Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
 

Government Code Provisions

Provisions Relating to The State Board of Equalization

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

PART 9. STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

CHAPTER 1. General

Provisions Relating to The State Board of Equalization

TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

PART 9. STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION*

* The provisions of this part, except as otherwise noted, were added by Stats. 1951, p. 1854, in effect September 22, 1951.

Chapter 1. General

15600. State divided into four equalization districts. [Repealed by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1, p. 4, in effect December 14, 1976.]

15601. Board member must be inhabitant of district for which chosen. [Repealed by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1081, in effect January 1, 2001.]

15602. Vacancy occurs if member is not inhabitant of district for which chosen. If a person who is chosen as a member of the State Board of Equalization is not an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen, or if a member of that board ceases to be an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen, a vacancy occurs in the board, but a member duly qualified at the time of his election or appointment shall not during his term of office become disqualified because of any change which the Legislature makes in the boundaries of the equalization districts.

15603. Salaries of board members. The annual salary of each member of the State Board of Equalization representing one of the equalization districts of the state is provided for by Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1. The member shall devote his or her entire time to the services of the state in performing the duties imposed upon the board and its members by the Constitution and statutes of this state.

History.—Stats. 1951, p. 3627, in effect September 22, 1951, substituted "provided for by Chapter 6 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code" for "twelve thousand dollars ($12,000)." Stats. 1982, Ch. 454, in effect January 1, 1983, added "(commencing with Section 11550)" after "Chapter 6" and deleted "of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code" after "Part 1" in the first sentence, and substituted "The member" for "He" before "shall" and added "or her" after "his" in the second sentence.

15604. Secretary; employees. The board may appoint its secretary and prescribe and enforce his duties. The secretary shall hold office during the pleasure of the board and shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. It may employ such expert and clerical assistants as it deems necessary in the performance of its powers and duties.

15605. Duties of secretary. The secretary shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of the board in a book specially provided for such purpose. When required by the board or the chairman he shall visit the several counties, collect data and information relative to the assessment of property or railway property in the county, consult and advise with all officers charged with enforcement of the revenue laws and report such data and information to the board. Annually he shall prepare the report of the board to the Governor, and when printed shall distribute the report as required by law and as directed by the board. He shall do and perform all other acts and things enjoined by law or required by the board. The secretary is a civil executive officer and is authorized to administer and certify oaths in any county in the State.

15605.5. Board members; employees. Notwithstanding any other law, but consistent with Section 4 of Article VII of the California Constitution and Section 12010.5, each member of the State Board of Equalization elected by district may request that the Governor convert one civil service position of the board to be exempt from civil service and serve as an administrative assistant at or below the nonsupervisory exempt salary level P2A, who shall be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

History.—Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1124 (AB 3000), in effect September 30, 2002.

15605.5. Office of Appraisal Appeals; employees. [Repealed by Stats. 1982, Ch. 327, in effect June 30, 1982.]

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15606. Powers and duties of board. The State Board of Equalization shall do all of the following:

(a) Prescribe rules for its own government and for the transaction of its business.

(b) Keep a record of all its proceedings.

(c) Prescribe rules and regulations to govern local boards of equalization when equalizing, and assessors when assessing, including uniform procedures for the consideration and adoption of written findings of fact by local boards of equalization as required by Section 1611.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(d) Prescribe and enforce the use of all forms for the assessment of property for taxation, including forms to be used for the application for reduction in assessment.

(e) Prepare and issue instructions to assessors designed to promote uniformity throughout the state and its local taxing jurisdictions in the assessment of property for the purposes of taxation. It may adapt the instructions to varying local circumstances and to differences in the character and conditions of property subject to taxation as in its judgment is necessary to attain this uniformity.

(f) Subdivisions (c), (d) and (e) shall include, but are not limited to, rules, regulations, instructions, and forms relating to classifications of kinds of property and evaluation procedures.

(g) Prescribe rules and regulations to govern local boards of equalization when equalizing and assessors when assessing with respect to the assessment and equalization of possessory interests.

(h) Bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel an assessor or any city or county tax official to comply with any provision of law, or any rule or regulation of the board adopted in accordance with subdivision (c), governing the assessment or taxation of property. The Attorney General shall represent the board in the action.

This section is mandatory.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 649 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, added subdivision (f) and the last sentence. Stats. 1967, p. 3209, in effect November 8, 1967, deleted the former last phrase of subdivision (d) relating to collection of state and local taxes. Stats. 1968, p. 1503, in effect November 13, 1968, added the second paragraph under subdivision (f). Stats. 1969, p. 3087, in effect November 10, 1969, substituted "1971" for "1970" in the second paragraph under subdivision (f). Stats. 1972, p. 2683, in effect March 7, 1973, deleted the paragraph providing that the State Board of Equalization shall not prescribe rules and regulations with respect to the assessment and equalization of possessory interests until the lien date in 1971, and added subsections (g) and (h). Stats. 1977, Ch. 1010, in effect July 1, 1978, added "including forms to be used for the application for reduction in assessment." to subdivision (d). Stats. 1978, Ch. 57, in effect January 19, 1979, added "including uniform procedures for the consideration and adoption of written findings of fact by local boards of equalization as required by Section 1611.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code" to subdivision (c). Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, in effect January 1, 1985, deleted the former second sentence in subdivision (f). Stats. 1985, Ch. 106, effective January 1, 1986, added "do all of the following" after "shall" in the first paragraph; substituted "the" for "such" after "adapt", and substituted "this" for "such" after "attain" in the second sentence of subdivision (e); deleted "in this section" after "(e)", and added a comma after "instructions" in subdivision (f); deleted "of this section" after "(c)" in subdivision (h); and substituted the second paragraph for "The provisions of this section are mandatory".

Note.—Stats. 1968, p. 1503, in effect November 13, 1968, as amended by Stats. 1969, p. 3087, in effect November 10, 1969, declares that the board shall adopt uniform rules relating to possessory interests and shall develop comprehensive rules by February 28, 1971.

Assessment rules.—One of the board's duties is to prescribe rules and regulations governing local boards of equalization and county assessors when assessing. The board prepares and issues instructions to assessors designed to promote uniformity in assessment of property for taxation and inspects the public records of local assessors. People ex rel. Mosk v. City of Santa Barbara, 192 Cal.App.2d 342.

Force and effect of rules.—Interpretations of statutory provisions by state administrative agencies are entitled to great weight in construing such provisions, and courts generally will not depart from such construction unless it is clearly erroneous or unauthorized. General Dynamics Corporation v. San Diego County, 108 Cal.App.3d 132; Whatever the force of administrative construction, final responsibility for the interpretation of the law rests with the courts. State Board of Equalization v. Board of Supervisors, 105 Cal.App.3d 813.

In adopting the 1996 amendment to Property Tax Rule 152, the Board acted within the scope of its duty to enforce the property tax law of the State and to prescribe rules and regulations to govern assessors. Hahn v. State Board of Equalization, 73 Cal.App.4th 985.

Assessors' Handbooks.—Assessors' handbooks may be relied upon by the courts in interpreting property tax valuation questions and have been accorded great weight in this regard. Prudential Insurance Co. v. San Francisco, 191 Cal.App.3d 1142; Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Santa Barbara County, 92 Cal.App.4th 1347; Watson Cogeneration Co. v. Los Angeles County, 98 Cal.App.4th 1066. However, they do not contain regulations, nor do they possess the force of law. In any conflict between the handbooks and the regulations, the latter must govern. Plaza Hollister Limited Partnership v. San Benito County, 72 Cal.App.4th 1.

Force and effect of annotations.—Although an agency's interpretation of a statute is entitled to consideration by the courts, unlike quasi-legislative rules adopted by an agency which are binding upon courts, the binding power of an agency's interpretation of a statute or regulation is contextual. Thus, the reviewing court exercises its independent judgment in reviewing an agency's interpretation of law, giving deference to the determination of the agency appropriate to the circumstances of the agency's action. Although annotations have substantial precedential value within the Board, they are not entitled to the judicial deference due quasi-legislative rules. Yamaha Corporation of America v. State Board of Equalization, 19 Cal.4th 1. Even though the Board's statutory interpretation was entitled to less weight than a quasi-legislative rule, it was entitled to great weight since that interpretation had been maintained consistently by the Board for many years, the Board was interpreting a statute that it was responsible for enforcing, and the Legislature had not contradicted the Board's interpretation in subsequent amendments to the statute. Furthermore, the Board's interpretation was correct. Yamaha Corporation of America v. State Board of Equalization, 73 Cal.App.4th 679. To the extent it interprets statutory law, an annotation is persuasive, not binding authority. The degree of deference to be given depends upon such factors as whether the opinions are reached as a result of adversary proceedings, whether they involve interpretation of the agency's own rules, and whether they are the result of a formal regulation adoption proceeding. Helene Curtis, Inc. v. Assessment Appeals Board, 76 Cal.App.4th 124.

Rulemaking Authority.—Adoption of Property Tax Rule 474, which provides a rebuttable presumption for the assessment of petroleum refinery property as a single appraisal unit, does not exceed the rulemaking authority of the California State Board of Equalization because the rule is consistent with applicable constitutional and statutory provisions (California Constitution Article XIII, Section 1, Article XIII A, Section 2, subdivision (b); Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 51, 110); moreover, the rule is consistent with the existing practice of defining the appraisal unit as the collection of assets normally bought and sold as a single unit. Western States Petroleum Association v. Board of Equalization (2013) 57 Cal.4th 401.

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15606.1. Mobilehome regulations. The duties, rules, regulations, and instructions as specified in Section 15606 shall include provisions for mobilehomes which are subject to local property taxations.

History.—Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1180, in effect January 1, 1980.

deletion15606.5. Board approved regulations. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any regulation to be prescribed by the board shall become operative only if the board itself approves adoption of the regulation.

History.—Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 987, in effect January 1, 1991.

15606.7. Training of assessors; nonreimbursable. Training of assessors and their staffs under Sections 15606 and 15608 shall be provided by the board on a nonreimbursable basis.

History.—Added by Stats. 1967, p. 2854, in effect November 8, 1967. Renumbered by Stats. 2013, Ch. 76 (AB 383), in effect January 1, 2014.

15607. Meeting with assessors. The board shall summon assessors to meet with it or its duly authorized representatives at least once annually, at places within the state it designates, to study or discuss problems of administration of assessment and taxation laws and to promote uniformity of procedure in tax matters throughout the state.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 650 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, deleted the last two sentences providing for the payment by the county or city of the assessor's expenses.

15608. Instructions to assessors. The board shall instruct, advise, and direct assessors as to their duties under the laws. It may obtain the opinion of the Attorney General upon any questions of law relating to such duties in such cases as it deems necessary.

History.—Stats. 1967, p. 3210, in effect November 8, 1967, deleted "and tax collectors" following "assessors" and deleted reference to Section 158 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, in the first sentence.

15609. Meetings, when and where. The board shall hold regular meetings each month at times and places within the state as the chairperson directs. At least one regular meeting shall be held in Sacramento each quarter. The board may hold special meetings at such times and places as the chairperson directs. At any meeting the board may transact any and all business and perform all duties imposed upon it and give and enter any and all orders and decrees within its jurisdiction.

History.—Stats. 1976, Ch. 877, p. 1990, in effect January 1, 1977, deleted "except that the final action of the board in assessing state assessed property shall be performed only at the State Capitol" after "jurisdiction" in the second sentence. Stats. 2009, Ch. 67 (SB 824), in effect January 1, 2010, substituted "each month at . . . the chairperson directs." for "at the state capitol each month, and" after "regular meetings" in the first sentence, added the second sentence, and created the third sentence by adding "The board" to the balance of the former first sentence before "may hold" and deleted "within the state" after "and places" and substituted "chairperson" for "chairman" after "as the" therein.

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15609.5. Provisions not applicable to Board. Notwithstanding Section 11425.10, Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 do not apply to the board.

History.—Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 938, in effect January 1, 1996, operative July 1, 1997.

15610. Conferences with other officials. The board may confer, in this State or elsewhere, either as a board, individually, or through its staff, with officers or employees of this State, its political subdivisions, other states, their political subdivisions, or the United States, or such other persons as may be of assistance to the board in its work.

15611. Inspection of property. Whenever the board deems it necessary, it may visit as a board or by its individual members, or may send its secretary or duly appointed representative to, the several counties and cities to inspect property, learn its value, and collect information to enable it to equalize assessments and levy the taxes as required by law.

15612. Inspection of work of local officials. The board may inspect, either as a board, individually, or by its duly appointed representative, the work of any local officers whose duties relate to the assessment of property for taxation and the collection of taxes. It may require such officers to produce any records in their custody, including, but not limited to, records relating to the assessment of specific properties and give testimony with reference to such matters of assessment and tax collecting as it deems useful to it in its investigations.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 650 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, adding "including, but not limited to, records relating to the assessment of specific properties."

Assessor's records.—An assessor is a local officer whose duties relate to the assessment of property and whose records are subject to inspection by the board under this section. State Board of Equalization v. Watson, 68 Cal.2d 307.

15613. Issuance of subpoenas. The board may issue subpenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of books, records, accounts, and papers before it, its secretary, any of its members, or any representative designated by it. Such subpenas shall be signed by a member of the board or its secretary, and may be served by any person.

Subpoena power.—The state board has the power to subpoena a corporation's books and records as part of an intercounty equalization survey, even though the corporation owns no property subject to assessment by the board. Redding Pine Mills, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization, 157 Cal.App.2d 40, cert. denied 358 U.S. 818. The State Board's subpoena power extends to matters relevant to intercounty equalization surveys where the capitalization of income method is used. California Portland Cement Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 67 Cal.2d 578.

15614. Punishment for contempt. Any person duly subpenaed who refuses or neglects to attend as a witness, or to produce any books, records, accounts, or papers in his possession, custody, or control, in response to such subpena, or who refuses to answer any question pertinent to the matter under investigation by the board put to him by any member of the board, its secretary, or designated representative, is guilty of contempt, and may be punished by a court of competent jurisdiction by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding five (5) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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15615. Penalty for failure to recognize authority of board. Every person served with a subpena who fails or neglects without just excuse to obey it, and every officer who refuses to obey the rules prescribed by the board or to perform the duties prescribed in the rules, forfeits to the State five hundred dollars ($500), to be recovered by action in the name of the board. Such action may be commenced and tried in any county of the State.

15616. Annual report. The board shall report annually to the Governor, the report to be printed at state expense. The report shall show:

(a) The assessed value of state-assessed and locally assessed real and personal property in each county and the assessed value of state assessed and locally assessed property in each incorporated city or town.

(b) Information concerning other taxes which it administers.

(c) Such further information and suggestions as it shall deem proper.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 650 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, deleted the language of subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e), added the present language to these subsections, and deleted former subsection (f). Stats. 1982, Ch. 327, in effect June 30, 1982, deleted former subsections (b) and (c) which related to assessment ratios and relettered former subsections (d) and (e) as (b) and (c), respectively.

15617. Attendance before the board. The board may require anybody having knowledge of the business of any person who is or whose property is subject to assessment by it, or having the custody of the books, accounts, and papers of such person, to attend before it, or any of its members, and bring with him for inspection any books, accounts, or papers, of such person in his possession and under his control, and to testify under oath touching any matter relating to the organization or business of such person.

15618. Examination of records. The board may examine, as a board, individually, or through its staff, the books, accounts, and papers of all persons required to report to it, or having knowledge of the affairs of those required so to report.

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15618.5. Department of Motor Vehicles; photographs.
Notwithstanding Section 1808.5 of the Vehicle Code, the board, as a board, individually, or through its staff, may obtain copies of fullface engraved pictures or photographs of licensees directly from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purposes of enforcing the Revenue and Taxation Code.

History.—Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 890 (AB 71), in effect January 1, 2004.

15619. Divulging of information unlawful. Any member or ex-member of the State Board of Equalization, or any agent employed by it, or the Controller, or ex-Controller, or any person employed by him or her, or any person who has at any time obtained such knowledge from any of the foregoing officers or persons shall not divulge or make known in any manner not provided by law, any of the following items of information concerning the business affairs of companies reporting to the board:

(a) Any information concerning the business affairs of any company that is gained during an examination of its books and accounts or in any other manner, and is not required by law to be reported to the State Board of Equalization.

(b) Any information, other than the assessment and the amount of taxes levied, obtained by the State Board of Equalization in accordance with law from any company other than one concerning which that information is required by law to be made public.

(c) Any particular item of information relating to the disposition of its earnings contained in the report of a quasi-public corporation that the corporation, by written communication specifying the items and presented at the time when it files its report, requests shall be treated as confidential.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing examination of these records and reports by law enforcement agencies, grand juries, boards of supervisors, or their duly authorized agents, employees or representatives conducting an investigation of an assessor's office pursuant to Section 25303, and other duly authorized legislative or administrative bodies of the state pursuant to their authorization to examine these records.

Successors, receivers, trustees, executors, administrators, assignees, and guarantors, if directly interested, may be given information as to the items included in the measure and amounts of any unpaid tax or amounts of tax required to be collected, interest, and penalties.

The Governor may authorize examination of these reports by other state officers. In that event the information obtained by these persons shall not be made public. The Governor, however, may direct that any of the information referred to in this section shall be made public.

Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both, at the discretion of the court.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 651 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, added the second paragraph; and substituted "by such persons" for "the officers" in the second sentence, and substituted ", however, may" for "may also" in the third sentence of the third paragraph. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, in effect September 27, 1983, substituted "one thousand dollars ($1,000)" for "five hundred dollars ($500)" after "exceed" in the fourth paragraph. Stats. 1997, Ch. 620 (SB 1102), in effect January 1, 1998, added "or her" after "him" in the first sentence of the first paragraph; deleted "which information" after "manner, and" in the first sentence of subdivision (a); substituted "that the" for "which such" after "quasi-public corporation" in the first sentence of subdivision (c); deleted "of this code" after "Section 25303" in the first sentence of the second paragraph; and added the third paragraph commencing with "Successors"; and "these" for "such" throughout the text.

15620. Extension of time for filing reports. By order entered upon its minutes and for good cause shown, the board may extend for not exceeding 30 days the time fixed for filing any report required by it.

15620.5. Compliance policy. The board, whenever it deems it necessary to ensure voluntary compliance with the due dates prescribed by law for submission of any remittance, claim for credit or refund, document, return, or other information delivered to the board through the United States mail or through a bona fide commercial delivery service, may establish a uniform policy for the acceptance of the remittance, claim for credit or refund, document, return, or other information in cases where the cancellation mark stamped upon the envelope containing the remittance, claim for credit or refund, document, return, or other information shows a date after the date specified in law. This policy shall not be construed as an extension of the prescribed time limits for remitting payments, filing claims for refund or credit, submitting documents, returns, or other information.

History.—Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 929 (AB 1638), in effect January 1, 2000.

15621. Hiring of property. The board may hire or lease upon the written approval of the Department of General Services any property, real or personal, for its occupancy or use in the performance of its duties.

History.—Stats. 1965, p. 1570, in effect September 17, 1965, substituted "General Services" for "Finance."

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15622. Sale of documents, etc. The board may sell at prices fixed by the board copies of compilations of the revenue laws of the State, maps, and other documents.

History.—Stats. 1961, p. 1398, in effect September 15, 1961, substituted "fixed by the board" for "to be approved by the Department of Finance".

15623. Powers and duties of members of board. Each member of the State Board of Equalization elected by the voters of an equalization district shall investigate the administration, enforcement, and operation within the district from which he is elected of all laws, the administration and enforcement of which are vested in the board.

Each such member may appoint a deputy to assist him in the performance of his duties under this section. The deputy shall be so appointed as to be exempt from civil service under paragraph (6), subdivision (a), Section 4, Article XXIV of the Constitution, and not otherwise.

15624. Advisory service by board. When requested by the legislative body of any county, city, or city and county or the assessor to render advisory or other service, other than those services specified in this chapter, the board may contract, at not less than cost and subject to regulations approved by the Director of General Services, to render such services.

In addition to any other service the board may render under this section, it is the intent of the Legislature that the board furnish auditor and appraisal personnel, on request, to local taxing authorities to aid in making postaudits of personal property. The board shall report to the Legislature annually on all requests received under this section and the disposition of these requests.

All money received by the Board of Equalization pursuant to such contracts shall be paid into the State Treasury to the credit and in augmentation of the current appropriation of the board.

History.—Stats. 1965, p. 1570, in effect September 17, 1965, substituted "General Services" for "Finance" in the first paragraph. Stats. 1966, p. 651 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, added the second paragraph.

15625. Incompatible activities forbidden. (a) The members of the State Board of Equalization and the employees thereof shall not engage in any gainful profession, trade, business or occupation whatsoever for any person, firm or corporation, or be so engaged in their own behalf, which profession, trade, business or occupation is incompatible or involves a conflict of interest with their property tax duties as members and employees of the board. Conflict of interest shall include receipt of compensation or gifts from private persons or firms for advice or other services relating to the taxation or assessment of property.

(b) The violation of subdivision (a) by any member of the board shall constitute malfeasance in office.

(c) The violation of subdivision (a) by any employee of the board shall be grounds for dismissal. Disciplinary proceedings for any such violation shall be taken pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 19570), Chapter 8, Part 2, Division 5, Title 2, of the Government Code.

History.—Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 877, p. 1990, in effect January 1, 1977.

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15626. Conflict of interest: board members. (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990.

(b) Prior to rendering any decision in any adjudicatory proceeding pending before the State Board of Equalization, each member who knows or has reason to know that he or she received a contribution or contributions within the preceding 12 months in an aggregate amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or her agent, shall disclose that fact on the record of the proceeding.

(c) No member shall make, participate in making, or in any way attempt to use his or her official position to influence, the decision in any adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board if the member knows or has reason to know that he or she received a contribution or contributions in an aggregate amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more within the preceding 12 months from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or her agent, and if the member knows or has reason to know that the participant has a financial interest in the decision, as that term is used in Article 1 (commencing with Section 87100) of Chapter 7 of Title 9.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), if a member receives a contribution which would otherwise require disqualification under subdivision (c), and he or she returns the contribution within 30 days from the time he or she knows, or has reason to know, about the contribution and the adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board, his or her participation in the proceeding shall be deemed lawful.

(e) A party to, or a participant in, an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board shall disclose on the record of the proceeding any contribution or contributions in an aggregate amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more made within the preceding 12 months by the party or participant, or his or her agent, to any member of the board.

(f) When a close corporation is a party to, or a participant in, an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board, the majority shareholder is subject to the disclosure requirement specified in this section.

(g) For purposes of this section, if a deputy to the Controller sits at a meeting of the board and votes on behalf of the Controller, the deputy shall disclose contributions made to the Controller and shall disqualify himself or herself from voting pursuant to the requirements of this section.

(h) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Contribution" has the same meaning prescribed in Section 82015 and the regulations adopted thereto.

(2) "Party" means any person who is the subject of an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board.

(3) "Participant" means any person who is not a party but who actively supports or opposes a particular decision in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board and who has a financial interest in the decision, as described in Article 1 (commencing with Section 87100) of Chapter 7 of Title 9. A person actively supports or opposes a particular decision if he or she lobbies in person the members or employees of the board, testifies in person before the board, or otherwise acts to influence the members of the board.

(4) "Agent" means any person who represents a party to or participant in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board. If a person acting as an agent is also acting as an employee or member of a law, accounting, consulting, or other firm, or a similar entity or corporation, both the entity or corporation and the person are agents.

(5) "Adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board" means a matter for adjudication that has been scheduled and appears as an item on a meeting notice of the board as required by Section 11125 as a contested matter for administrative hearing before the board members. A consent calendar matter is not included unless the matter has previously appeared on the calendar as a nonconsent item, or has been removed from the consent calendar for separate discussion and vote, or the item is one about which the member has previously contacted the staff or a party.

(6) A member knows or has reason to know about a contribution if, after the adjudicatory proceeding first appears on a meeting notice of the board, facts have been brought to the member's personal attention that he or she has received a contribution which would require disqualification under subdivision (c), or that the member received written notice from the board staff, before commencement of the hearing and before any subsequent decision on the matter, that a specific party, close corporation, or majority shareholder, or agent thereof, or any participant having a financial interest in the matter, or agent thereof, in a specific, named adjudicatory proceeding before the board, made a contribution or contributions within the preceding 12 months in an aggregate amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more. Each member shall provide board staff with a copy of each of his or her campaign statements at the time each of those statements is filed.

The notice of contribution shall be on a form prescribed under rules adopted by the board to provide for staff inquiry of each party, participant, close corporation, and its majority shareholder, and any agent thereof, to determine whether any contribution has been made to a member, and if so, in what aggregate amount and on what date or dates within the 12 months preceding an adjudicatory proceeding or decision.

In addition, the staff shall inquire and report on the record as follows:

(A) Whether any party or participant is a close corporation, and if so, the name of its majority shareholder.

(B) Whether any agent is an employee or member of any law, accounting, consulting or other firm, or similar entity or corporation, and if so, its name and address and whether a contribution has been made by any such person, firm, corporation, or entity.

(i) (1) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(2) No person convicted of a misdemeanor under this section shall be a candidate for any elective office or act as a lobbyist for a period for four years following the time for filing a notice of appeal has expired, or all possibility of direct attack in the courts of this state has been finally exhausted, unless the court at the time of sentencing specifically determines that this provision shall not be applicable. A plea of nolo contendere shall be deemed a conviction for the purposes of this section.

(3) In addition to other penalties provided by law, a fine of up to the greater of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or three times the amount the person failed to disclose or report properly, may be imposed upon conviction for each violation.

(4) Prosecution for violation of this section shall be commenced within four years after the date on which the violation occurred.

(5) This section shall not prevent any member of the board from making, or participating in making, a governmental decision to the extent that the member's participation is legally required for the action or decision to be made. However, the fact that a member's vote is needed to break a tie does not make the member's participation legally required.

History.—Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 84, in effect January 1, 1991.

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