California Government Code Section 66001(B) - Interpretation

In Sinclair Paint Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization (1997) 15 Cal.4th 866, where the court was called upon to distinguish a fee from a special tax, the latter of which would have required two-thirds voter approval, the court said "development fees exacted in return for building permits or other governmental privileges are not special taxes if the amount of the fees bears a reasonable relation to the development's probable costs to the community and benefits to the developer." (Id. at p. 875.) Government Code section 66001, subdivision (b) states the test this way: "In any action imposing a fee as a condition of approval of a development project by a local agency, the local agency shall determine how there is a reasonable relationship between the amount of the fee and the cost of the public facility or portion of the public facility attributable to the development on which the fee is imposed." The version of subdivision (b) of Government Code section 66001 in effect when the Development Agreement was approved was the same, except that it contained the phrase "on or after January 1, 1989." (Stats. 1996, ch. 569, 1.)