By Cori Badgley
In 2008, the California Supreme Court held that the proper standard of review in deciding whether assessments imposed by local agencies violate Article XIII D of the California Constitution is de novo. (Silicon Valley Taxpayers’ Association, Inc. v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (2008) 44 Cal.4th 431 (“SVTA”); see California Supreme Court Rules Open Space Assessment is Invalid Special Tax Under Proposition 218.) The Court also held that the local agency has the burden of proof. (Id.) In light of the holding in SVTA, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District reevaluated its decision to uphold the creation of a special assessment district by the City of Pomona. Although the court applied the de novo standard of review instead of substantial evidence, the court still found that the assessments imposed by the City of Pomona through the creation of the Downtown Pomona Property and Business Improvement District (“PBID”) did not violate Article XIII D of the California Constitution.