Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2011
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
Health and Safety Code
CHAPTER 5 CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION
Regulatory fee not tax.—The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 1991 (H&S Code Section 105275 et seq.), as written, imposes bona fide regulatory fees and not taxes requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature under Proposition 13 (California Constitution, Article XIII A, section 3). The Legislature had approved the Act with a simple majority vote. Sinclair Paint Company v. State Board of Equalization, (1997) 15 Cal.4th 866.
Regulatory fee is not an unconstitutional tax if there is a reasonable basis in the record for the manner in which the fee was allocated.—Plaintiff, a gasoline company, challenged the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (CLPP) fees it paid, arguing that the tax was unconstitutional since it was not proportional to the gasoline industry's responsibility for environmental lead contamination. The court disagreed, holding that a regulatory fee was not an unconstitutional tax under Cal. Cost. XIII A, if there was a reasonable basis in the record for the manner in which the fee was allocated among those responsible for paying it. The court found that the fee, as applied to Equilon, was constitutional since there was a reasonable basis for the Department of Public Health to allocate the CLPP fees based on the gasoline industry's responsibility for contaminating the environment with the lead. Since the Legislature specifically focused on exposure rather than poisoning when it enacted the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Health & Safety Code §105275 et. seq.), the purpose of the Act is to address environmental lead contamination that results in childhood lead exposure, and not just causes of childhood lead poisoning. Equilon Enterprises LLC v. State Board of Equalization, (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 865.