Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Other Taxes

Part 6. Private Railroad Car Tax

Chapter 1. General Provisions and Definitions

Section 11203

11203. "Private railroad car." (a) "Private railroad car" includes any railroad rolling stock intended for the transportation of any persons, commodity, or material, operated on the railroads of this state, which car is owned by a person other than a railroad or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. The car's Association of American Railroad's, or successor organization's, reporting mark shall be rebuttably presumed to be the mark of the car owner.

(b) "Private railroad car" does not include:

(1) Freight train or passenger train cars owned by railroad companies which are used or subject to use under the ordinary per diem agreement common to all railroads.

(2) Freight train or passenger cars handled under mileage or through line contract arrangements between railroad companies.

(3) Cars owned by or leased to any railroad company operating in this state, or by any railroad company operated as a part of the same railroad system as the company operating in this state, and used by the railroad company in the operation, maintenance, construction, or reconstruction of its property and assessed and taxed in this state as a part of the property of a railroad company operating in this state.

(4) Passenger train cars, other than those described in subdivision (b), that are privately owned and for which the owner pays the railroad a fee, regardless of how calculated, for transporting such cars.

(5) Any railroad rolling stock for which a railroad or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation is the lessee. For a leased car, the car's Association of American Railroad's, or successor organization's reporting mark is rebuttably presumed to be the mark of the lessee.

History.—Stats. 1972, p. 10, in effect February 29, 1972, made certain non-substantive structural changes and added subdivision (b). Stats. 1974, Ch. 54, p. 117, in effect January 1, 1975, added (4) to subdivision (c). Stats. 1978, Ch. 1209, in effect January 1, 1979, added "railroad" after "Private" in subdivisions (a), (b) and (c). Stats. 1995, Ch. 220, in effect July 31, 1995, substituted "any railroad . . . or material" for "a passenger car, sleeping car, dining car, express car, refrigerator car, oil or tank car, horse or stock car, fruit car, or car designed for the carrying of a special commodity," after "includes", substituted "on" for "upon" after "operated", substituted "of" for "in" after "the railroads", and substituted "a person other than a railroad or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation" for "any of the following:" in subdivision (a); deleted former paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subdivision (a) and former subdivision (b) which described qualifying private railroad cars; added the second sentence to subdivision (a) relettered former subdivision (c) as (b); and added paragraph (5) to subdivision (b).

Construction.—Section 11203(a) does not purport to exhaustively list all varieties of railroad cars subject to taxation under the Law, the omission of the word "flatcars" from the list does not establish that the Legislature intended to exclude flatcars from the provisions thereof, and flatcars are subject to such provisions. Also, a lessor of railroad container-freight flatcars formed and operated pursuant to a pooling agreement with a number of railroad companies was not itself a "railroad company" so as to come within the exemption of Section 11203(c)(2). Trailer Train Company v. State Board of Equalization, 180 Cal.App.3d 565.

Cars not leased to railroads.—Cars are not leased to a railroad within the meaning of the last paragraph of this section when the owner of the cars furnished them to shippers on request, but refused to do so if the proposed haul was not remunerative, the cars were hauled by the railroads over whose lines they were routed by the shippers, the shippers paid the railroads the regular freight charges for the products shipped and the latter paid the car owner 11/2 cents per mile for each mile the car moved. Under these circumstances, the railroad did not control the cars as a lessee would have a right to do. People v. Keith Railway Equipment Co., 70 Cal.App.2d 339.