Revenue Policy, Requirements & Responsibilities

EFFECTIVE: 10/79 12/83, 10/99
_________________________________ David E. Sundstrom, Auditor-Controller
All County departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts shall generate revenue from non-property tax sources wherever possible; however, such proposed revenues shall be reasonably related to services provided. No fee or service charge may exceed the estimated amount required to provide the service for which the fee or charge is levied. All grants, joint-power agreements, lease agreements, and revenue producing contracts shall include provisions for full County cost recovery wherever possible unless other provisions have been approved by the County Executive Office, (CEO) in writing. All fee schedules, except fees fixed by statute, shall be subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors. Revenue estimates included in the County Budget for each revenue source shall be the amounts that are reasonably expected to be earned during a fiscal year.
1.1 Purpose
To establish a Countywide revenue policy and related procedure, including the requirements and responsibilities concerning non-property tax revenues that will aid in the effective management of such revenue.
1.2 Authority
Authority Subject
Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 96-97 dated February 6, 1996 Authorized the elimination of the Revenue Proposal revenue Committee and development of a new revenue policy and procedure.
Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 78-1691 dated November 14, 1978 Approved revenue management responsibilities for the Auditor-Controller, CEO, and individual Departments.
Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 78-946 dated June 20, 1978 Authorized the Revenue Search Committee Report.
Government Code Section 29040 Directs County officials in charge of budget units to file estimates of available financing, financing requirements, and any other matter required by the Board.
Government Code Sections 66016-66018 Requires counties to hold an open public meeting prior to approving new or increased fees or service charges.
Public Resources Code Section 21080 (b)(8) Exempts new and increased fees from requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, as long as a finding is included in the Board action specifically stating that the new or increased fees are only for meeting operating expenses.
1.3 Definitions
1.3.1 Non-Property Tax Revenues
Non-property tax revenues include revenues such as: licenses, permits, fines, fees, leases, rents, concessions, royalties, taxes-other than on property, state and federal aid, and service charges. They do not include property taxes.
1.3.2 Property Tax Revenues
Property tax revenues include ad valorem property taxes, special taxes, or an assessment, imposed by an agency upon a parcel or upon a person as an incident of property ownership, including a user fee or charge for a property-related service.
1.3.3 Full Cost Recovery
The concept that all departmental/agency and County General overhead costs are included in allocations of overhead to direct services so that fees, rates or charges include recovery of all County costs.
1.3.4 Automatic Fee Increase Factor
The percentage change factor represents the estimated increased costs which should be annually added to existing rates when it is impractical to conduct a complete cost study. The index factor should be based on information such as the consumer price index (CPI).
2.1 Frequency of Cost Recovery Rate Updates
All cost recovery revenue rates shall be updated at least once each year to reflect current costs. When the cost associated with making this annual determination appears to be excessive, with the approval of CEO and the Auditor-Controller, a complete update shall be made no later than every third year.
2.2 Automatic Fee Increase Factors
For non-property tax revenue rates updated other than annually, an "Automatic Fee Increase Factor" shall be adopted at the same time the rate is established. The Auditor-Controller will provide the necessary price index factor to departments, agencies, commissions, or special districts, upon request.
3.1 Departments, Agencies, Commissions, and Special Districts
Each department, agency, commission, and special district is responsible for the management of its revenue sources. This includes:
3.1.1 Coding
Accurate coding of revenue deposits.
3.1.2 Invoices
Prompt submission of invoices requesting payments and reimbursements.
3.1.3 Revenue Projections
Periodic projections of year-end revenue as requested by the Auditor-Controller with explanation of significant variances (as defined by Auditor-Controller) from budgeted revenue.
3.1.4 Revenue Budgets
Accurate budgeting of revenues for budget purposes and provision of explanations of significant changes (as defined by Auditor-Controller) from prior years.
3.1.5 Full Cost Recovery
Updating of existing revenue rates to ensure full cost recovery, with the assistance of the Auditor-Controller, consistent with Board of Supervisor's policies.
3.1.6 Revenue Alternatives
Examining different revenue alternatives and making specific recommendations for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.
3.1.7 Revenue Data
Providing revenue data requested by the Auditor-Controller for use in fulfilling its responsibilities.
3.1.8 Revenue Monitoring
Monitoring receipt of revenues compared to budget, determining reasons for revenue shortfalls, and taking corrective action to maximize revenues.
3.2 Auditor-Controller
Responsibilities of the staff of the Auditor-Controller Department include:
3.2.1 Revenue and Budget
Monitoring and reviewing actual revenue. Monitoring fee revisions implemented by departments/agencies. Reviewing revenue estimates of departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts for reasonableness, consistency, and accuracy for inclusion in the Proposed and Final Budgets.
3.2.2 Collections
Recording invoices and collecting revenue, including collecting delinquent accounts receivable referred by departments and agencies.
3.2.3 Cost Studies
Preparing the Countywide Cost Allocation Plan (CWCAP) which provides the basis for distributing County General overhead. Calculating various cost recovery fees and charges. Performing cost studies for updating certain fees and billing rates.
3.2.4 Financial Reporting/Mandated Costs/Grants
Coordinating State-mandated cost programs and assisting departments in filing reimbursement claims. Reviewing and pre-auditing grants requiring Auditor-Controller oversight. Assisting departments in complying with grant accounting requirements.
3.3 County Executive Office
The County Executive Office shall provide budgetary and program coordination to assist County departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts in meeting their revenue responsibilities including:
3.3.1 Revenue Policies
Examining revenue policies of departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts for compliance with budgetary requirements, full cost recovery, and other Board of Supervisors' policies.
3.3.2 Budgetary Impact
Reviewing the budgetary impact of revenue estimates and budget requests of departments/agencies for consolidation into the County Budget.
3.3.3 Major Revenue Policy Items
Reporting on the County Budget to the Board of Supervisors, together with identification of and recommendations on any major revenue policy items.
3.3.4 Revenue Issues
Assisting in the coordination of fees, service charges, and cost applications between departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts.
3.3.5 Legislation
Monitoring all state and federal legislation which significantly affects County revenue. Coordinating with the affected County office and assisting its staff with the proposed, implemented, revised, or rescinded legislative action.
3.4 Clerk of the Board
The Clerk of the Board shall assist County departments, agencies, commissions, and special districts in meeting the notice requirements for new and increased services fees, which are to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. Departments/Agencies must contact the Clerk of the Board to determine notice requirements and format. Specific notice requirements are dependent on what government code section applies.
3.5 Checklist for New or Revised Fees
3.5.1 Fee Checklist Form
All new and revised departmental/agency fees (except those listed in 3.5.3) presented to the Board of Supervisors on Agenda Item Transmittals (AIT) must be accompanied by a completed checklistsee attached copy of "Fee Checklist For ASR Submission"
3.5.2 Auditor-Controller and CEO Review
The Auditor-Controller and the CEO will perform a limited review to determine that the checklist is signed off and that the data and justification contained in the AIT appear reasonable.
3.5.3 Exceptions to Fee Checklist
A completed fee checklist form is not required for the following types of fees or revenues:
  • Fees established by state statute
  • Fees requiring legislative changes
  • Grant applications
  • Contracts with the State
  • Contracts with the Federal government
  • Leases and franchises
  • Mandated cost claims
4.1 Detailed Cost and Revenue Data
AIT for new fees and fee increases must contain detailed information concerning the costs to be covered by the fee and the expected amount of revenue to be generated (Cal. Constitution, Article XIIIA, Section 4; Mills v. County of Trinity (1980) 108 Cal. App. 3d 656; Public Resources Code Section 21080 (b) (8) and Government Code Section 66016). This information must be included on the Fee Checklist with supporting detail.
4.2 Public Hearing Prior to Adoption
Government Code Section 66018 requires that at least one open and noticed public hearing, at which oral or written presentations can be made, must be held by the Board of Supervisors before adoption or modification of fees is made, except for fees covered by other specific statutory notice requirements. Notice of the hearing and details of the cost and revenue data must be published at least 10 days prior to the Board meeting
4.3 Compliance with CEQA
Each AIT for new fees or increases in fees must contain a statement that the item is exempt from compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Public Resources Code Section 21080 (b) (8), which specifically exempts from CEQA the establishment or modification of rates, charges, or fees which are for the purpose of covering applicable expenditures. The AIT must contain a written finding in accordance with Public Resources Code Section 21080 (b) (8) that an exemption from CEQA is claimed, setting forth with specificity the basis for the claim of exemption.
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