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Water Fees Challenged

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A challenge to new state water-rights fees has moved into the courtroom. The California Farm Bureau, county Farm Bureaus and individuals filed suit, challenging the constitutionality of assessments imposed on holders of water-rights permits. The Farm Bureau says the fees are actually taxes, and were enacted without the necessary two-thirds vote of the Legislature. The suit was filed after a state water board rejected a petition to end the assessments.