Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
 

Government Code Provisions

Provisions Relating to the Levy and Collection of Municipal Taxes by Counties and County Officers

PART 2. POWERS AND DUTIES EXERCISED JOINTLY BY CITIES AND COUNTIES

CHAPTER 2. Transfer of City Tax Functions


Chapter 2. Transfer of City Tax Functions*

* The provisions of this chapter, except as otherwise noted, were added by Stats. 1949, p. 278, in effect October 1, 1949.

Article 1. General

51500. Application. A city, except a city which is also a city and county, may transfer its functions pursuant to this article.

51501. Authority to transfer functions. By ordinance, a city legislative body may transfer the duties of the city treasurer to the treasurer of the county in which the city is situated, and shall, by January 1, 1969, transfer the assessment and tax collection duties performed by the city assessor and tax collector to the assessor and tax collector of the county in which the city is situated, and no city shall establish the offices of city assessor and tax collector after that date.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 654 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, added "to the treasurer of the county in which the city is situated, and shall, by January 1, 1969, transfer", deleted "treasurer" from the second clause, and added "and no city shall establish the offices of city assessor and tax collector after that date."

51502. Ordinance. A certified copy of the ordinance transferring the duties of the assessor and tax collector shall be filed with the county auditor on or before the first Monday of the February following the adoption of the ordinance or a later date acceptable to the county board of supervisors.

History.—Stats. 1969, p. 58, in effect February 3, 1969, added "or a later date . . . supervisors".

51503. Same. Certified copies of the ordinance transferring the duties of the treasurer shall be served on the county auditor, tax collector, and treasurer. The ordinance shall also prescribe how money shall be drawn from the city funds in the hands of the treasurer.

Back to top


51504. Basis of taxes. All assessments made by the county assessor and equalized or corrected by the board of supervisors or State Board of Equalization shall be the basis for levying city taxes. In the first year that a city uses county values in the preparation of its roll it may independently assess property on the unsecured roll.

History.—Stats. 1969, p. 58, in effect February 3, 1969, revised the last sentence.

51505. Repeal. The ordinance transferring the duties of the treasurer is effective until repealed. Certified copies of the ordinance repealing the transfer of the treasurer's duties shall be served upon the county auditor, tax collector, and treasurer.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 654 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, deleted "assessor, or tax collector" from the first sentence.

51506. Abolishing offices. The offices of city assessor, tax collector, and treasurer may be abolished by ordinance after their duties have been transferred.

51507. Transfer of functions. When a city transfers the duties of assessing and collecting taxes, all duties performed by the city assessor other than the assessing of the city property shall be transferred to, and performed by, the city clerk or such other officer as the city by ordinance determines, and all duties performed by the city tax collector other than the collection of taxes shall be transferred to, and be performed by, the city marshal or chief of police, or such other officer as the city by ordinance determines.

51508. Amount of revenue. Before fixing the rate of taxes the legislative body of a city which has transferred the duties of the assessor and tax collector shall fix by ordinance or resolution the amount of revenue from property taxes necessary to support its departments for the current year and to pay the bonded or other indebtedness of the city, or any portion or district of the city.

History.—Stats. 1959, p. 3445, in effect September 18, 1959, inserted "or resolution" following "ordinance."

51510. Valuation of property. Annually on or before the third Monday in August, the county auditor shall transmit to the city legislative body a written statement, showing separately the total value of all property within the city and the total value of all property in each district or portion of the city in which a different rate of taxation is to be levied. The value shall be ascertained from the assessment books of the county for the year, as equalized and corrected.

History.—Stats. 1951, p. 1823, in effect September 22, 1951, substituted "third" for "second" in the first sentence and deleted "by the board of supervisors" after "corrected." in the second sentence.

Back to top


51511. Fixing tax rate. Annually, before September 1st, the city legislative body shall fix the rate of taxes, or rates of taxes, if different portions or districts require different rates, by determining the percentage of full value on the assessment roll required to raise the revenue authorized by this article, using as a basis the value of the property as assessed and equalized. The rates shall be sufficient to raise the amount fixed by ordinance or resolution and the expense of collection. The city legislative body shall immediately transmit to the county auditor a statement of the rates fixed.

History.—Stats. 1951, p. 1823, in effect September 22, 1951, substituted "September 1st" for "the last Tuesday in August" and deleted "by the county" after "equalized." Stats. 1959, p. 3446, in effect September 18, 1959, inserted "or resolution" following "ordinance." Stats. 1978, Ch. 1207, in effect January 1, 1979, operative January 1, 1981, substituted "by determining the percentage of full value on the assessment roll required to raise the revenue authorized by this article, using as a basis the value of the property as assessed and equalized" for "designated in the number of cents upon each one hundred dollars ($100), using as a basis the value of the property as assessed and equalized" in the first sentence.

51512. Computation and entry of taxes. The county auditor shall compute and enter in the assessment book the city tax on the property enumerated and assessed as being in the city, using the rates fixed by the city legislative body and the assessed value in the assessment book, at the time and in the manner he computes and enters county taxes.

51513. Collection. The taxes so levied shall be collected at the time and in the manner of county taxes and paid into the county treasury. The net amount of the taxes, after deduction of the county's compensation for the services of its treasurer, assessor, and tax collector, shall be paid to the city.

History.—Stats. 1974, Ch. 209, p. 403, in effect May 2, 1974, deleted "treasurer by warrant of the county auditor" at the end of the second sentence.

51514. Compensation. The compensation paid to the county for assessing and collecting taxes for a city shall be fixed by agreement between the board of supervisors and the city legislative body. Not more than 1 percent shall be charged for collecting the first twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), and not more than one-fourth of 1 percent for all sums over that amount. The compensation shall be paid into the county salary fund.

51515. Same. When the duties of the city treasurer have been transferred to the county treasurer, one-fourth of 1 percent shall be deducted from the money collected by the county tax collector as compensation for the services of the county treasurer and paid into the county salary fund.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 654 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, substituted "When" for "If".

Back to top


51516. Redemption; law applicable. When a city has transferred the assessing and collecting of taxes, property which has been sold to the city for nonpayment of taxes may be redeemed pursuant to Part 7, Division 1, of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

51517. Tax sale. The collection of unpaid taxes levied on property by the city shall be enforced by the sale of the property in the manner, at the time, and upon the penalties, of property sold for nonpayment of county taxes. Real property so sold may be redeemed within the time and upon the terms of property sold for the nonpayment of county taxes.

51518. Redemption money. The county auditor shall apportion to the city the money paid for redemption in the proportion which the tax due the city bears to the total tax for which the real property was sold.

51519. Consolidation of offices. When a county charter permits and the county consents, a city governed under general laws or charter permitting the discharge of certain city functions by county officers and which is situated within the county may provide for the consolidation of other county and city offices and the assumption and discharge of the functions of the city by the county officers.

51520. Assessment and collection without compensation. Notwithstanding any provisions of this article relating to compensation paid to the county for assessing and collecting taxes for a city the board of supervisors may, upon a finding of public interest, perform such assessment and collection service for a city without compensation from such city; provided that, in a county having a population of 4,000,000 or more, the county shall perform such assessment and collection service for a city without compensation from such city; provided, further, that, in any county in which all cities agree to use of the county assessment roll and agree to permit the county to perform such assessment and collection functions, the county shall perform such assessment and collection services for the cities without compensation from such cities.

History.—Added by Stats. 1966, p. 593 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, Stats. 1970, p. 2924, in effect November 23, 1970, substituted "the board of supervisors may" for "the board of supervisors of a county may"; "service" for "services", in two places, and added the second proviso clause.

51521. Delinquent city taxes, costs and penalties collected by the county. When delinquent taxes of a general law city, with costs and penalties, have been paid to the county treasurer, the money collected, including, if authorized by the board of supervisors as a matter of general county policy, the costs and penalties on such delinquent taxes, shall be paid to the city, after deduction of the county's compensation.

History.—Added by Stats. 1966, p. 593 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966. Stats. 1974, Ch. 209, p. 403, in effect May 2, 1974, substituted "," for "treasurer, by warrants of the county auditor" after "paid to the city".

Back to top


Article 2. Chartered Cities

51540. "City." As used in this article, "city" means a city governed under a freeholders' charter.

51541. Alternative method. This article provides an alternative method by which the duties of city officers designated in this article may be performed by officers of the county in which the city is situated.

51542. Duties performable by county officers. When the city charter or a city ordinance authorized by the charter provides, the county officers designated in the charter or ordinance shall perform any of the following duties of the city legislative body, assessor, tax collector, or other officers:

(a) The assessment of city property for city taxes.

(b) The equalization and correction of the assessment.

(c) The collection, payment and enforcement of the taxes, including delinquent taxes.

(d) The redemption of property from sale or other penalty for nonpayment of city taxes.

51543. Designation of county officers. The county officers designated shall be officers who perform duties of the same character as the city officers whose duties are transferred to them.

51544. Filing transfer ordinance. A copy of the charter or ordinance providing for the transfer of duties shall be certified by the city clerk and filed with the board of supervisors on or before the first Monday of the February following the effective date of the charter provision or ordinance.

51545. Notice. The board of supervisors shall cause notice of the charter provision or ordinance to be given to the designated county officers.

51546. Basis for taxes. The county assessment roll made annually by the county assessor and equalized and corrected by the board of supervisors shall be the basis for levying city taxes.

Back to top


51547. Distribution of proceeds from sale. In the case of a sale of property for taxes or special assessments, except where the sale is conducted and the funds are accounted for as provided in Division 1 (commencing with Section 101) of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all proceeds shall be accounted for and distributed as provided in Article 12 (commencing with Section 53925) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of this title.

History.—Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 648, in effect January 1, 1978.

51549. Statement of boundaries. As soon as practicable after the lien date following the effective date of the charter provision or ordinance, the city clerk shall deliver to the county assessor a written statement showing separately the exterior boundaries of the city as originally incorporated and the exterior boundaries of each body of new territory subsequently added and the date of addition. Thereafter, any changes in the city's boundaries shall be reported to the county assessor and the State Board of Equalization under the provisions of Sections 54900 to 54903, inclusive.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 654 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, revised the last sentence.

51551. Statement of tax rates. Annually before September 1st, the city legislative body shall cause to be delivered to the county auditor a statement certified by the city clerk showing separately:

(a) The levy or rate percent of taxes levied for all municipal purposes for the year, including amounts required for the payment of interest and sinking funds for the bonded indebtedness of the city.

(b) The rate of taxes levied upon all property within the limits of the city as originally incorporated.

(c) The rate of taxes levied upon all property within the boundaries of each portion of the city added after the original incorporation.

51552. Computation and entry of taxes. Upon delivery of the certified statement from the city legislative body, the county auditor shall compute and enter in the assessment book the municipal taxes on the property enumerated and assessed as being in the city, using the rate fixed by the city legislative body and the assessed value in the assessment book, at the time and in the manner that he computes and enters county taxes.

51553. Collection of taxes. The taxes so levied shall be collected at the time and in the manner of county taxes and shall be paid into the county treasury. After deduction of the county's compensation the net amount of the taxes shall be paid to the city.

History.—Stats. 1974, Ch. 209, p. 403, in effect May 2, 1974, deleted "treasurer by warrant of the county auditor" at the end of the second sentence.

51554. Delinquent taxes. When delinquent city taxes, with costs and penalties, have been paid to the county treasurer or when property in the city has been sold for the nonpayment of city taxes and redeemed, and the money for the redemption paid to the county treasurer, the money collected shall be paid to the city, after deduction of the county's compensation.

History.—Stats. 1974, Ch. 209, p. 403, in effect May 2, 1974, substituted "," for "treasurer, by warrants of the county auditor" after "paid to the city".

Back to top


51555. Payments to city. The net amounts of collections of current and delinquent taxes and redemptions shall be paid to the city monthly, or at such other times agreed upon between the city legislative body and the board of supervisors.

History.—Stats. 1974, Ch, 209, p, 403, in effect May 2, 1974, deleted "treasurer" after "paid to the city".

51556. Tax sale; redemption. The collection of unpaid city taxes levied on property by the city shall be enforced by the sale of the property in the manner, at the time, and upon the penalties, of property sold for nonpayment of county taxes. Real property so sold may be redeemed within the time and upon the terms of property sold for the nonpayment of county taxes.

51557. Redemption money. The county auditor shall apportion to the city the money paid for redemption, in the proportion which the tax due the city bears to the total tax for which the real property was sold.

51558. Duties prior to effective date. The proper city officers shall perform all duties relative to the collection of city taxes, including delinquent taxes, levied prior to the effective date of the charter provision or ordinance, the enforcement of their payment, the sale of property for nonpayment and redemption from sale, pursuant to the laws in force in the city at such effective date.

51559. Repeal. Upon the repeal of the city charger provision or ordinance the performance of city functions by county officers authorized by it shall cease.

51560. Duties prior to repeal. The county officers shall perform all duties relative to the collection of city taxes, including delinquent taxes, levied prior to the repeal, the enforcement of their payment, and the sale of property for nonpayment, and redemption from sale, pursuant to the laws applicable to county taxes.

51561. Compensation. The compensation paid the county for the services shall be filed by agreement between the board of supervisors and the city legislative body. Not more than 1 percent shall be charged for collecting the first twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), and not more than one-fourth of 1 percent for all sums over that amount. The compensation shall be paid into the county salary fund.

History.—Stats. 1965, p. 4521, in effect September 17, 1965, rewrote second sentence.

51562. Assessment and collection without compensation. Notwith-standing any provision of this article relating to compensation paid to the county for assessing and collecting taxes for a city the board of supervisors may, upon a finding of public interest, perform such assessment and collection services for a city without compensation from such city; provided, that, in a county having a population of 4,000,000 or more, the county shall perform such assessment and collection services for a city without compensation from such city; provided, further, that in any county in which all cities agree to use of the county assessment roll and agree to permit the county to perform such assessment and collection functions, the county shall perform such assessment and collection services for the cities without compensation from such cities.

History.—Added by Stats. 1963, p. 1328, in effect September 20, 1963. Stats. 1969, p. 161, in effect April 23, 1969, operative July 1, 1969, added the proviso clause. Stats. 1970, p. 2924, in effect November 23, 1970, substituted "the board of supervisors of a county may" and added the second proviso clause.

Back to top