(1) Existing law, known as the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act, defines various terms and prescribes procedures and parameters for local jurisdictions to comply with specified provisions of the California Constitution.
The Legislature adopted Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 (ACA 1) at the 2023–24 Regular Session of the Legislature, which, if approved by the voters, would amend and add provisions of the California Constitution to (1) create an additional exception to the 1% limit on the ad valorem tax rate on real property by authorizing a local jurisdiction to levy an ad valorem tax to service bonded indebtedness incurred to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by 55% of the voters in that local jurisdiction; and (2) authorize a local jurisdiction to impose, extend, or increase a sales and use tax to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by 55% of the voters in that local jurisdiction.
Pursuant to the existing law described above, ACA 1 is scheduled to appear on the ballot at the November 5, 2024, statewide general election.
This bill, for purposes of ACA 1, would define "affordable housing" to include rental housing, ownership housing, interim housing, and affordable housing programs such as downpayment assistance, first-time homebuyer programs, and owner-occupied affordable housing rehabilitation programs. The bill would require a local government to ensure that any project that is funded with ACA 1 bonded indebtedness to have an estimated useful life of at least 15 years or 5 years if the funds are for specified public safety buildings, facilities, and equipment. The bill would define "public infrastructure" to exclude the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of a sports stadium or arena where the majority of the use of the facility is for private ticketed activities. The bill would prohibit ACA 1 bonded indebtedness from being used for the acquisition or lease of any real property that has, at the time of acquisition or lease, been improved with one to 4 dwelling units, except as specified. The bill would also prohibit any ACA 1 bonded indebtedness, when added to existing bonded indebtedness of a local government, from exceeding the applicable statutory limit on the maximum amount of bonded indebtedness that a local government is authorized to incur.
ACA 1, if approved by the voters, would require a proposition approving ACA 1 bonded indebtedness or an ACA special tax to include specified accountability requirements, including a requirement that the local government conduct annual independent performance and financial audits, as specified, and a requirement that the local government appoint a citizens' oversight committee to ensure that revenues are expended only for the purposes described in the measure. ACA 1, if approved by the voters, would require a local government to submit the annual independent performance and financial audits to the California State Auditor for review. ACA 1, if approved by the voters, would authorize the Legislature to enact additional accountability measures, provided that the accountability measures are consistent with the purposes and intent of ACA 1.
This bill would require the California State Auditor to review an unspecified percentage of annual independent performance audits and the annual independent financial audits that must be conducted under ACA 1 based on best practices. The bill would require the California State Auditor to establish best practices for the purposes for these provisions.
The bill would establish various requirements regarding the appointment and function of a citizens' oversight committee. In this regard, the bill would require the citizens' oversight committee to consist of at least 7 members who serve for a minimum term of 2 years without compensation. The bill would prohibit an employee or official of the local government and any vendor, contractor, or consultant of the local government from being appointed to the citizens' oversight committee. The bill would state the purpose of a citizens' oversight committee is to inform the public concerning the expenditure of revenues derived from ACA 1 bonded indebtedness. The bill would require a citizens' oversight committee to actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers' money for the purposes described in ACA 1 and advise the public as to whether a local government is in compliance with the requirements of ACA 1. The bill would require the committee to issue regular reports on the results of its activities and would require the local government to provide the citizens' oversight committee with any necessary technical assistance and administrative assistance in furtherance of its purpose, as specified.
Because the bill would enact additional accountability measures for ACA 1 taxes, the bill may only be adopted by a 23 vote of the Legislature.
ACA 1, if approved by the voters, would prohibit a local government from placing a proposition on the ballot pursuant to ACA 1 if the voters have previously approved an ACA 1 proposition until all funds from the previous proposition are committed to programs and projects, as described.
This bill would define "committed" for purposes of ACA 1 to mean all of the funds from ACA 1 bonded indebtedness are dedicated to specific projects or programs.
(2) Existing law, the Fire Protection District Law of 1987, requires a fire protection district board of directors to adopt a resolution making determinations and calling an election on a proposition to incur indebtedness and to issue general obligation bonds whenever that district board determines that it is necessary to incur a general obligation bonded indebtedness for the acquisition or construction of any real property or other capital expense or for funding or refunding of any outstanding indebtedness. Existing law also authorizes the district board, if 23 of voters voting upon the proposition favor incurring the indebtedness and issuing the bonds, to adopt resolutions to issue bonds for all or any part of the amount of the indebtedness.
This bill would create an exception to that provision to authorize the district board, if 55% of voters voting upon the proposition favor incurring the indebtedness and issuing bonds that would fund any or all of the activities described in ACA 1, to adopt resolutions to issue bonds for all or any part of the amount of the indebtedness.
(3) This bill would state that its provisions are severable.
(4) The bill would provide that these provisions would become operative only if Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 of the 2023–24 Regular Session is approved by the voters.
(5) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Statutes affected:
06/13/24 - Amended Assembly: 13928 HSC