Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2011
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 2. Assessment
CHAPTER 1. Taxation Base
Article 1. Taxable and Exempt Property
214.02. Welfare exemption; property in its natural state. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c), property that is used exclusively for the preservation of native plants or animals, biotic communities, geological or geographical formations of scientific or educational interest, or open-space lands used solely for recreation and for the enjoyment of scenic beauty, is open to the general public subject to reasonable restrictions concerning the needs of the land, and is owned and operated by a scientific or charitable fund, foundation, limited liability company, or corporation, the primary interest of which is to preserve those natural areas, and that meets all the requirements of Section 214, shall be deemed to be within the exemption provided for in subdivision (b) of Sections 4 and 5 of Article XIII of the Constitution of the State of California and Section 214.
(b) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to any property of an organization that owns in the aggregate 30,000 acres or more in one county that were exempt under this section prior to March 1, 1983, or that are proposed to be exempt, unless the nonprofit organization that holds the property is fully independent of the owner of any taxable real property that is adjacent to the property otherwise qualifying for tax exemption under this section. For purposes of this section, the nonprofit organization that holds the property shall be considered fully independent if the exempt property is not used or operated by that organization or by any other person so as to benefit any officer, trustee, director, shareholder, member, employee, contributor or bondholder of the exempt organization or operator, or the owner of any adjacent property, or any other person, through the distribution of profits, payment of excessive charges or compensations, or the more advantageous pursuit of their business or profession.
(c) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to property that is reserved for future development.
(d) This section shall be operative from the lien date in 1983 to and including the lien date in 2012, after which date this section shall become inoperative, and as of January 1, 2013, this section is repealed.
(e) The amendments made by the act adding this subdivision shall apply with respect to lien dates occurring on and after January 1, 2005.
History.—Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1 (First Extra Session) in effect December 8, 1971, operative on the lien date in 1972. Stats. 1974, Ch. 311, p. 596, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "of Section 214" for "of this section", and substituted "subdivision (b) of Section 4 and Section 5" for "Section 1c". Stats. 1982, Ch. 1485, in effect January 1, 1983, operative March 1, 1983, added "(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c)" before "property" at the beginning of the first sentence, and added subdivisions (b) and (c). Stats. 1992, Ch. 786; in effect January 1, 1993, added subdivision (d). Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, in effect January 1, 1994, added "that is" after "property", deleted "or" after "animals," and after "communities,", deleted "and which property" after "beauty," added a comma after "land", substituted "those" for "such" after "preserve", and substituted "that" for "which" after "areas, and" in subdivision (a); substituted "that" for "which" throughout subdivision (b), and substituted "that are" for "which" in the first sentence of subdivision (b); and substituted "that" for "which" after "property" in subdivision (c). Stats. 2001, Ch. 533 (SB 198), in effect October 5, 2001, substituted "2012" for "2002" after "lien date in" and substituted "2013" for "2003" after "January 1," in the first sentence of subdivision (d). Stats. 2004, Ch. 354 (AB 3073), in effect August 30, 2004, added ", limited liability company," after "fund, foundation" in the first sentence of subdivision (a); deleted "constituted in such a way as to be" after "the property is" in the first sentence of subdivision (b); and added subdivision (e).
Note.—Stats. 1971, p. 5133 (First Extra Session), provided that this section shall remain operative to and including the lien date in 1981 and shall have no further force or effect after such date.
Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1992, Ch. 786, provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the requirements of that section relating to any exemption of property for more than five years or for more than 75 percent of the value thereof shall not apply to any exemptions made by this act. In addition, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act.
Note.—Section 2 of Stats. 2001, Ch. 533 (SB 198) provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act.
Construction.—This section is a valid exercise of the Legislature's power under Article XIII, Section 4(b) of the Constitution. Santa Catalina Island Conservancy v. Los Angeles County, 126 Cal.App.3d 221.