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AN ORDINANCE OF THE VOTERS OF THE CALAVERAS COUNTY ADDING Chapter 3.57 to the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances.

IMPOSING A 1 CENT TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TAX & FEE ADMINISTRATION TO RAISE REVENUES TO BE USED FOR ASSURING ADEQUATE FIRE PROTECTION RESPONSE.

WHEREAS, rapid emergency response is essential to protecting the lives and property of Calaveras County residents;

WHEREAS, Calaveras County is protected by nine fire districts and one city fire department and those agencies depend on each other to provide mutual aid during emergencies;

WHEREAS, Local fire agencies in Calaveras County currently lack adequate funds to ensure that stations are adequately staffed and have difficulty retaining volunteers who often leave to seek employment;

WHEREAS, Calaveras County residents cannot depend on state government (Cal Fire) to always provide immediate backup because Cal Fire engines may be sent elsewhere during large emergencies, as happened during the California firestorms of 2020;

WHEREAS, Some firefighters would be willing to stay and serve Calaveras County residents if those firefighters could earn a living wage;

AND WHEREAS, tourists and other visitors make use of emergency fire and rescue services in Calaveras County but currently provide very little to support the fire agencies that provide those services;

 THEREFORE, THE PEOPLE OF THE CALAVERAS COUNTY DO HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Chapter 3.57 will be added to the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances and will read as follows:

CALAVERAS LOCAL FIRE PROTECTION TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX

3.5701 – TITLE. This ordinance shall be known as the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax Ordinance.

3.5702 – OPERATIVE DATE. “Operative date” means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing after the adoption of this ordinance, the date of such adoption being certification by the County Clerk that this measure has received approval by a majority of those voting in the election.

3.5703 – PURPOSE. This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following and directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted in order to achieve those purposes: (a) To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance within the County in the amount of one cent per dollar (a rate of 1%) as provided herein for the specific purpose of generating funds to be deposited into the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account that may only be used for the purposes specified herein including adequate firefighter staffing, training, equipment and facilities.

(b) To impose a retail transactions and use tax in accordance with the provisions of Part 1.6 (commencing with section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and section 7285.5 of Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code which authorizes the County to adopt this tax ordinance provided that a majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.

(c) To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(d) To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure that can be administered and collected by the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration in a manner that adapts itself as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.

(e) To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.

3.5704 – IMPOSITION OF TAX, DEPOSIT INTO SPECIAL ACCOUNT AND ANNUAL ACCOUNTING. The following provisions shall govern the imposition of the transactions and use tax and the deposit and use of revenues generated by this ordinance.

(a) For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a transactions tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County at the rate of one cent per dollar of the gross receipts of any retailer (a rate of 1%) from the sales of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on or after the operative date of this ordinance without expiration.

(b) A use tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the County of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on or after the operative date of this ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in said County at the rate of one cent per dollar of the sale price of the property (a rate of 1%) beginning on and after the operative date of this ordinance. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to the State sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.

(c) The County Auditor shall establish a Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account and all retail transactions and use tax proceeds generated by this ordinance shall be deposited by the County Auditor into the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account. Such proceeds shall only be used for the specific purposes identified in Section 3.5706.

3.5705 – SEPARATE SECTION WITH TRUE AND IMPARTIAL STATEMENT OF FACTS IDENTIFYING THE TAX AND SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS ON HOW THE REVENUE CAN BE SPENT. This ordinance enacts a transactions and use tax in the County at the rate of one cent per dollar to be used only for the purposes in Section 3.5706.

3.5706 – EXPENDITURE PLAN. The revenues generated by the retail transactions and use tax imposed by this ordinance shall be distributed by the Calaveras County Auditor monthly.

  • Funds shall be allocated annually to the local fire agencies in Calaveras County. The governing boards of those agencies are responsible to use those funds to improve the speed of response and the quantity and quality of personnel available to immediately respond to emergencies. The governing boards may also use those funds to improve or replace necessary equipment and facilities. No more than thirty percent (30%) of these funds may be used to improve or replace equipment and facilities and no less than seventy percent (70%) of these funds may be used for staffing including incentives, training and stipends for volunteer firefighters; compensation, incentives and training for paid firefighters; personal protective equipment for firefighters; and office and professional costs including compensating an office manager, payroll services, auditing services and the costs of required audits or reports related to the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax. No more than five percent (5%) of the total Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax funds for each agency may be devoted to such office and professional costs.
  • Provided that each fire agency complies with budget planning and expenditure requirements specified in Section 3.5709, the funds deposited into the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account pursuant to Section 3.5704 shall be allocated according to the following schedule:

(1) Sixty-nine (69%) percent of funds made available from Section 3.5704 shall be divided evenly among the ten local fire agencies – nine fire districts and one city fire department – in existence in 2021. In the event that consolidations or other actions change the number of local fire agencies, the same portions of the funds will continue to be distributed to the successor agencies serving the geographic areas represented by the fire agencies in existence in 2021.

(2) One (1%) percent of funds made available from Section 3.5704 shall be allocated to San Andreas Fire Protection District to compensate for the burden of protecting non-property-tax-paying countywide infrastructure including the Government Center, Jail, Courthouse and Hospital.

(3) Thirty (30%) percent of funds made available from Section 3.5704 shall be proportionately allocated to the local fire agencies based their share of county population rounded to the nearest whole percentage point. Calaveras County each year shall use the most current available census data and other local information including maps of housing and estimated household size to estimate the population of each local fire district as well as the City of Angels Camp.

(4) In the event that one or more fire agencies are not able to make beneficial use of their entire allocation as specified in Section 3.5709, then those funds shall be returned to the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account and shall be made available for allocation and distribution in the next fiscal year.

3.5707 – DEFINITIONS. The following definitions shall apply to this Measure:

(a) “County” means Calaveras County.

  • “Board” means the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors
  • “Auditor” means the Calaveras County Auditor
  • “JPA” means the Calaveras County Fire Services Joint Powers Authority
  • “District” means any of the local special districts that provide fire protection in Calaveras County
  • “Department” means the Angels Camp Fire Department

3.5708 – PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND FISCAL CONTROLS.

(a) Authority to expend funds, issue grants, or enter into contracts or memoranda of understanding relating to the revenues distributed to Local Fire Agencies via the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account pursuant to Section 3.5704 is delegated to the boards of directors of the respective fire districts, or in the case of the Angels Camp Fire Department to the Angels Camp City Council, provided that no expenditures may be made from the Account except as provided in this ordinance.

(b) In making the expenditures provided in Section 3.5706, the fire districts and the City of Angels Camp shall be permitted to use no more than five percent (5%) of the funds allocated pursuant that Section on an annual basis for administrative costs and professional services associated with program oversight and accountability, including audits.

  • – FISCAL OVERSIGHT AND BUDGET ACCOUNTABILITY.
  • Each fire district or, in the case of the Angels Camp Fire Department, the City of Angels Camp, shall by June 1 each year produce a response improvement plan and budget detailing how it will use the revenue from the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax in the coming fiscal year beginning July 1. Following voter approval of this measure, the fire districts and the City of Angels Camp will have 30 days to submit plans for the remainder of the 2022-23 fiscal year. These plans will be submitted to the Calaveras County Fire Services Joint Powers Authority. Also, each fire agency will each year provide the JPA with a copy of its annual audit and management report. The JPA will use the plans and audits each year to prepare a summary of the countywide improvements funded by the Calaveras County Local Fire Protection Tax. The JPA will issue this summary and a news release to media outlets, provide copies to the Calaveras County Grand Jury and Board of Supervisors and also post it online.
  • Plans may include a provision to retain up to 10 percent of funds received as a cash carryover. Such cash carryovers are to be retained by the agencies as a way to maintain service levels in future years when revenue declines. Such carryover funds may be used only for purposes specified in this measure.
  • If any agency or agencies choose either temporarily or permanently to not receive Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax funding, then the allocation formula shall be changed to show that the first sixty-nine percent (69%)  of funding is divided evenly among the remaining agencies, that one percent (1%) shall be allocated to San Andreas Fire Protection District to compensate for protecting county infrastructure, and the remaining thirty percent (30%) shall be divided among the remaining agencies according to population. If San Andreas is among the agencies choosing to not receive funding, then the formula shall be seventy percent (70%) divided evenly and thirty percent (30%) divided by population for the remaining agencies.
  • Any portion of an agency’s Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax funding that is not either spent on a budgeted purpose or retained as a cash carryover shall be returned to the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account and included in funds available for allocation and distribution in the following fiscal year. In years with revenue growth such that receipts exceed one-hundred-and ten percent (110%) of the estimated amounts on which fire agencies based their budgets, then the amount in excess of 110% shall be retained in the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account and made available for allocation and distribution in the next fiscal year.
  • Revenue from the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax in any given year that is between one-hundred percent (100%) and one-hundred-and ten percent (110%) of the estimated revenue used as the basis for agency Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax budgets may at the discretion of those agencies either be retained as cash carryover for use in future years or returned to the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account for distribution in the coming fiscal year. In either case, all funds shall be used only as specified in approved Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax budgets.
  • Each year by May 1, the Calaveras County Auditor’s Office shall provide the fire agencies with an estimate of revenue available to those agencies in the coming fiscal year that will begin on July 1, based both on funds carried over in the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Account and on actual sales tax receipts in the most recent 12-month period for which data is available.

3.5710 – CONTRACT WITH THE STATE. Prior to the operative date, the County shall contract with the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this retail transactions and use tax ordinance; provided, that if the County shall not have contracted with the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration prior to the operative date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.

3.5711 – PLACE OF SALE. For the purpose of this ordinance, all retail transactions are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his agent to an out-of-state destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination. The gross receipts from such sales shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the State sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made. In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated, for the purposes of this ordinance, shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

3.5712—ADOPTION OF PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW. Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are hereby adopted and made a part of this ordinance as though fully set forth herein.

3.5713 – LIMITATIONS ON ADOPTION OF STATE LAW AND COLLECTION OF TAXES.

In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code: (a) Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of this County shall be substituted therefor. However, the substitution shall not be made: (1) When the word “State” is used as part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Department of Tax and Fee Administration, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California; (2) Where the result of that substitution would require action to be taken by or against this County or any agency, officer or employee thereof rather than by or against the State Department of Tax and Fee Administration, in performing the functions incident to the administration or operation of this ordinance.

(3) In those sections, including, but not necessarily limited to sections referring to the exterior boundaries of the State of California, where the result of the substitution would be to: (A) Provide an exemption from this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not otherwise be exempt from this tax while such sales, storage, use or other consumption remain subject to tax by the State under the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or; (B) Impose this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not be subject to tax by the State under the said provision of that code.

(4) In sections 6701, 6702 (except in the last sentence thereof), 6711, 6715, 6737, 6797, or 6828 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(b) The word “County” shall be substituted for the word “State” in the phrase “retailer engaged in business in this State” in section 6203 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and in the definition of that phrase in section 6203.

3.5714 – PERMIT NOT REQUIRED. If a seller’s permit has been issued to a retailer under section 6067 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor’s permit shall not be required by this ordinance.

3.5715 – EXEMPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.

(a) There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any city, city and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state-administered transactions or use tax.

(b) There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from: (1) Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the county in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of aircraft as common carriers of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.

(2) Sales of property to be used outside the County which are shipped to a point outside the County, pursuant to the contract of sale, by delivery to that point by the retailer or his or her agent, or by delivery by the retailer to a carrier for shipment to a consignee at such point. For the purposes of this paragraph, delivery to a point outside the County shall be satisfied: (A) With respect to vehicles (other than commercial vehicles) subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, and undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with section 9840) of the Vehicle Code by registration to an out-of-County address and by a declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, stating that the address is, in fact, his or her principal place of residence; and (B) With respect to commercial vehicles, by registration to a place of business out-of-County and a declaration under penalty of perjury signed by the buyer, that the vehicle will be operated from that address.

(3) The sale of tangible personal property if the seller is obligated to furnish the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(4) A lease of tangible personal property which is a continuing sale of that property, for any period of time for which the lessor is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by the lease prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(5) For purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, the sale or lease of tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not that right is exercised.

(c) There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this County of tangible personal property: (1) The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any state-administered transactions and use tax ordinance.

(2) Other than fuel or petroleum products purchased by operators of aircraft and used or consumed by the operators directly and exclusively in the use of the aircraft as common carriers of persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government. This exemption is in addition to the exemptions provided in sections 6366 and 6366.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(3) If the purchaser is obligated to purchase the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(4) If the possession of, or the exercise of any right or power over, the tangible personal property arises under a lease which is a continuing purchase of the property for any period of time for which the lessee is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by a lease entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(5) For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, the storage, use or other consumption, or possession of, or exercise of any right or power over, tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not the right is exercised.

(6) Except as provided in paragraph (7), a retailer engaged in business in the County shall not be required to collect use tax from the purchaser of tangible personal property, unless the retailer ships or delivers the property into the County or participates within the County in making the sale of the property, including, but not limited to, soliciting or receiving the order, either directly or indirectly, at a place of business of the retailer in the County or through any representative, agent, canvasser, solicitor, subsidiary, or person in the County under the authority of the retailer.

(7) “A retailer engaged in business in the County” shall also include any retailer of any of the following: vehicles subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, or undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with section 9840) of the Vehicle Code. That retailer shall be required to collect use tax from any purchaser who registers or licenses the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft at an address in the County.

(d) Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance shall be entitled to credit against that tax or any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax, paid to the County or retailer in the County liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

3.5716 – STATE LAW AMENDMENTS. All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and all amendments to Part 1.6 and 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall automatically become part of this ordinance, provided however, that no such amendment shall operate so as to affect the rate of tax imposed by this ordinance.

3.5717 – AMENDMENT OF ORDINANCE. Except for amendments that would increase the tax rate, reduce the tax rate, impose the tax on transactions and uses not previously subject to the tax (unless the amendment occurs pursuant to Section 3.5717), allow expenditures other than those provided in Section 3.5706, or be inconsistent with the purposes of this ordinance, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors may amend this ordinance without submitting the amendment to the voters for approval.

3.5718 – ENJOINING COLLECTION FORBIDDEN. No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the County, or against any officer of the State or the County, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected.

SECTION 2. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

SECTION 3. MEASURE EFFECTIVE UPON RATIFICATION BY VOTERS. This Measure shall be effective upon determination of the County Clerk that it has been approved by a majority of the electorate voting in an election on this ordinance. The Clerk shall certify the passage of this ordinance, publish the same as required by law, and forward a copy of the ordinance to the Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Officers and employees of the County shall take all actions necessary to implement this ordinance, including execution of the contract required by Section 3.5710.

SECTION 4. APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT INCREASE. Pursuant to California Constitution Article XIII B and applicable laws, for four years from September 1, 2022, the appropriations limits for each Calaveras County fire district and for the City of Angels Camp shall be increased by the amount of the funding that each receives each year from the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax.

So long as the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax shall remain in effect, Calaveras County every four years shall hold a timely countywide election asking voters if they wish to reauthorize the appropriation limit increases that make it possible for the fire districts and the City of Angels Camp to spend revenue from the tax. These elections may be consolidated with other elections to reduce costs.