Nebraska Revised Statute 70-1812
Mandated project charges authorized; resolution of governing body; payment by customers; records required; judicial review authorized; procedure.
(1) A public entity may elect to pay or reimburse mandated project costs and financing costs through the use of mandated project charges. Public entities are hereby authorized to impose and collect mandated project charges as provided in the Public Entities Mandated Project Charges Act. The election to use mandated project charges shall be made and evidenced by the adoption of a resolution of the governing body of the public entity authorizing the mandated project as set forth in the public entity's capital budget. The authorizing resolution shall include the following:
(a) A statement that the project is a mandated project and a description of the mandate that will be addressed by the mandated project;
(b) A statement that the public entity is electing to pay or reimburse the mandated project costs and financing costs with mandated project charges in accordance with the Public Entities Mandated Project Charges Act;
(c) An authorization to add a separate charge to each customer's electric service bill, representing such customer's portion of the mandated project charge;
(d) A description of the financial calculation, formula, or other method that the public entity utilizes to determine the mandated project charges that customers will be required to pay for the mandated project, including a periodic adjustment method, applied at least annually, that shall be utilized by the public entity to correct for any overcollection or undercollection of such mandated project charges or any other adjustment necessary to assure payment of debt service on mandated project bonds, including, but not limited to, the adjustment of the mandated project charges to pay related operating expenses and any debt service coverage requirement. The financial calculation, formula, or other method, including the periodic adjustment method, established in the authorizing resolution pursuant to this subdivision, and the allocation of mandated project charges to and among its customers, shall be decided solely by the governing body of the public entity and shall be final and conclusive, subject to the procedures set forth in subsection (4) of this section. In no event shall the periodic adjustment method established in the authorizing resolution pursuant to this subdivision be applied less frequently than required by the governing documents of any mandated project bonds issued to finance the mandated project. Once the financial calculation, formula, or other method for determining the mandated project charges, and the periodic adjustment method, have been established in the authorizing resolution and have become final and conclusive as provided in the act, they shall not be changed;
(e) If mandated project bonds are to be issued for the mandated project by the public entity or by a mandated project bond issuer, a requirement that the public entity or mandated project bond issuer shall enter into a servicing agreement for the bonds with a trustee selected by the governing body of the public entity and the public entity or mandated project bond issuer shall act as a servicing agent for purposes of collecting the mandated project charges. Money collected by the public entity or mandated project bond issuer, acting as a servicing agent on behalf of a trustee, shall be held for the exclusive benefit of holders of mandated project bonds; and
(f) If mandated project bonds are to be issued for the mandated project by a mandated project bond issuer created by the public entity, a statement that the public entity elects to have bonds issued by the mandated project bond issuer and that the public entity shall pledge the proceeds of the mandated project charge for the purpose of securing such bonds.
(2) The determination of the governing body that a project is a mandated project shall be final and conclusive, and any mandated project bonds issued and mandated project charges imposed relating to such determination shall be valid and enforceable in accordance with their terms. Mandated project charges shall constitute a vested, presently existing property right. The public entity shall require, in its authorizing resolution with respect to mandated project charges, that so long as any customer obtains electric distribution service from the public entity, the customer shall pay the mandated project charge to the public entity regardless of whether or not the customer obtains electric energy service from the public entity or another energy supplier other than the public entity. All provisions of the authorizing resolution adopted pursuant to this section shall be binding on the public entity and on any successor or assignee of the public entity.
(3) The timely and complete payment of all mandated project charges shall be a condition of receiving electric service for customers of the public entity, and the public entity shall be authorized to use its established collection policies and all rights and remedies provided by the law to enforce payment and collection of the mandated project charges. In no event shall any customer of a public entity be entitled or authorized to withhold payment, in whole or in part, of any mandated project charges for any reason.
(4) The secretary or other duly designated officer of the governing body of the public entity shall prepare and maintain a complete record of all documents submitted to and all oral and written comments made to the governing body in connection with an authorizing resolution adopted pursuant to this section. Within ten days after adoption of an authorizing resolution, an aggrieved party may file a petition for judicial review in the Supreme Court and pay the docket fee established in section 33-103. The petition shall name the public entity as the respondent and shall be served upon the public entity in the manner provided by law for service of process. Within ten business days after service of the petition for judicial review upon the public entity, the secretary or other duly designated officer of the public entity shall prepare and file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, at the public entity's expense, the record of all documents submitted to and all oral and written comments made to the governing body in connection with the authorizing resolution. Judicial review pursuant to this subsection shall be based solely upon the record submitted by the public entity, and briefs to the court shall be limited to determining whether the financial calculation, formula, or other method adopted by the public entity pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section is a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory allocation to the public entity's customers of the mandated project charges needed to pay for the mandated project. Because the process of judicial review may delay the issuance of mandated project bonds to the financial detriment of customers of the public entity, the Supreme Court shall proceed to hear and determine a petition for judicial review under this section as expeditiously as practicable and shall give the matter precedence over other civil matters on the docket. The authorizing resolution shall become final and conclusive if there is no petition for judicial review filed within the time set forth in this subsection or upon the effective date of the court's decision in favor of the public entity. If the court rules against the public entity on a petition for judicial review under this subsection, the public entity's authorizing resolution shall be void and of no further force or effect.
For purposes of this subsection, aggrieved party means a retail customer of the public entity that receives electric service pursuant to a published rate schedule.