Law:Division 19. Local Transportation Authorities (California)

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Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (puc:180000-180003) Public Utilities Code Section 180000-180003

180000. This division shall be known and may be cited as the Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act.

180001. The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following: (a) Local highway and transportation improvements and services are an immediate high priority needed to resolve local and regional transportation problems that threaten the economic viability and development potential of counties and cities and adversely impact the quality of life therein. Furthermore, regional transportation is a matter of statewide concern. (b) Comprehensive studies and reports have been completed by the Department of Transportation, the Assembly Office of Research, the Governor's Task Force on Infrastructure, and the California Business Roundtable which conclude that there exists a local city street and county road maintenance backlog and shortfall of between five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) and eight hundred forty million dollars ($840,000,000) annually. (c) In order to deal in an expeditious manner with current and future local transportation maintenance and improvement needs, local agencies need to develop and implement local funding programs that go significantly beyond current federal and state funding which is inadequate to resolve these problems. (d) It is in the public interest to allow the voters of each county to establish local transportation authorities and raise additional local revenues to provide highway capital improvements and maintenance and to meet local transportation needs in a timely manner. (e) It is the intent of the Legislature that funds generated pursuant to this division be used to supplement and not replace existing local revenues used for transportation purposes.

180002. "Authority" means a local transportation authority created or designated pursuant to this division.

180003. This division shall be liberally construed in order to effectuate its purposes. No inadvertent error, irregularity, informality, or the inadvertent neglect or omission of any officer, in any procedure taken under this division, other than fraud, shall void or invalidate that proceeding or any levy imposed to finance highway improvements or local transportation needs.

Chapter 2. Creation Of Local Transportation Authority

Ca Codes (puc:180050-180052) Public Utilities Code Section 180050-180052

180050. A county board of supervisors may create an authority to operate within the county to carry out this division, or may designate a transportation planning agency designated pursuant to Section 29532 of the Government Code or created pursuant to the Fresno County Transportation Improvement Act pursuant to Division 15 (commencing with Section 142000), or a county transportation commission created pursuant to the County Transportation Act (Division 12 (commencing with Section 130000)) in existence in the county on January 1, 1988, to serve as an authority.

180051. (a) A board of supervisors that chooses to create an entirely new entity as an authority pursuant to Section 180050 shall determine the membership of the authority with the concurrence of a majority of the cities having a majority of the population in the incorporated area of the county. (b) Each member of the authority, and each alternate designated pursuant to subdivision (c), shall be an elected official of a local governmental entity within or partly within the county. Members of the board of supervisors serving on an authority shall comprise less than a majority of the authority. (c) (1) Each member of the authority may have an alternate to vote or otherwise officially participate on behalf of the member at meetings of the authority when the member is not present. Either the member, or the alternate, but not both, may officially participate in a meeting of the authority. An alternate shall be designated as follows: (A) Except as specified in subparagraph (B), the local governmental entity that appointed the member shall designate the alternate. (B) A member who serves because the member holds a specified public office, as specified in the county transportation expenditure plan, shall designate his or her own alternate. (2) An alternate acting on behalf of a member has all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a member.

180052. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), members of an authority which is an entirely new entity shall serve for a term of not more than four years. (b) At the first meeting of an authority which is an entirely new entity convened pursuant to Section 180112 the members shall be selected by lot to serve staggered terms.

Chapter 3. Administration

Ca Codes (puc:180100-180111) Public Utilities Code Section 180100-180111

180100. The authority at its first meeting, and thereafter annually at the meeting designated by the authority, shall elect a chairperson who shall preside at all meetings, and a vice chairperson who shall preside in the absence of the chairperson. In the event of their absence or inability to act, the members present, by an order entered in the minutes, shall select one of their members to act as chairperson pro tempore, who, while so acting, shall have all the authority of the chairperson.

180101. The authority shall adopt rules for its proceedings consistent with the laws of the state.

180102. A majority of the members of the authority constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business, and all official acts of the authority requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the authority.

180103. The acts of the authority shall be expressed by motion, resolution, or ordinance.

180104. All meetings of the authority shall be conducted pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

180105. The authority shall do all the following: (a) Adopt an annual budget. (b) Adopt an administrative code, by ordinance, which prescribes the powers and duties of the authority officers, the method of appointment of the authority employees, and methods, procedures, and systems of operation and management of the authority. (c) Cause a postaudit of the financial transactions and records of the authority to be made at least annually by a certified public accountant. (d) Do any and all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this division. The authority may appoint a policy advisory committee.

180106. (a) The authority may hire an independent staff of its own or contract with any department or agency of the United States or with any public agency to implement this division. (b) The authority may contract with private entities in conformance with applicable procurement procedures for the procurement of engineering, project management, and contract management services.

180107. The authority shall fix the compensation of its officers and employees.

180108. (a) Notice of the time and place of a public hearing on the adoption of the annual budget shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code not later than the 15th day prior to the day of the hearing. (b) The proposed annual budget shall be available for public inspection at least 15 days prior to the hearing.

180109. (a) The authority shall rely, to the extent possible, on existing state, regional, and local transportation planning and programming data and expertise, rather than on a large duplicative staff and set of plans. (b) The authority shall not expend more than 1 percent of the funds generated pursuant to this division in any year for salary and benefits of its staff.

180110. The authority shall consult with, and coordinate its actions to secure funding for the completion and improvement of the priority regional highways, with the cities in the county, the board of supervisors, and the Department of Transportation, for the purpose of integrating its planned highway improvements with the highway and other transportation improvement plans and operations of other transportation agencies impacting the county.

180111. The authority shall prepare and adopt an annual report each year on progress made to achieve the objective of improving transportation conditions related to priority highway operations and local transportation needs.

Chapter 4. Powers And Functions

Ca Codes (puc:180150-180154) Public Utilities Code Section 180150-180154

180150. The authority may sue and be sued, except as otherwise provided by law, in all actions and proceedings, in all courts and tribunals of competent jurisdiction.

180151. All claims for money or damages against the authority are governed by Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1 of the Government Code, except as provided therein, or by other statutes or regulations expressly applicable thereto.

180152. The authority may make contracts and enter into stipulations of any nature whatsoever, either in connection with eminent domain proceedings or otherwise, including, but not limited to, contracts and stipulations to indemnify and hold harmless, to employ labor, and to do all acts necessary and convenient for the full exercise of the powers granted in this division.

180153. The authority may contract with any department or agency of the United States, with any public agency, including, but not limited to, the Department of Transportation, any county, city, or district, or with any person or a private entity upon any terms and conditions that the authority finds in its best interest for the procurement of engineering, project management, and contract management services.

180154. (a) Contracts for the purchase of services, supplies, equipment, and materials in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after competitive bidding, except in an emergency declared by the authority or by an executive committee to which the authority has delegated responsibility to make that declaration. (b) If, after rejecting bids received under subdivision (a), the authority determines and declares that, in its opinion, the services, supplies, equipment, or materials may be purchased at a lower price on the open market, the authority may proceed to purchase these services, supplies, equipment, or materials in the open market without further observance of the provisions regarding contracts, bids, or advertisements.

Chapter 5. Transactions And Use Taxes

Ca Codes (puc:180200-180207) Public Utilities Code Section 180200-180207

180200. The Legislature, by the enactment of this division, intends that the additional funds provided governmental agencies by this chapter shall supplement existing local revenues being used for public transportation purposes and that local governments maintain their existing commitment of local funds for transportation purposes. The Legislature further intends that transportation authorities utilize "pay-as-you-go" financing as the preferred method of funding transportation improvements and operations authorized by Section 180205, and that bond financing be utilized as an alternative method of funding, where the scope of the planned expenditures makes "pay-as-you-go" financing unfeasible.

180201. A retail transactions and use tax ordinance applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of a county may be imposed by the authority in accordance with this chapter and Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, if the tax ordinance is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the authority and imposition of the tax is subsequently approved by a majority of the electors voting on the measure, or by any otherwise applicable voter approval requirement, at a special election called for that purpose by the board of supervisors, at the request of the authority, and a county transportation expenditure plan is adopted pursuant to Section 180206. A retail transactions and use tax approved by the electors shall remain in effect for the period of time specified in the tax ordinance. The tax may be continued in effect, or reimposed, by a tax ordinance adopted by a two-thirds vote of the authority and the reimposition of the tax is approved by any applicable majority of the electors.

180202. The authority, in the ordinance, shall state the nature of the tax to be imposed, shall provide the tax rate or the maximum tax rate, shall specify the period during which the tax will be imposed, and shall specify the purposes for which the revenue derived from the tax will be used. The tax rate may be in 1/4 percent increments and shall not exceed a maximum tax rate of 1 percent. The proposition shall include an appropriations limit for that entity pursuant to Section 4 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

180203. (a) The county shall conduct the special election called by the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 180201. If the measure is approved, the authority shall reimburse the county for its cost in conducting the special election. (b) The special election shall be called and conducted in the same manner as provided by law for the conduct of special elections by a county. (c) The sample ballot to be mailed to the voters, pursuant to Section 13303 of the Elections Code, shall be the full proposition, as set forth in the ordinance calling the election, and the voter information handbook shall include the entire adopted county transportation expenditure plan.

180204. (a) Any transactions and use tax ordinance adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be operative on the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after adoption of the ordinance. (b) Prior to the operative date of the ordinance, the authority shall contract with the State Board of Equalization to perform all functions incidental to the administration and operation of the ordinance.

180205. The revenues from the taxes imposed pursuant to this chapter may be allocated by the authority for the construction and improvement of state highways, the construction, maintenance, improvement, and operation of local streets, roads, and highways, and the construction, improvement, and operation of public transit systems. For purposes of this section, "public transit systems" includes paratransit services.

180206. (a) A county transportation expenditure plan shall be prepared for the expenditure of the revenues expected to be derived from the tax imposed pursuant to this chapter, together with other federal, state, and local funds expected to be available for transportation improvements, for the period during which the tax is to be imposed. (b) A county transportation expenditure plan shall not be adopted until it has received the approval of the board of supervisors and of the city councils representing both a majority of the cities in the county and a majority of the population residing in the incorporated areas of the county. (c) The plan shall be adopted prior to the call of the election provided for in Section 180201.

180207. (a) The authority may annually review and propose amendments to the county transportation expenditure plan adopted pursuant to Section 180206 to provide for the use of additional federal, state, and local funds, to account for unexpected revenues, or to take into consideration unforeseen circumstances. (b) The authority shall notify the board of supervisors and the city council of each city in the county and provide them with a copy of the proposed amendments. (c) The proposed amendments shall become effective 45 days after notice is given.

Chapter 6. Bonds

Ca Codes (puc:180250-180264) Public Utilities Code Section 180250-180264

180250. (a) As part of the ballot proposition to approve the imposition of a retail transactions and use tax, authorization may be sought to issue bonds to finance capital outlay expenditures as may be provided for in the adopted county transportation expenditure plan, payable from the proceeds of the tax. (b) The maximum bonded indebtedness which may be outstanding at any one time shall be an amount equal to the sum of the principal of, and interest on, the bonds, but not to exceed the estimated proceeds of the tax, as determined by the plan. The amount of bonds outstanding at any one time does not include the amount of bonds, refunding bonds, or bond anticipation notes for which funds necessary for the payment thereof have been set aside for that purpose in a trust or escrow account.

180250.5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the imposition of a retail transactions and use tax, together with the establishment of an appropriations limit of seven hundred sixty-five million dollars ($765,000,000), was approved by the voters of a county pursuant to Section 180250 on November 8, 1988, and if the ordinance adopted by the authority which requested the board of supervisors to submit the proposition for approval of that tax and appropriations limit by the voters authorized the issuance of bonds payable from that tax, that authority may issue bonds, refunding bonds, or bond anticipation notes pursuant to this chapter.

180251. (a) The bonds authorized by the voters concurrently with the approval of the retail transactions and use tax may be issued at any time by the authority and shall be payable from the proceeds of the tax. The bonds shall be referred to as "limited tax bonds." The bonds may be secured by a pledge of revenues from the proceeds of the tax. (b) The pledge of the tax to the limited tax bonds authorized under this chapter shall have priority over the use of any of the tax for "pay-as-you-go" financing, except to the extent that that priority is expressly restricted in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds.

180252. Limited tax bonds shall be issued pursuant to a resolution adopted at any time by a two-thirds vote of the authority. Each resolution shall provide for the issuance of bonds in the amounts as may be necessary, until the full amount of bonds authorized have been issued. The full amount of bonds may be divided into two or more series and different dates of payment fixed for the bonds of each series. A bond need not mature on its anniversary date.

180253. (a) A resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds shall state all of the following: (1) The purposes for which the proposed debt is to be incurred, which may include all costs and estimated costs incidental to, or connected with, the accomplishment of those purposes, including, without limitation, engineering, inspection, legal, fiscal agents, financial consultant and other fees, bond and other reserve funds, working capital, bond interest estimated to accrue during the construction period and for a period not to exceed three years thereafter, and expenses of all proceedings for the authorization, issuance, and sale of the bonds. (2) The estimated cost of accomplishing those purposes. (3) The amount of the principal of the indebtedness. (4) The maximum term the bonds proposed to be issued shall run before maturity, which shall not be beyond the date of termination of the imposition of the retail transactions and use tax. (5) The maximum rate of interest to be paid, which shall not exceed the maximum allowable by law. (6) The denomination or denominations of the bonds, which shall not be less than five thousand dollars ($5,000). (7) The form of the bonds, including, without limitation, registered bonds and coupon bonds, to the extent permitted by federal law, and the form of any coupons to be attached thereto, the registration, conversion, and exchange privileges, if any, pertaining thereto, and the time when all of, or any part of, the principal becomes due and payable. (b) The resolution may also contain any other matters authorized by this chapter or any other law.

180254. The bonds shall bear interest at a rate or rates not exceeding the maximum allowable by law, payable at intervals determined by the commission.

180255. In the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds, the authority may also provide for the call and redemption of the bonds prior to maturity at the times and prices and upon other terms as specified. However, no bond is subject to call or redemption prior to maturity, unless it contains a recital to that effect or unless a statement to that effect is printed.

180256. The principal of, and interest on, the bonds shall be payable in lawful money of the United States at the office of the treasurer of the authority, or at other places as may be designated, or at both the office and other places at the option of the holders of the bonds.

180257. The bonds, or each series thereof, shall be dated and numbered consecutively and shall be signed by the chairperson or vice chairperson of the authority and the auditor-controller of the authority, and the official seal, if any, of the authority shall be attached. The interest coupons of the bonds shall be signed by the auditor-controller of the authority. All of the signatures and seal may be printed, lithographed, or mechanically reproduced. If any officer whose signature appears on the bonds or coupons ceases to be that officer before the delivery of the bonds, the officer's signature is as effective as if the officer had remained in office.

180258. The bonds may be sold as the authority determines by resolution, and the bonds may be sold at a price below par, whether by negotiated or public sale.

180259. Delivery of any bonds may be made at any place either inside or outside the state, and the purchase price may be received in cash or bank credits.

180260. All accrued interest and premiums received on the sale of the bonds shall be placed in the fund to be used for the payment of the principal of, and interest on, the bonds, and the remainder of the proceeds of the bonds shall be placed in the treasury of the authority and applied to secure the bonds or for the purposes for which the debt was incurred. However, when the purposes have been accomplished, any money remaining shall be either (a) transferred to the fund to be used for the payment of principal of, and interest on, the bonds or (b) placed in a fund to be used for the purchase of the outstanding bonds in the open market at prices and in the manner, either at public or private sale or otherwise, as determined by the authority. Bonds so purchased shall be canceled immediately.

180261. (a) The authority may provide for the issuance, sale, or exchange of refunding bonds to redeem or retire any bonds issued by the authority upon the terms, at the times and in the manner which it determines. (b) Refunding bonds may be issued in a principal amount sufficient to pay all, or any part of, the principal of the outstanding bonds, the premiums, if any, due upon call and redemption thereof prior to maturity, all expenses of the refunding, and either of the following: (1) The interest upon the refunding bonds from the date of sale thereof to the date of payment of the bonds to be refunded out of the proceeds of the sale of the refunding bonds or to the date upon which the bonds to be refunded will be paid pursuant to call or agreement with the holders of the bonds. (2) The interest upon the bonds to be refunded from the date of sale of the refunding bonds to the date of payment of the bonds to be refunded or to the date upon which the bonds to be refunded will be paid pursuant to call or agreement with the holder of the bonds. (c) The provisions of this chapter for the issuance and sale of bonds apply to the issuance and sale of refunding bonds.

180262. (a) The authority may borrow money in anticipation of the sale of bonds which have been authorized pursuant to this chapter, but which have not been sold or delivered, and may issue negotiable bond anticipation notes therefor and may renew the bond anticipation notes from time to time. However, the maximum maturity of any bond anticipation notes, including the renewals thereof, shall not exceed five years from the date of delivery of the original bond anticipation notes. (b) The bond anticipation notes, and the interest thereon, may be paid from any money of the authority available therefor, including the revenues from the tax. If not previously otherwise paid, the bond anticipation notes, or any portion thereof, or the interest thereon, shall be paid from the proceeds of the next sale of the bonds of the agency in anticipation of which the notes were issued. (c) The bond anticipation notes shall not be issued in any amount in excess of the aggregate amount of the bonds which the authority has been authorized to issue, less the amount of any bonds of the authorized issue previously sold, and also less the amount of other bond anticipation notes therefor issued and then outstanding. The bond anticipation notes shall be issued and sold in the same manner as the bonds. (d) The bond anticipation notes and the resolutions authorizing them may contain any provisions, conditions, or limitations which a resolution of the authority may contain.

180263. Any bonds issued under this chapter are legal investment for all trust funds; for the funds of insurance companies, commercial and savings banks, and trust companies; and for state school funds; and whenever any money or funds may, by any law now or hereafter enacted, be invested in bonds of cities, counties, school districts, or other districts within the state, that money or funds may be invested in the bonds issued under this chapter, and whenever bonds of cities, counties, school districts, or other districts within the state may, by any law now or hereafter enacted, be used as security for the performance of any act or the deposit of any public money, the bonds issued under this chapter may be so used. The provisions of this chapter are in addition to all other laws relating to legal investments and shall be controlling as the latest expression of the Legislature with respect thereto.

180264. Any action or proceedings wherein the validity of the adoption of the retail transactions and use tax ordinance provided for in this chapter or the issuance of any bonds thereunder or any of the proceedings in relation thereto is contested, questioned, or denied, shall be commenced within six months from the date of the election at which the ordinance is approved; otherwise, the bonds and all proceedings in relation thereto, including the adoption and approval of the ordinance, shall be held to be valid and in every respect legal and incontestable.

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