Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2010
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 6. Tax Sales

CHAPTER 2. Sale by Operation of Law


Chapter 2. Sale by Operation of Law

Article 1. General Provisions*

* Article 1 heading added by Stats. 1967, p. 3190, in effect November 8, 1967.

3436. Declaration of default; time. At 12:01 a.m. on July 1, the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs on real property except tax-defaulted property and possessory interests, which have not been paid shall by operation of law be declared in default.

History.—Stats. 1963, p. 3079, in effect September 20, 1963, added "On or before June 30 and" before "not" at the beginning of the first sentence. Stats. 1967, p. 2345, in effect November 8, 1967, deleted "and not less than 21 nor more than 28 days after the first publication of the published delinquent list" after "June 30"; and added "of the notice of intent to sell to the state" after "publication" in the first sentence. Stats 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "notice of impending default" . . . "declared in default" for "notice of intent to sell to the state, the real property on which the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs have not been fully paid, except tax-sold property and possessory interests, shall by operation of law and the declaration of the tax collector be sold to the state" after "publication of the" in the first sentence, and deleted the former second sentence which provided that "The sale shall be in the tax collector's office". Stats. 1992, Ch. 523, in effect January 1, 1993, substituted "At 12:01 . . . July 1" for "On or before June 30, at the time fixed in the publication of the notice of impending default" at the beginning of the paragraph, and deleted "and the declaration of the tax collector" after "of law".

Time.—If the first publication of the delinquent list is more than 28 days prior to the date fixed for the sale, the tax proceedings are void. Bernhard v. Wall, 184 Cal. 612. Cf. Smith v. City of Los Angeles, 158 Cal. 702, holding immaterial, in view of Former Political Code Section 3885 (now Revenue and Taxation Code Section 24), the fact that the delinquent list was first published one day after the required date. See Section 3365.

Amount.—A sale for any amount in excess of that which is lawfully chargeable is void. Hall v. Park Bank of Los Angeles, 165 Cal. 356; Rimmer v. Hotchkiss, 162 Cal. 385; Warden v. Gries, 120 Cal.App. 187. Although several cases have held that an excess of less than one cent in the amount of a penalty will not render a sale void (Bell v. Fee Title Co., 69 Cal.App. 437; Jacoby v. Wolff, 198 Cal. 667, 684; Gottstein v. Kelly, 206 Cal. 742, 745; Schainman v. All Persons, 96 Cal.App. 753), they were all decided prior to the adoption in 1939 of the provision now contained in Section 2623.5.

Property included.—A sale of property which includes more land than was assessed is void. See Los Angeles Olive Growers' Assn. v. Pozzi, 167 Cal. 454.

A single sale may not be made of distinct items of property. Each parcel must be sold for the exact amount which is a lien upon it. See Knox v. Higby, 76 Cal. 264. Five adjoining lots over all of which a building extends should be treated, however, as a unit for purposes of taxation. Cooper v. Miller, 113 Cal. 238.

Effect of sale.—The only practical effect of a sale under this section is to start running the five-year period within which redemption can be effected. During this period the legal title to the property continues in the taxpayer, subject to the lien in favor of the state created by the assessment and levy. Crocker v. Scott, 149 Cal. 575; In re Sieck, 46 Cal.App. 363.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

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3437. Payment by owner prior to declaration of default. The amount due on any property may be paid until the close of business on June 30 if it was separately valued on the secured roll. If June 30 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, and payment is received by the close of business on the next business day, redemption penalties shall not attach. If the board of supervisors, by adoption of an ordinance or resolution, closes the county's offices for business prior to the time of delinquency on the "next business day" or for that whole day, that day shall be considered a legal holiday for purposes of this section. Section 2512 shall apply to remittances made by mail.

History.—Stats. 1943, p. 1936, in effect August 4, 1943, added last clause. Stats. 1955, p. 839, in effect September 7, 1955, rewrote section to eliminate provision specifying payment by "the owner or person in possession" of the property. Stats. 1967, p. 22346, in effect November 8, 1967, deleted "in the published delinquent list" after "property". Stats. 1984, Ch. 988 in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "the declaration of default" for "sale" after "time of". Stats. 1992,Ch. 523, in effect January 1, 1993, substituted "close . . . 30" for "time of the declaration of default" after "until the"; and added "If June . . . attach." as the second sentence. Stats. 1994, Ch. 705, in effect January 1, 1995, added "Sunday," after "Saturday" in the second sentence, and added the third sentence. Stats. 1999, Ch. 941 (SB 1231), in effect January 1, 2000, added the fourth sentence.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

3438. Discovery of error. If the tax collector discovers before the declaration that because of any error the tax on a parcel of real property should not be declared in default, he or she shall not declare it in default and the board of supervisors shall cause the assessor to enter the uncollected taxes on the next roll, to be collected like other taxes on that roll.

History.—Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "declaration" for "sale" after "before the", and substituted "tax on a parcel . . . declare it in default" for "property should not be sold, he shall not mark it sold to the state" after "error the".

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

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3439. Entry of amount declared in default. In appropriate columns on the delinquent roll, or the secured roll if the delinquent roll has been dispensed with, opposite each parcel separately valued the taxes on which have been declared in default, the tax collector shall enter "tax defaulted," the date of declaration, and the total amount declared to be in default.

History.—Stats. 1943, p. 1936, in effect August 4, 1943, substituted "delinquent roll" for "delinquent list," and otherwise reworded section. Stats. 1949, p. 465, in effect October 1, 1949, added clause relating to secured roll and deleted "on the delinquent roll" following "parcel separately valued." Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "the taxes on which have been declared in default" for "and sold" after "valued", substituted " 'tax-defaulted,' the date of sale" for " 'sold to the State', the date of sale" after "enter", and substituted "declared to be in default" for "for which the property was sold" after "amount".

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

3440. Notice to Controller. [Repealed by Stats. 1999, Ch. 941 (SB 1231), in effect January 1, 2000.]

3441. Prohibition of waste, etc. Every person who does any act tending permanently to impair the value of tax-defaulted property is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable for any damages sustained by the county or public agency because of his or her act. Those acts include, but are not limited to, the removal, destruction, or cutting of any improvements or timber. On request of the tax collector of the county where any part of the property is located, the district attorney of the same county shall:

(a) Prosecute for the commission of the misdemeanor.

(b) In the name of the people, sue for damages sustained by the county.

History.—Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "tax-defaulted property" for "tax-sold property or tax-deeded property" after "value of", substituted "county or public agency" for "State," after "by the", and added "or her" after "his" in the first sentence; substituted "Those" for "Such" before "Acts" in the second sentence; and substituted tax collector of the county . . . county shall:" for "Attorney General or the Controller, the District Attorney of the County where any part of the property is located shall: after "of the" in the third sentence; and substituted "county" for "State" after "by the" in subsection (b) thereof.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

Removal of timber.—The State was allowed to recover damages for timber removed from tax-deeded land prior to redemption. People v. Lucas, 55 Cal.2d 564.

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3442. Entry on current roll. Within 30 days after declaration of default, the tax collector shall furnish the auditor with a list of all tax-defaulted property. The auditor shall enter on the current roll immediately after the description of the property the fact and date of declaration of default.

History.—Stats. 1949, p. 473, in effect October 1, 1949, deleted "printed" preceding "list" in first sentence and substituted "redemption officer" for "auditor" in first and second sentences. Stats. 1953, p. 2256, in effect September 9, 1953, added third sentence. Stats. 1974, Ch. 1101, p. 2342, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "auditor" for "redemption officer" in the first and second sentences, and deleted the former third sentence. Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "declaration of default" for "sale by operation of law" after "after the", and substituted "tax-defaulted property" for "the property sold" after "all" in the first sentence; and substituted "declaration of default" for "sale" after "date of" in the second sentence.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

Redemptions.—Compliance with this section by the tax collector gives the auditor the information which he is required to furnish redemptioners under Section 4105.1 and 4105.2. Jones v. Sturzenberg, 59 Cal.App. 350.

3443. Entry on assessor's records. The tax collector shall transmit the list of property to the assessor who shall enter on his or her records the fact and date of the declaration of default.

History.—Stats. 1953, p. 2101, in effect September 9, 1953, substituted "redemption officer" for "auditor." Stats. 1974, Ch. 1101, p. 2342, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "tax collector" for "redemption officer". Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, deleted "sold" after "list of property," added "or her" after "his" and substituted "declaration of default" for "sale" after "of the".

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

Omission of date immaterial.—The omission of the date of sale does not render the proceedings invalid. The mere entry of the words "sold to the State," while not a strict compliance with this section, is sufficient to put both the fiscal officers and the property owner on notice. Fox v. Townsend, 152 Cal. 51.

3443.5. Entry on assessor's records: machine-prepared roll. In lieu of the procedure specified in Section 3443, where a machine-prepared roll is used, the fact and date of the declaration of default may be entered upon the reproduced roll.

History.—Added by Stats. 1968, p. 664, in effect November 13, 1968. Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "the declaration of default" for "sale" after "of the".

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

3444. Void declaration of default. If the original declaration of default by operation of law is ever canceled or held void, the property shall be treated for all purposes as if in default in the next subsequent year for which it would have been validly declared in default but for the previous declaration of default.

History.—Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "declaration of default" for "sale to the State" after "original", substituted "in default" for "sold to the State" after "as if", and substituted "declared in default . . . default" for "sold to the state if it had not been tax-sold property or tax-deeded property" after "validly".

Note.—See note following Section 2194

3445. Redemption. [Repealed by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1465, in effect January 1, 1983.]

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Article 2. Alternative Provisions*

* Article 2 added by Stats. 1967, p. 3190, in effect November 8, 1967.

3446. Alternative procedure where control system permits. [Repealed by Stats. 1998, Ch. 497 (SB 2233), in effect January 1, 1999.]

3447. Procedures depending on filing or not of detailed statement. [Repealed by Stats. 1998, Ch. 497 (SB 2233), in effect January 1, 1999.]

3448. Control system inoperative or inadequate. [Repealed by Stats. 1998, Ch. 497 (SB 2233), in effect January 1, 1999.]

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