tax due to the district bears to the total tax for which the property was sold.
District taxes are a lien on the property on which they are levied, except that if, during the year preceding the date on which the first installment of real property taxes which evidence the charges appears on the roll, any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the costs of such charges relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. The enforcement of the collection of district taxes may be had in the same manner and by the same means as is provided by law for the enforcement of liens for county taxes.
Where a district has not availed itself of county assessments, delinquent property sold by the tax collector of the district for delinquent taxes shall be struck off by him to the district and shall thereafter be redeemed or disposed of as is provided by law in the case of delinquent property sold to the State for delinquent county taxes.
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, in the case of a sale of property for taxes or assessments, except where the sale is conducted and the funds are accounted for as provided in Division 1 (commencing with Section 101) of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all proceeds shall be accounted for and distributed as provided in Article 12 (commencing with Section 53925) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.