Increasing School Facilities Fees

February 2004

TO: All Districts Levying School Facilities Fees
FROM:Schools Legal Service
RE:Increasing School Facilities Fees and Other Mitigation Payments

At its January 2004 meeting, the State Allocation Board (SAB) increased its Class B construction index to which the “caps” on what is now frequently referred to as Level 1 school facilities fees are tied. The maximum fees on residential development are now set at $2.24 per square foot and on commercial and industrial development at 36¢ per square foot.

Attachment 1-Increasing School Facilities Fees to this memorandum discusses, in detail, the steps that must be followed before levying Level 1 fees at these higher rates. Neither this attachment nor this memorandum will address the alternative fees permitted by SB 50—frequently referred to as Level 2 and Level 3 fees, which are governed by different procedures and requirements.

Attachment 2-Resolution Regarding School Facilities Fees to this memorandum is a resolution to increase statutory school facilities fees to the amounts now permitted by the SAB’s action. This resolution does the following:

  1. Provides for increasing fees as authorized by Government Code Section 65995 by the increase of the State Allocation Board’s statewide cost index adopted in January.
  2. Provides for review of the district’s continuing need to levy fees and to increase those fees as authorized and described in item 1 above.
  3. Provides for inclusion of the ”Superintendent’s Report” and other justification document(s) (see Attachment 1) as Exhibit ”A” to the resolution your board adopts, and includes a page marked as Exhibit ”A.”
  4. Reflects the advice given by this office that most districts may levy fees on commercial or industrial projects on the basis of an undifferentiated “commercial or industrial” category. As explained in Attachment 1, this is appropriate for most districts because they have already adopted exemption procedures which expressly exempt certain specified categories of commercial or industrial construction, i.e., agricultural projects and temporary buildings. If you have determined that it is appropriate for your board to adopt fees on the basis of other specific categories, please feel free to modify paragraph 6(b) as needed or contact us for assistance.
  5. Provides for allocation of fees for districts sharing territory.

    Clients which have entered into agreements that are up for renewal or are adopting new agreements this year should use version 1 of page 5. Any updated fee-sharing agreements should be attached as Exhibit ”C” to the resolution. (If your district needs assistance in this regard, please contact us.) (For high school districts with separate fee levels for each component elementary district, we suggest that an Attachment 1 to Exhibit ”C” list those separate rates.)

    Clients which have entered into fee-sharing arrangements that are not up for renewal this year should use version 2 of page 5. For these districts, no Exhibit ”C” is necessary.

    Unified or other districts not requiring fee-sharing arrangements (e.g., unified districts), should use version 3 of page 5 which deletes mention of these arrangements. For these districts, no Exhibit ”C” is necessary.

  6. Provides for an effective date of July 1, 2004. This date reflects the past practice followed by our clients and is recommended by the Kern County Superintendent of School’s School District Facilities Services Department (with the approval of the Kern County School District Facilities Services Advisory Board). Of course, the fee increase can become effective 60 days after adoption of the resolution, and any district electing to may also change the effective date. However, we do recommend that districts sharing territory, districts within the same city and/or county, and/or districts whose fees are collected by another agency seriously consider adopting a uniform effective date.

Attachment 3-Notice of Proposed Adoption of IncreasedSchool Facilities Fees is a notice which can be used to give the notice required by Government Code Section 6062a. This section requires notice to be published twice in a newspaper published weekly or more often, with at least five days between the two publications and the first publication at least ten days prior to the board meeting.

If you have any questions or problems, or if your individual situation requires tailoring of a specific resolution or other documents, please feel free to contact this office for assistance.