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California Court of Appeal

Equilon Enter. v. State Bd. of Equalization, C059079

In plaintiff's suit seeking a refund of $3,910,359.10 it paid for the year 2002 pursuant to regulations promulgated under the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 1991, claiming that the amount was an unconstitutional tax under section 3 of Proposition 13, trial court's judgment against plaintiff and in favor of defendants State Board of Equalization and State Department of Health Services is affirmed where: 1) a regulatory fee is not an unconstitutional tax under Proposition 13 if there is a reasonable basis in the record for the manner in which the fee is allocated among those responsible for paying it, and here, there was a reasonable basis for the department to allocate the lead program fee in the manner it did, based on the gasoline industry's responsibility for contaminating the environment with lead; and 2) the department was not obligated to allocate the fee based on responsibility only for those specific instances in which exposure to environmental lead contamination has actually resulted in childhood lead poisoning.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 10/29/2010
  • Published 10/29/2010



  • California Court of Appeal


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