50078. Any local agency which provides fire suppression services
directly or by contract with the state or a local agency may, by
ordinance or by resolution adopted after notice and hearing, determine
and levy an assessment for fire suppression services pursuant to
this article. The assessment may be made for the purpose of obtaining,
furnishing, operating, and maintaining fire suppression equipment
or apparatus or for the purpose of paying the salaries and benefits
of firefighting personnel, or both, whether or not fire suppression
services are actually used by or upon a parcel, improvement, or
50078.1. As used in this article:
(a) "Legislative body" means the board of directors,
trustees, governors, or any other governing body of a local agency
specified in subdivision (b).
(b) "Local agency" means any city, county, or city and
county, whether general law or chartered, or special district, including
a county service area created pursuant to the County Service Area
Law, Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 25210.1) of Part 2 of
Division 2 of Title 3.
50078.2. (a) The ordinance or resolution shall establish uniform
schedules and rates based upon the type of use of property and the
risk classification of the structures or other improvements on,
or the use of, the property. The risk classification may include,
but need not be limited to, the amount of water required for fire
suppression on that property, the structure size, type of construction,
structure use, and other factors relating to potential fire and
panic hazards and the costs of providing the fire suppression by
the district to that property. The assessment shall be related to
the benefits to the property assessed.
(b) The benefit assessment levies on land devoted primarily to
agricultural, timber, or livestock uses, and being used for the
commercial production of agricultural, timber, or livestock products,
shall be related to the relative risk to the land and its products.
The amount of the assessment shall recognize normal husbandry practices
that serve to mitigate risk, onsite or proximate water availability,
response time, capability of the fire suppression service, and any
other factors which reflect the benefit to the land resulting from
the fire suppression service provided. A benefit assessment shall
not be levied for wildland or watershed fire suppression on land
located in a state responsibility area as defined in Section 4102
of the Public Resources Code. This subdivision is not applicable
to any benefit assessment levied prior to January 1, 1984, on land
devoted primarily to agricultural, timber, or livestock uses.
50078.3. Any ordinance or resolution adopted by a local agency
pursuant to this article establishing uniform schedules and rates
for assessments for fire suppression services which substantially
conforms with the model ordinance which the State Fire Marshal is
authorized to adopt pursuant to Section 13111 of the Health and
Safety Code shall be presumed to be in compliance with the requirements
of Section 50078.2.
50078.4. The legislative body of the local agency shall cause to
be prepared and filed with the clerk of the local agency a written
report which shall contain all of the following:
(a) A description of each lot or parcel of property proposed to
be subject to the assessment.
(b) The amount of the assessment for each lot or parcel for the
initial fiscal year.
(c) The maximum amount of the assessment which may be levied for
each lot or parcel during any fiscal year.
(d) The duration of the assessment.
(e) The basis of the assessment.
(f) The schedule of the assessment.
(g) A description specifying the requirements for protest and
hearing procedures for the proposed assessment pursuant to Section
50078.5. (a) The legislative body may establish zones or areas
of benefit within the local agency and may restrict the imposition
of assessments to areas lying within one or more of the zones or
areas of benefit established within the local agency.
(b) The benefit assessment shall be levied on a parcel, class
of improvement to property, or use of property basis, or a combination
thereof, within the boundaries of the local agency, zone, or area
The assessment may be levied against any parcel, improvement,
or use of property to which such services may be made available
whether or not the service is actually used.
50078.6. The clerk of the local agency shall cause the notice,
protest, and hearing procedures to comply with Section 53753. The
mailed notice shall also contain the name and telephone number of
the person designated by the legislative body to answer inquiries
regarding the protest proceedings.
50078.13. The local agency shall pay the county for costs, if any,
incurred by the county in conducting the election. An election called
by a legislative body pursuant to this article is subject to all
provisions of the Elections Code applicable to elections called
by the local agency. The local agency may recover the costs of the
election and any other costs of preparing and levying the assessment
from the proceeds of the assessment.
50078.16. The legislative body may provide for the collection of
the assessment in the same manner, and subject to the same penalties
as, other fees, charges, and taxes fixed and collected by, or on
behalf of the local agency. If the assessments are collected by
the county, the county may deduct its reasonable costs incurred
for that service before remittal of the balance to the local agency's
50078.17. Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of
Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure applies to any judicial action
or proceeding to validate, attack, review, set aside, void, or annul
an ordinance or resolution levying an assessment or modifying or
amending an existing ordinance or resolution. If an ordinance or
resolution provides for an automatic adjustment in an assessment,
and the automatic adjustment results in an increase in the amount
of an assessment, any action or proceeding to attack, review, set
aside, void, or annul the increase shall be commenced within 90
days of the effective date of the increase. Any appeal from a final
judgment in the action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section
shall be filed within 30 days after entry of the judgment.
50078.19. This article does not limit or prohibit the levy or collection
of any other fee, charge, assessment, or tax for fire suppression
services authorized by any other provisions of law.
50078.20. Any fire protection district may specifically allocate
a portion of the revenue generated pursuant to this article to pay
the interest and that portion of the principal as will become due
on an annual basis on indebtedness incurred pursuant to Section
8589.13 of this code and Section 13906 of the Health and Safety Code.