KKBS settles Prop. 218 case against City of Chino

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KKBS partners Eric J. Benink and Vincent D. Slavens represented a resident ratepayer against the City of Chino alleging that it violated Cal. Constitution article XIII D (Proposition 218) by transferring funds each year from its water utility fund to its general fund as a transfer in lieu of property taxes. Petitioner alleged that the transfers violated Proposition 218 because they were not tied to the actual cost of providing water service to Chino Residents.

Although Chino took steps on its own to correct its past unlawful conduct by, for example, returning over $4 million from the general fund to the water utility fund, it further agreed as part of the settlement that any future transfers from any of its enterprise funds (including water, sewer, storm drain and sanitation) will be completed using a methodology agreed to by the parties that helps to ensure that such transfers are made only to cover the actual costs of providing each of the public services as required by Proposition 218.

Attorneys Eric J. Benink and Vincent D. Slavens represent citizens and taxpayer groups who seek to challenge taxes disguised as government fees, charges and assessments. They can be reached at eric@kkbs-law.com or vslavens@kkbs-law.com or (619) 232-0331.