Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2010
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

General Provisions

Revenue and Taxation Code*

General Provisions

An act to establish a Revenue and Taxation Code, thereby consolidating and revising the law relating to taxation and the raising of revenue, and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts specified herein.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

* The Revenue and Taxation Code, including the General Provisions and Division 1, was enacted by Statutes 1939, Chapter 154, effective February 1, 1941. Division 2, including Parts 5 and 6, inclusive, was enacted in 1941, effective July 1, 1943. Since then, additional parts have been added to both Divisions, as evidenced by the notes pertaining to such parts. All amendments enacted after the effective date of the part to which they relate are indicated in the history notes following the sections affected.

1. Title. This act shall be known as the Revenue and Taxation Code.

2. Continuation of existing law. The provisions of this code in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter shall be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.

3. Tenure. All persons who, at the time this code goes into effect, hold office under any of the acts repealed by this code, which offices are continued by this code, continue to hold them according to their former tenure.

4. Pending proceedings. Any action or proceeding commenced before this code takes effect, or any right accrued, is not affected by this code, but all procedure taken shall conform to the provisions of this code as far as possible.

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5. Construction. Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions hereinafter set forth govern the construction of this code.

6. Headings. Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings do not in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this code.

7. Delegation of power. Whenever a power is granted to, or a duty imposed on, any person or board by any provision of this code, it may be exercised or performed by any deputy or person authorized by the person or board to whom the power is granted or on whom the duty is imposed, unless it is expressly provided that the power or duty shall be exercised or performed only by the person or board to whom the power is granted or on whom the duty is imposed.

History.—Stats. 1943, p. 2696, operative July 1, 1943, added reference to "board" and otherwise reworded section.

8. Writing. Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, petition, permit, statement, or record is required by this code, it shall be made in writing in the English language.

9. Reference to statutes. Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this code or of any other law, the reference applies to all amendments and additions thereto now or hereafter made.

10. "Section"; "subdivision." "Section" means a section of this code unless some other statute is specifically mentioned and "subdivision" means a subdivision of the section in which that term occurs unless some other section is expressly mentioned.

11. Tense. The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future, the present.

12. Gender. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

13. Number. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

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14. "City." "City" includes incorporated city, city and county, municipal corporation, municipality, town, and incorporated town.

15. "County." "County" includes city and county.

16. "Shall"; "may." "Shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive.

17. "Oath." "Oath" includes affirmation and written declarations signed under the penalties of perjury.

History.—Stats. 1957, p. 966, in effect September 11, 1957, added portion following "affirmation."

18. "Signature"; "subscription." "Signature" or "subscription" includes mark. Such mark shall be made as required in the Civil Code.

Note.—See Civil Code, Section 14.

19. "Person." "Person" includes any person, firm, partnership, general partner of a partnership, limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, foreign limited liability partnership, association, corporation, company, syndicate, estate, trust, business trust, or organization of any kind. As used in Division 2 (commencing with Section 6001), "person" shall include, in addition to the items of definition contained in the first sentence, trustee, trustee in bankruptcy, receiver, executor, administrator, or assignee.

History.—Stats. 1993, Ch. 1187, in effect January 1, 1994, added "general partner of a partnership," after "partnership," in the first sentence. Stats. 1994, Ch. 1200, in effect September 30, 1994, added "limited liability company" after "of a partnership" in the first sentence, and added the second sentence. Stats. 1995, Ch. 679, in effect October 10, 1995, added "registered . . . partnership," after "liability company," in the first sentence.

Note.—See also Section 28.

20. "Board." "Board" means the State Board of Equalization.

21. "Controller." "Controller" means the State Controller.

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22. "Auditor." "Auditor" of a city or county means the chief accounting officer, by whatever title he may be known.

23. "Assessee." "Assessee" means the person to whom the property or a tax is assessed.

24. Legality of proceedings. No act in all the proceedings for raising revenue by taxation is illegal on account of informality or because not completed within the required time.

Informalities.—This section applies to statutory requirements which are intended to guide fiscal officers and thereby to promote the orderly conduct of their business, as distinguished from those which have been enacted for the protection of private rights. Ryan v. Byram, 4 Cal.2d 596, 604.

It cures the erroneous listing of improvements as personal property on the assessment roll (California Domestic Water Co. v. Los Angeles County, 10 Cal.App. 185), but not the failure of the assessor to show the general character and situs of the property. People v. Central Pacific R. R. Co., 83 Cal. 393, 400. It also cures informalities in the levying of a tax. Ryan v. Byram, 4 Cal.2d 596.

Time limitations.—This section does not permit avoidance by the tax collector of the one-year limitation on seizure and sale of an oil and gas leasehold interest provided in Section 107, since the limitation is for the benefit of the taxpayer. Lieb v. Day, 130 Cal.App.2d 376.

See also the annotations to Sections 2601 (failure to attach affidavits to roll), 1604 (time within which county board of equalization must act, informalities in board's proceedings), 3436 (time of sale), 441 (informality in property statement), Government Code 54903 (filing statement and map of boundary changes).

25. Manner of giving notice. Unless expressly otherwise provided, any notice required to be given to any person by any provision of this code may be given in the manner prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure for service by mail.

Note.—See Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1013.

26. Constitutionality. If any provision of this code, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the code, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, is not affected.

27. Effective date. This code, and any amendment hereto made by any statute enacted at the Fifty-third Session of the Legislature, takes effect on February 1, 1941.

28. "Person." [Repealed by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1200, in effect September 30, 1994.]

History.—Added by Stats. 1943, p. 2705, operative July 1, 1943.

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28.5. "Partnership." As used in Division 1 of this code, "partnership" shall include limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, and foreign limited liability partnership, except where the context or the specific provisions of this division otherwise require.

History.—Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1200, in effect September 30, 1994. Stats. 1995, Ch. 679, in effect October 10, 1995, added "registered . . . partnership," after "liability company".

29. Venue of revenue action. Whenever any official is authorized to commence an action for the violation of any law relating to revenue or to compel the specific performance of such a law, he may designate the county in which the action shall be commenced and prosecuted, unless otherwise provided by law.

History.—Added by Stats. 1951, p. 1859, in effect September 22, 1951.

30. Enforcement of tax liabilities of other states. The courts of this State shall recognize and enforce liabilities for taxes lawfully imposed by any other state, or the political subdivisions thereof, which extends a like comity to this State.

History.—Added by Stats. 1951, p. 1859, in effect September 22, 1951; Stats. 1951, p. 3303, also in effect September 22, 1951, added reference to political subdivisions.

31. Tax suits in other states. The Attorney General or an appropriate official of any political subdivision of this State may bring suits in the courts of other states to collect taxes legally due this State or any political subdivision thereof. The officials of other states which extend a like comity to this State are empowered to sue for the collection of such taxes in the courts of this State. A certificate by the Secretary of State under the Great Seal of the State that such officers have authority to collect the tax is conclusive evidence of such authority. This section does not apply to Parts 8 and 9 of Division 2.

History.—Added by Stats. 1951, p. 1859, in effect September 22, 1951; Stats. 1951, p. 3303, also in effect September 22, 1951, added references to political subdivisions and last sentence. Stats. 1953, p. 1821, in effect September 9, 1953, substituted "Division 2" for "this code."

Note.—Inheritance tax and gift tax (Parts 8 and 9 of Division 2), see Sections 14350 and 16123.5, respectively.

32. Nonsubversive declarations. [Repealed by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1222, in effect January 1, 1995.]

33. Exemption; blood and human body parts. Human whole blood, plasma, blood products, and blood derivatives, or any human body parts held in a bank for medical purposes, shall be exempt from taxation for any purpose.

History.—Added by Stats. 1965, p. 2544, in effect September 17, 1965.

Construction.—The exemption provided by this section is limited by its terms to the products themselves and does not exempt from taxation personal property used to manufacture and store blood plasma and its derivatives. Alpha Therapeutic Corp. v. Los Angeles County, 179 Cal.App.3d 265.

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34. Erroneous payment to state of locally administered tax.
Whenever an amount of money paid by a person to the state or any of its agencies includes a sum which can be identified as in fact intended as payment of a locally administered tax which should have been paid directly to a city, city and county, county or district within the state, the state or its agency may pay the amount to the local government entitled thereto and notify the payor of its action. This procedure, however, shall not be followed by the state or any of its agencies unless the governing body of the local government concerned has, by resolution, agreed with respect to such payments that a timely payment received by the state or its agency will be regarded as a timely payment to the local government concerned, and that it will process all claims with respect to such payment in the same manner as though the payment had been made to it in the first instance.

History.—Added by Stats. 1969, p. 56, in effect January 31, 1969.

35. Allocation and distribution of grant funds and subventions.
Commencing with its January 1, 1985, population base and continuing until the date of certification of the 1990 Federal Census, the population to be used by the Controller and by all other state and county agencies for all purposes of allocation and distribution of grant funds and subventions, including, without limitation, the annual allocation from the Public Library Fund and from the Motor Vehicle License Fee Account in the Transportation Tax Fund, for any general law city located in a county of the 11th class, which city's population as of January 1, 1985, was 38,925 based upon an estimate validated by the Department of Finance, shall be 38,925, adjusted annually, commencing January 1, 1986, by the percentage of population growth of the State of California as a whole.

History.—Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 440, in effect September 8, 1987.

36. Notice; registered mail; certified mail. Whenever any notice or other communication is required by this code to be mailed by registered mail, the mailing of such notice or other communication by certified mail shall be deemed to be sufficient compliance with the requirements of law.

History.—Added by Stats. 1970, p. 562, in effect November 23, 1970.

37. Supplemental unsecured property tax levies. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all interest and penalties owing due to late payment of supplemental unsecured property tax levies shall be canceled, if such payment is made by December 31, 1981.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all interest and penalties owing on the readjusted amount of any other tax resulting from supplemental unsecured property tax levies shall be canceled, if the payment of such readjusted tax is made by December 31, 1981.

As used in this section, "supplemental unsecured property tax levies" shall mean that amount of property tax levied by any city, county, city and county, and special district which is attributable to that portion of the property tax rate levied on the unsecured roll for the 1978–79 tax year, less the rate for voter-approved indebtedness, which is in excess of four dollars ($4) per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed value.

As used in this section, "the readjusted amount of any other tax resulting from supplemental unsecured property tax levies" shall mean the difference in any other tax levy between the amount that would have been levied had Article XIII A applied to the 1978–79 unsecured property tax roll and the amount levied using the 1977–78 secured roll property tax rate.

History.—Added by Stats. 1981, Ch. 242, in effect July 21, 1981.

Note.—Section 12 of Stats. 1981, Ch. 242, provided that the Legislature finds and declares that Section 3 of this act is consistent with the intent of Section 7 of Article XIII of the Constitution which is to permit counties to consider costs and benefits and to exempt certain assessments of property where costs exceed benefits.

In the case of the 1978–79 unsecured roll, the assessed value of real property on the unsecured roll has already been determined in each county. The decision of the Supreme Court in Board of Supervisors of San Diego County v. Lonergan, 27 Cal.3d 855, and Roy E. Hanson, Jr. Mfg. v. County of Los Angeles, 27 Cal.3d 870, has been interpreted by some persons to require the reassessment of real property on the 1978–79 unsecured roll to value in accordance with Section 1 of Article XIII of the Constitution. The Legislature hereby declares that county assessors have provided data upon which the Legislature has relied, which indicate that the cost of the reevaluation would likely exceed the additional revenues that might be generated. Since it would be impossible to determine the cost/benefit on any individual parcel until after the costs are incurred, the Legislature believes it is consistent with the authority provided by Section 7 of Article XIII of the Constitution to provide an exemption to an aggregate reassessment in this very unusual situation.

Note.—Section 13 of Stats. 1981, Ch. 242, provided that no appropriation is made by this act. It is recognized, however, that a local agency or school district may pursue any remedies to obtain reimbursement available to it under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 2201) of Part 4 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

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38. Tax agency consolidation. (a) The Legislative Analyst shall submit a report to the Legislature regarding the possible consolidation of the remittance processing and cashiering functions and the mail processing operations, of the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, and the Employment Development Department.

(b) The Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, and the Employment Development Department shall provide the Legislative Analyst all data and information that the Legislative Analyst identifies as necessary for completing the report and shall assist the Legislative Analyst in the preparation of the report. The information provided to the Legislative Analyst shall include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the short- and long-term fiscal and budgetary advantages and disadvantages that would result from the proposed consolidation of the remittance processing and cashiering functions and the mail processing functions of, the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, and the Employment Development Department. Any data and information requested by the Legislative Analyst shall be submitted on or before July 1, 2004.

(c) The purpose of the report required by this section is to determine, to the extent possible and based on available information and reasonable assumptions, if there are any benefits to the consolidation of the management and control of these operations based on all of the following criteria:

(1) The elimination of duplicative functions and fragmented responsibilities.

(2) Increased operational efficiencies due to the use of improved technologies and economies of scale.

(3) Additional interest earnings for the state.

(d) For purposes of this section, "remittance processing and cashiering" means receiving, batching, balancing, and depositing remittances.

(e) The Legislative Analyst shall provide to the Legislature its report and any recommendations and considerations with regard to the possible consolidation of these functions by November 1, 2004.

History.—Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 569 (AB 986) in effect January 1, 2004.

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