Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

California Constitutional Provisions

ARTICLE XIII Revenue and Taxation

Section 13

Sec. 13. Land and improvements to be separately assessed. Land and improvements shall be separately assessed.

Decisions Under Former Article XIII, Section 2.

Construction.—The provisions of this section and of Section 607 of the Revenue and Taxation Code merely require, in order that improved and unimproved real estate may have a uniform basis of valuation, that the valuations for land and for improvements be separately stated on the roll. An assessment of improvements based upon their wreckage or removal value is not justifiable, but amounts to an unlawful discrimination against other types of property. Mahoney v. City of San Diego, 198 Cal. 388. While improvements are to be assessed separately from the land, they must be assessed against the particular section, lot or tract upon which they are located. Rimmer v. Hotchkiss, 162 Cal. 385. Failure to assess land and improvements separately renders an assessment void. California etc. R. R. v. Mecartney, 104 Cal. 616; Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Co., 118 U.S. 394.

The separate assessment of improvements as required by this section cannot affect the character of the improvements nor their ownership. Outer Harbor Dock & Wharf Co. v. City of Los Angeles, 49 Cal.App. 120.

Delayed assessment.—Assessment of land only does not prevent escape assessment on improvements subsequently discovered. Jensen v. Byram, 229 Cal.App.2d 651.

Improvements.—A strawberry plant is not a vine within the definition of improvements for the purpose of making separate assessments of land and improvements and may not be assessed separately from the land. Monterey County v. Madolora, 171 Cal.App.2d 840.