City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District

The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the decision of the court of appeal in this case concerning the application of constitutional limitations to a statutorily authorized ground water charge imposed on well operators by a local water conservation district to fund certain conservation activities. The City of San Buenaventura argued (1) the charges violate article XIII D of the California Constitution; and (2) alternatively, the charges violate article XIII C of the California Constitution, as amended by Proposition 26. The Supreme Court held (1) the court of appeal properly concluded that article XIII C, as amended by Proposition 26, rather than article XIII D, supplies the proper framework for evaluating the constitutionality of the groundwater pumping charges at issue in this case; but (2) because the court of appeal did not address the City’s argument that the charges do not bear a fair or reasonable relationship to the payor’s burdens or on benefits from the United Water Conservation District’s conservation activities, as required by article XIII C, this case must be remanded for consideration of that question. View "City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District" on Justia Law