Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Apr 07, 2015

Client Alert

Brownstein Client Alert, April 7, 2015

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the California Constitution (Proposition 218). Given the conflicting appellate decisions and the tremendous concern over groundwater overdraft statewide, this issue is ripe for California Supreme Court review. The need for certainty over how to classify groundwater extraction fees is particularly acute given the financing authority groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA) now have under the new groundwater management legislation. (See Wat. Code §§ 10730 et. seq.)

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