Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Government Code Provisions
Provisions Relating to Timberland
Chapter 6.7. Timberland*
Article 2. Timberland Production Zones†
51110. Parcels assessed for timber; notice and hearing; procedure. (a) On or before September 1, 1976, the assessor shall assemble a list of all parcels, regardless of size, which as of the lien date in 1976, were assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land, including all such parcels or portions thereof under agricultural preserve contracts.
(b) On or before September 1, 1976, the assessor shall notify by mail, which is certified and with return receipt requested, owners of parcels listed under subdivision (a) that their land has been included in such a list. This notice shall be substantially in the following form:
To: (name of taxpayer)
Pursuant to the Z'berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act of 1976, ________ County must provide for the zoning of land used for growing and harvesting timber as timberland preserve zone (TPZ).
A TPZ is a 10-year restriction on the use of land, and will replace the use of agricultural preserves (Williamson Act contracts) on timberland. Land use under a TPZ will be restricted to growing and harvesting timber, and to compatible uses approved by the county (or city). In return, taxation of timberland under a TPZ will be based only on such restrictions in use.
To initiate this zoning procedure, the assessor has assembled a list (list "A") of all those parcels assessed for property tax purposes for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land as of March 1, 1976. The following parcels of your land have been included in this list "A":
(legal description or assessor's parcel no.)
If you have one or more parcels listed above which you believe have a highest and best use other than growing and harvesting timber, you must submit to the assessor a written affidavit describing the intended use you have for this parcel(s), and do so before October 1, 1976. The assessor will then designate such parcel(s) as "contested" on the final list of these parcels which is submitted to the county board of supervisors (or city council) on October 15, 1976.
A public hearing will be held prior to March 1, 1977, for the consideration of zoning your parcel(s) as TPZ. You will be given at least 20 days' notice of such hearing.
Under the Timber Yield Tax Law, all noncontested parcels included in the final list "A" will be zoned as TPZ unless the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a majority of the full board (or council) that at least one of the following conditions exists:
(i) That the parcel or parcels are not capable of growing an average annual volume of wood fiber of at least 15 cubic feet per acre; or
(ii) That the current use of the parcel has changed subsequent to March 1, 1976, and that such use is no longer the growing and harvesting of timber, and is not compatible with the growing and harvesting of timber.
Parcels designated as "contested" which appear on list "A" will be zoned as TPZ unless the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a majority of the full board (or council) that it would not be in the public interest for such parcels(s) to be zoned as TPZ. Parcels in list "A" not zoned as TPZ will receive an alternate zone, if no appropriate zone currently exists. "Contested" parcels not zoned as TPZ will be valued in the future on a higher and better use of the land.
Detailed information on the TPZ zoning process and the Z'berg-Warren-Keene-Collier Forest Taxation Reform Act in general may be obtained from your county assessor's office.
(c) Upon notification pursuant to subdivision (b) owners of parcels listed pursuant to subdivision (a) may have one or more such parcels designated as "contested" in the following manner:
On or before October 1, 1976, the owner must notify the assessor in a written affidavit that such a parcel has the highest and best use which is not a compatible use for timberland, as determined by the board or council pursuant to Section 51111, and the owner shall state the intended use for such parcel.
Upon receipt of such affidavit, the assessor shall designate such parcels on the list to be submitted to the board or council pursuant to subdivision (d) as "contested". In preparing the assessment roll for the 1977–78 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, the assessor shall take into account the owner's notice of higher and better use in determining the fair market value for such parcels, if such parcels are not zoned as timberland preserve.
(d) On or before October 15, 1976, the assessor shall submit to the board or council a list of all parcels, regardless of size, which as of the lien date in 1976, are assessed for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land, including such parcels designated as "contested" pursuant to subdivision (c). This list shall be known as "list A".
(e) On or before August 19, 1976, the State Board of Equalization shall submit to the county assessor for inclusion in list A those parcels on the board roll which are located in the county and which, as of the lien date in 1976, were assessed by the State Board of Equalization for growing and harvesting timber as the highest and best use of the land.
* Chapter 6.7 was added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 176, p. 305, in effect May 24, 1976. Secs. 20 and 21 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act.
† Article 2 heading was amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1489, in effect January 1, 1983.