IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
GROUND WATER DISTRICTS
42-5232. Levy of assessments. (1) The secretary of the board shall be the assessor of the district, and on or before August 1 of each year shall prepare an assessment book containing a full and accurate list of all lands within the district that are subject to assessment under this chapter.
(2) At a regular meeting of the board between August 1 and November 1 of each year, the board of directors shall determine the amount necessary to be raised for payment of the annual payment on any and all indebtedness of the district for the following year. Money received in payment of such assessments shall be deposited in a separate fund to be known as the debt retirement fund.
(3) The board shall, in addition, determine the assessments necessary to pay, without limitation, the expenses of developing, operating or maintaining any mitigation plan established by the district and the cost of contracts with any person for mitigation plans, or evaluation of proposed contracts. Money received in payment of such assessments shall be deposited in a separate fund to be known as the mitigation expense fund.
(4) The board shall, in addition, determine the assessments necessary to pay maintenance and operation of the district not related to mitigation plans or purposes. These operation and maintenance duties include making the assessment book, giving notice of assessments and making collections thereof, and other duties, programs or projects of the district to the extent such duties, programs or projects are not attributable to mitigation plans or purposes. Money received in payment of such assessments shall be deposited in a separate fund of the district to be known as the operating expense fund.
(5) If, after levying the regular assessments described in this section, the board determines that the money held in such fund is inadequate or prior to the next regular assessment is likely to become inadequate to pay the expenses for which such fund exists, the board may levy an emergency assessment to pay such additional expenses; provided, that the board shall, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which the board determines the amount necessary to pay such expenses, mail written notice of the board’s intent to levy an emergency assessment to each member of the district at the address on file with the district.
(6) If a mitigation plan has been approved and a district member fails to operate in accordance with the plan, the board may take action to mitigate such member’s noncompliance and levy a special assessment against such member equal to one hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of all costs incurred by the district to mitigate such member’s noncompliance. If the noncompliance constitutes excess water use, the board may alternatively levy a special assessment equal to one hundred dollars ($100) per acre-foot of excess water use.
(7) Any ground water user who becomes a member of a district for mitigation purposes shall be subject to no assessment beyond his proportional share of the costs, including administrative costs and other reasonable expenses, of any mitigation plan or actions or activities in furtherance of the district’s mitigation plans or purposes.
(8) No assessment made pursuant to this chapter shall be a lien against any municipal property.
(9) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, each member shall pay a proportionate share of the total of all amounts to be assessed for the purposes aforementioned, which share shall be based on (a) the ratio which the quantity of water the member is authorized to divert under the member’s ground water right(s) bears to the total quantity of water authorized for diversion under the ground water rights of all members of the district, or (b) the ratio which the number of acres the member is authorized to irrigate under the member’s ground water right bears to the total number of acres authorized for irrigation under the ground water rights of all members of the district; provided, that the board shall be entitled to levy assessments that adjust a member’s proportionate share to take into consideration priority dates, consumptive use under the members’ respective ground water rights, other attributes of the ground water rights appurtenant to the assessed lands, and/or the benefits the member derives from a mitigation plan or other activity of the district. Any nonirrigator who is a member of a ground water district, or whose ground water rights are appurtenant to property located within a ground water district, and who has adopted and implemented a mitigation plan that has been approved by the director and that is not inconsistent with such a plan approved by the director and adopted and implemented by the ground water district, shall be entitled to an assessment credit for the contribution made by that nonirrigator’s mitigation plan toward the district’s mitigation obligation as determined by the director.
[42-5232, added 1995, ch. 290, sec. 1, p. 996; am. 2006, ch. 355, sec. 2, p. 1087; am. 2016, ch. 112, sec. 1, p. 317; am. 2019, ch. 33, sec. 1, p. 93.]