California Streets and Highways Code
The legislative body, instead of waiting until the completion of the work may, in its discretion, and not otherwise, upon the completion of two blocks or more of any work, order the street superintendent to make an assessment for the proportionate amount of the contract completed, and thereupon proceedings and rights of collection of that assessment shall be the same as provided in this part for the making and collection of other assessments.
Any tenant or lessee of the lands or lots liable may pay the amount assessed against the property of which he is the tenant or lessee under the provisions of this division, or he may pay the price agreed on to be paid under the provisions of Section 5580, either before or after an action is brought, together with costs, to the contractor, or his assigns, or he may redeem the property, if sold on execution or decree for the benefit of the owner, within the time prescribed by law, and deduct the amount so paid from the rents due and to become due from him. For any sums so paid beyond the rents due from him, he shall have a lien upon and may retain possession of the land and lots until the amount so paid and advanced is satisfied, with legal interest, from accruing rents, or by payment by the owner.
If a county is conducting the proceedings under this division the legislative body may also purchase all or any part of the materials to be used in doing any of the work mentioned in this division and furnish the same therefor. The purchase may be made from such funds of the county as the legislative body may designate.
If the county has a purchasing agent, the materials shall be purchased by him; otherwise the materials shall be purchased by the legislative body by contract let to the lowest responsible bidder after notice calling for bids has been published at least five days in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. If the county is to furnish materials the resolution of intention shall so provide.
When such provision is made, the execution of the contract for the improvements shall create a liability on the part of the county to furnish the materials provided for in the resolution.
In the event the city conducting the proceedings designates the county treasurer or tax collector to perform any service relating to collecting or receiving money, including but not limited to, printing, servicing and collecting any bonds, neither the treasurer nor the tax collector so designated shall perform any such service until there shall have been paid to him his estimate of the cost of service or services, provided, however, the city conducting the proceedings, in lieu of the prior payment of the estimated cost, may enter into a written agreement with the county treasurer or tax collector. Such agreement shall provide for the payment of the cost or estimated cost of any service rendered by the designated county officer.
In the event such cost or estimated cost is not included in the assessment, the city conducting the proceedings shall be liable for payment thereof from the general fund.