Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2011
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 2. Assessment
Chapter 3. Assessment Generally
Article 2. Information From Taxpayer
Every person owning, claiming, possessing, controlling or managing property shall furnish any required information or records to the assessor for examination at any time.
(b) The requirements of this article shall be satisfied with respect to property belonging to others for which the declarer has contractual property tax obligations if the declarer includes that property in the property statement, submits the statement timely, and includes in the statement all information required in the statement pertaining to property belonging to others.
(c) Property that is the subject of a contract designated as a lease that provides that the lessee has the option of acquiring the property at the end of the lease term for one dollar ($1), or any other nominal consideration, shall be reported by the lessor on the lessor's property statement. If that property qualifies for the property tax exemption provided for by subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, that property shall be regarded as owned by the lessee and shall not be required to be shown on any property statement of the lessor.
History.—Stats. 1970, p. 1029, in effect November 23, 1970, revised this section to include references to firms, corporations and corporate officers. Stats. 1982, Ch. 7, in effect January 1, 1983, added the third paragraph. Stats. 1987, Ch. 703, in effect January 1, 1988, added the fourth paragraph. Stats. 2003, Ch. 316 (AB 1744), in effect January 1, 2004, added the subdivision letter designations; substituted "that is" for "which is now and hereafter" after "Property", subsituted "that provides that" for "wherein the property being leased qualifies for the property tax exemption provided for by subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, and" after "as a lease" and substituted "reported by the lessor on the lessor's property statement" for "regarded as owned by the lessee and shall not be required to be shown on any property statement of the lessor" after "consideration, shall be" in the first sentence, and added the second sentence therein.
Construction.—The language "any required information or records" is a broad grant of power to the assessor to demand information and does not support any distinction between raw and interpretative data, particularly in the context of the assessment and appraisal of oil and gas interests whose values are constantly changing. Roberts v. Gulf Oil Corp., 147 Cal.App.3d 770.
Failure to furnish information.—It is the duty of a person possessing property for safe keeping to furnish the assessor with any information in his possession which will enable the assessor to determine the owner of the property, failing which, the assessor may assess the property to the holder as agent of the unknown parties. S. W. Straus & Co. v. Los Angeles County, 128 Cal.App. 386.
An assessor may demand of a warehouseman who has in his possession personal property of another the name of the owner and a description of the property, and upon his refusal to give such information an injunction to prevent the assessment of the property to him is properly denied. Bode v. Holtz, 65 Cal. 106.
Cf. Weyse v. Crawford, 85 Cal. 196, in which the warehouseman furnished an unsworn statement of the property in storage and of the persons to whom warehouse receipts were originally issued. It was held that the property was not assessable to the warehouseman. Cf. Bank of Willows v. Glenn County, 155 Cal. 352, 358, to the effect that former Political Code Section 3629 had reference only to the return required of the taxpayer and not to the duty of the assessor in making the assessment.
Managing agent.—A mine superintendent is equivalent to a managing agent and may be required to make a return of the property of his company. Lake County v. Sulphur Bank etc. Co., 68 Cal. 14.
Possessory interests in personal property.—No provision is made for declaring or assessing a possessory interest in tax-exempt personal property. General Dynamics Corp. v. Los Angeles County, 51 Cal.2d 59.