Law:Division 15. Fresno County Transportation Authority (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (puc:142000-142010) Public Utilities Code Section 142000-142010



142000. This division shall be known and may be cited as the Fresno County Transportation Improvement Act.


142001. The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following: (a) In Fresno County, regional transportation improvements and local transportation improvements and services are an immediate high priority needed to resolve the county's transportation problems that threaten the economic viability and development potential of the county and adversely impact the quality of life therein. (b) In order to deal in an expeditious manner with current and future transportation problems, the county needs to develop and implement a local funding program that goes significantly beyond current federal and state funding which is inadequate to resolve these problems. (c) It is in the public interest to allow the voters of Fresno County to continue the Fresno County Transportation Authority so that local transportation decisions can be implemented in a timely manner to provide regional transportation improvements and to meet local transportation needs.


142002. It is the intent of the Legislature that funds generated pursuant to this division not replace property tax revenues which would otherwise be expended for roads and transportation purposes.


142003. 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.


142004. "Authority" means the Fresno County Transportation Authority created pursuant to this division in the County of Fresno.


142005. "Board of supervisors" means the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

142006. "County" means the County of Fresno.


142007. "Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area" means that area within the adopted spheres of influence of the Cities of Fresno and Clovis, as approved and amended by the local agency formation commission.


142008. "Transportation planning agency" means the Council of Fresno County Governments or any other agency which may be designated by the Governor as responsible for regional transportation planning within the county to comply with federal and state requirements.


142010. The authority is terminated two years from the last day on which the transactions and use tax authorized by this division is collected and as of that date this division is repealed.


Chapter 2. Creation Of The Authority

Ca Codes (puc:142050-142052) Public Utilities Code Section 142050-142052



142050. The Fresno County Transportation Authority is hereby continued in the county, as originally created by this section.


142051. The authority shall consist of nine members selected as follows: (a) Two members of the board of supervisors appointed by the board, consisting of one member from rural district 1, 4, or 5 and one member from urban district 2 or 3. (b) Two members representing the City of Fresno, consisting of the mayor thereof and a member of the city council of that city appointed by the city council. (c) One member representing the City of Clovis appointed by the city council of that city. (d) Two members representing the other cities within the county, consisting of one westside member appointed by a committee comprised of the mayors of each of those cities west of State Highway Route 99, and one eastside member appointed by a committee comprised of the mayors of each of those cities east of State Highway Route 99. (e) Two members of the public at large, consisting of one member appointed by the board of supervisors with the appointee residing outside of the incorporated areas of Fresno and Clovis, and one member appointed jointly by the city councils of Fresno and Clovis with the appointee residing within the incorporated area of Fresno or Clovis.

142052. (a) Except for the Mayor of the City of Fresno, the members of the authority shall serve for a term of two years. (b) If any member other than the public member ceases to be an elected official, that member shall cease to be a member of the authority, and another member shall be appointed for the remainder of the term pursuant to Section 142051.


Chapter 3. Administration

Ca Codes (puc:142100-142109) Public Utilities Code Section 142100-142109



142100. The authority, at its first meeting, and thereafter annually at the first meeting in January, shall elect a chairperson who shall preside at all meetings, and a vice chairperson who shall preside in his or her absence. In the event of their absence or inability to act, the members present, by an order entered into 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.

142101. The authority shall adopt rules for its proceedings consistent with the law of the state.


142102. A majority of the members of the authority constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business, and all official acts of the authority require the affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the authority.

142103. The acts of the authority shall be expressed by motion, resolution, or ordinance.


142104. 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.


142105. 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 operations 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) Appoint a policy advisory committee composed of one representative of each city in the county and one representative of the county. Each representative on the committee shall be an elected official. If a representative ceases to be an elected official, that representative shall cease to be a member of the committee, and another representative from that city or county, as the case may be, shall be appointed. No person shall serve on the authority and on the committee at the same time. (e) Establish a citizens oversight committee with membership, method of appointment, roles, and responsibilities in accordance with and as defined in the initial expenditure plan prepared for the purposes of the extension of the retail transactions and use tax. (f) Do any and all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this division.

142106. 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.


142107. The authority shall fix the compensation of its officers and employees.


142108. (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.


142109. (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.


Chapter 4. Powers And Functions

Ca Codes (puc:142150-142155) Public Utilities Code Section 142150-142155



142150. The authority may adopt a seal and alter it at its pleasure.

142151. 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.


142152. 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.


142153. 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.


142154. 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, the Council of Fresno County Governments, or any county, city, or district, or with any person upon any terms and conditions that the authority finds in its best interest.


142155. (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. Transportation Coordination

Ca Codes (puc:142200-142201) Public Utilities Code Section 142200-142201



142200. The authority shall consult with, and coordinate its actions to secure funding for the completion and improvement of the priority regional transportation improvements with the cities in the county, the board of supervisors, the Council of Fresno County Governments, and the Department of Transportation for the purpose of integrating its planned improvements with the other transportation improvement plans and operations of other transportation agencies impacting the county.


142201. 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 regional transportation improvements and other local transportation needs.


Chapter 6. Transactions And Use Taxes

Ca Codes (puc:142250-142277) Public Utilities Code Section 142250-142277



142250. (a) A retail transactions and use tax ordinance, applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the county may be imposed by the authority in accordance with Section 142262 of this code and Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, if two-thirds of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election which shall be called for that purpose by resolution of the board of supervisors. (b) The election shall be held in the November 2002 or a subsequent general election. (c) The tax ordinance shall become operative as set forth in Section 142253. The tax ordinance shall specify the period, not to exceed 30 years, during which the tax is to be imposed. The tax may be terminated earlier if the conditions of Sections 142255, 142256, 142257, and 142260 have been met.


142251. The authority, in the retail transactions and use tax ordinance, shall state the nature of the tax to be imposed, shall provide the tax rate or rates or the maximum tax rate or rates, shall specify the purposes for which the revenue derived from the tax will be used, and may set a term, not to exceed 30 years, during which the tax may be imposed.


142252. (a) The county shall conduct an election called by the board of supervisors to implement this chapter pursuant to Section 142250, and the authority shall reimburse the county for the county's costs in conducting the election. (b) The election shall be called and conducted in the same manner as provided by law for the conduct of elections by a county.


142253. Any retail 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 120 days after adoption of the ordinance.

142254. The revenues from the retail transactions and use taxes imposed pursuant to this chapter may be allocated by the authority for the administration of this division and for transportation improvement purposes, including administration of this division, legal actions related thereto, planning, environmental reviews, design, construction, and repair.


142255. A county transportation expenditure plan shall be prepared by the transportation planning agency 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.


142256. (a) A county transportation expenditure plan shall not be adopted by the authority 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. (b) The plan shall be adopted prior to the call of the election provided for in Section 142250.


142257. (a) The expenditure plan shall specify the amount and the formula by which the retail transactions and use tax shall be allocated to each city and the county for local transportation purposes determined to be priority projects by local governments to which funds are allocated. For purposes of this subdivision, the population of the county is the population of the unincorporated area of the county. (b) Prior to the authority allocating funds, each local government shall certify to the authority that the funds will not be substituted for property tax funds which are currently utilized to fund existing local transportation programs. If the local government is unable to segregate property tax revenues from other general fund revenues which cannot be so distinguished, substitution of funds from the authority for general funds is also prohibited. (c) The authority shall require that local governments to which funds are allocated to separately account for those funds and maintain records of expenditures in accordance with administrative code requirements adopted by the authority.


142258. (a) Except as otherwise provided by Section 142260, the transportation planning agency may amend the expenditure plan. The transportation planning agency, at a minimum, shall review biennially and assess the needs for transportation improvements contained in the expenditure plan as specified in Section 142255. As part of this review and assessment, the transportation planning agency may solicit proposals for transportation improvements from the Department of Transportation and the cities and the county. The transportation planning agency shall adopt a procedure for evaluating these proposals in consultation with the Department of Transportation and the cities and the county. (b) Based on the evaluation, the transportation planning agency shall prepare an updated plan for the expenditure of the revenues expected to be derived from the retail transactions and use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter, together with other federal, state, and local improvements, for the period during which the tax is imposed. The first five years of the plan shall be incorporated into the transportation planning agency's annual submission to the California Transportation Commission for the state transportation improvement program pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 65080) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code. (c) The expenditure plan shall also include projections of revenues likely to be available from other federal, state, and local funds expected to be available for expenditure plan transportation improvements for the period during which the tax is imposed. (d) Before adoption of an expenditure plan, the transportation planning agency shall conduct public hearings on the plan.


142259. Amendments to the expenditure plan adopted pursuant to Section 142255 are to provide for the use of additional federal, state, and local funds, to account for unexpected revenues, or to take into consideration unforeseen circumstances. The transportation planning agency shall take all appropriate actions to give highest priority to the projects in the initial expenditure plan, and any amendments shall not delay or delete any project in the initial plan without the transportation planning agency holding a public hearing and documenting within the plan the reason why the amendments are being recommended to the authority and are necessary relative to conditions beyond control of the authority.


142260. (a) The authority may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members, approve the updated expenditure plan adopted pursuant to Section 142258. (b) The authority may amend the expenditure plan adopted pursuant to Section 142258, if required, subject to all of the following conditions: (1) The authority shall take all appropriate actions to give highest priority to the projects in the initial expenditure plan, and if any amendments delay or delete any project in the initial plan, the authority shall hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution initiating the amendments that specifically detail the reason why the amendments are necessary relative to conditions beyond the control of the authority. (2) The authority shall notify the transportation planning agency, the board of supervisors, and the city council of each city in the county and provide them with a copy of the proposed amendments. (3) The amendment is approved by the board of supervisors. (4) The amendment is approved by a majority of the cities constituting a majority of the population residing in the incorporated areas of the county. (c) The proposed amendments shall become effective immediately upon completion of the approval process in subdivision (b).


142261. If a retail transactions and use tax is adopted pursuant to this chapter, the authority shall prepare and submit a report to the Department of Transportation, to the board of supervisors, to the city council of each city in the county, and to the transportation planning agency, on or before each January 1 after taxes are imposed pursuant to this chapter. The report shall evaluate and report the progress made in implementing the expenditure plan during the preceding fiscal year.


142262. The authority, subject to the approval of the voters, may impose the retail transactions and use tax at a maximum rate of one-half of 1 percent under this chapter and Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and may state the maximum tax rate in terms of not to exceed one-half of 1 percent.


142263. (a) The board of supervisors, or its designee, as part of the ballot proposition to approve the imposition of a retail transactions and use tax, shall seek authorization from the electors to issue bonds payable solely from the proceeds of the tax. (b) The maximum bonded indebtedness which may be authorized shall be an amount equal to the sum of the principal and interest on the bonds, not to exceed the estimated proceeds of the tax, for a period of not more than 30 years. The actual wording of the proposition on any short form of ballot card, label, or other device, regardless of the system of voting used, shall include all of the following: (1) The nature of the tax to be imposed. (2) The tax rate or the maximum tax rate. (3) The period during which the tax will be imposed. (4) The purposes for which the revenue derived from the tax will be used. (c) The sample ballot to be mailed to the voters, pursuant to Section 13303 of the Elections Code, shall include the full proposition, and the voter information handbook shall include the entire expenditure plan adopted by the authority.


142264. (a) The bonds authorized by the voters concurrently with the approval of the retail transactions and use tax may be issued by the authority at any time, and from time to time, payable solely from the proceeds of the tax. The bonds shall be referred to as "limited tax bonds." (b) The pledge of the tax to the limited tax bonds authorized under this chapter has 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.


142265. Limited tax bonds shall be issued pursuant to a resolution adopted at any time by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the authority. Each resolution shall provide for the issuance of bonds in the amounts as may be necessary, until the full amount of the 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.


142266. (a) A resolution authorizing the issuance of limited tax bonds shall state all of the following: (1) The purpose 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 that 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 provision of law.


142267. The bonds shall bear interest at a rate or rates not exceeding the maximum allowable by law, payable semiannually, except that the first interest payable on the bonds, or any series thereof, may be for any period not exceeding one year, as determined by the authority.


142268. In the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds, the authority may also provide for 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 thereon.


142269. The principal of, and interest on, the bonds shall be payable in lawful money of the United States at the office of the auditor-controller-treas urer of the county and other places as may be designated by the authority.

142270. (a) 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-treasurer of the county, and the official seal of the authority shall be attached. (b) The interest coupons of the bonds, if any, shall be signed by the auditor-controller-treasurer of the county. (c) All signatures and the seal may be printed, lithographed, or mechanically reproduced, except that one of the signatures on the bonds shall be manually affixed. (d) 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.

142271. The bonds may be sold as the authority determines by resolution. The authority may sell the bonds at a price below par, whether by negotiated or public sale.


142272. 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.

142273. 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 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 outstanding bonds of the authority from time to time 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.


142274. (a) The authority may provide for the issuance, sale, or exchange or 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 holders 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.


142275. (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 and 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 retail transactions and use taxes imposed pursuant to this chapter. 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 authority 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 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 authorizing the issuance of bonds may contain.

142276. Any bonds issued under this chapter are legal investments 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 district, or other districts within the state may, by any law now or thereafter 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.


142277. Any action or proceeding 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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