Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 1. General Provisions

CHAPTER 2. Administrative Provisions

Section 155.20

155.20. Exemption of property having low value. (a) Subject to the limitations listed in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e), a county board of supervisors may exempt from property tax all real property with a base year value (as determined pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 50) of Part 0.5) as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, and personal property with a full value so low that, if not exempt, the total taxes, special assessments, and applicable subventions on the property would amount to less than the cost of assessing and collecting them.

(b) (1) The board of supervisors shall have no authority to exempt property with a total base year value, as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, or full value of more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), except that this limitation is increased to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in the case of a possessory interest, for a temporary and transitory use, in a publicly owned fairground, fairground facility, convention facility, or cultural facility. For purposes of this paragraph, "publicly owned convention or cultural facility" means a publicly owned convention center, civic auditorium, theater, assembly hall, museum, or other civic building that is used primarily for staging any of the following:

(A) Conventions, trade and consumer shows, or civic and community events.

(B) Live theater, dance, or musical productions.

(C) Artistic, historic, technological, or educational exhibits.

(2) In determining the level of the exemption, the board of supervisors shall determine at what level of exemption the costs of assessing the property and collecting taxes, assessments, and subventions on the property exceeds the proceeds to be collected. The board of supervisors shall establish the exemption level uniformly for different classes of property. In making this determination, the board of supervisors may consider the total taxes, special assessments, and applicable subventions for the year of assessment only or for the year of assessment and succeeding years where cumulative revenues will not exceed the cost of assessments and collections.

(c) This section does not apply to those real or personal properties enumerated in Section 52.

(d) The exemption authorized by this section shall be adopted by the board of supervisors on or before the lien date for the fiscal year to which the exemption is to apply and may, at the option of the board of supervisors, continue in effect for succeeding fiscal years. Any revision or rescission of the exemption shall be adopted by the board of supervisors on or before the lien date for the fiscal year to which that revision or rescission is to apply.

(e) Nothing in this section shall authorize either of the following:

(1) A county board of supervisors to exempt new construction, unless the new total base year value, as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, of the property, including this new construction, is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or less.

(2) An assessor to exempt or not to enroll any property of any value, unless specifically authorized by a county board of supervisors, pursuant to this section.

History.—Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 106, p. 179, in effect January 1, 1976. Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, in effect January 1, 1981, added "base year value (as determined pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 50) of Part 0.5 of Division 1) and personal property with a" before "full value" in the first paragraph, added "base year value or" before "full value" and substituted "more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500)" for "four hundred dollars ($400) or more" in the second paragraph, added the balance of the third paragraph after "classes of property", and added the fourth paragraph. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1224, in effect January 1, 1984, deleted "On or before February 14 of each year" before "A county", deleted "for the next succeeding fiscal year" before "all", and deleted "of Division 1)" after "Part 0.5" in the first paragraph, and added the fifth paragraph. Stats. 1984, Ch. 1040, in effect January 1, 1985, substituted "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" for "one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500)" in the second paragraph; and added the sixth and seventh paragraphs. Stats. 1991, Ch. 441, in effect January 1, 1992, added "except mobilehome . . . of Division 2" after "($2,000)" in the second paragraph. Stats. 1995, Ch. 497, in effect January 1, 1996, added "total" after "property with a", substituted "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" for "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" after "of more than", and deleted the exception for mobilehome accessories with a value of $5,000 or less installed or added to mobilehomes purchased prior to July 1, 1980 in the second paragraph; substituted "the" for "such" after "subventions on" in the first sentence of the third paragraph; deleted "of two thousand dollars ($2,000) or less" after "new construction", added "total" after "unless the new", and substituted "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" for "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" after "construction, is" in the sixth paragraph. Stats. 1996, Ch. 570, in effect January 1, 1997, added the subdivision letter designations (a) and (b); numbered the former first, second, and third paragraphs as paragraphs (1),(2), and (3); respectively, added the balance of the first sentence after "($5,000)" , added the second sentence, and added subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (2), of subdivision (a); substituted "for different classes" for "for classes" after "uniformly" in the third paragraph of subdivision (a); numbered the former fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh paragraphs as paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4), respectively, of subdivision (b); and substituted "board of supervisors" for "board" throughout the text. Stats. 1997, Ch. 106 (SB 33), in effect January 1, 1998, deleted paragraph designation (1) and added "(Subject to . . . and (e))," in the first sentence of subdivision (a), renumbered former paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) as paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), added "fairground, fairground facility," after "publicly owned" and added "facility" after "convention" in the first sentence of former paragraph (2) of former subdivision (a); renumbered former paragraph (3) of former subdivision (a) as paragraph (2) of subdivision (b); relettered former paragraphs (1) and (2) of former subdivision (b) as subdivision (c) and (d), respectively; added subdivision (e) and renumbered former paragraphs (3) and (4) of former subdivision (b) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively, of newly created subdivision (e), deleted "Nothing in this section shall authorize" before "a county board" in former paragraph (3) and deleted "Nothing in this section shall authorize" before "an assessor" in former paragraph (4) of former subdivision (b). Stats. 2004, Ch. 183 (AB 3082), in effect January 1, 2005, substituted "subdivisions" for "subsections" after "listed in" in the first sentence of subdivision (a). Stats. 2009, Ch. 204 (SB 822), in effect January 1, 2010, substituted "ten thousand dollars ($10,000)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" after "more than" in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b); and substituted "ten thousand dollars ($10,000)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" after "construction, is" in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e). Stats. 2010, Ch. 185 (SB 1493), in effect January 1, 2011, added "as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1" after "of Part 0.5)" in the first sentence of subdivision (a) and added ", as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1," after "base year value" twice in the first sentence of paragraph (1) in subdivision (b) and in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).

Note.—Section 5 of Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, provided that the Legislature finds and declares that the limitations on the rate of property taxation imposed by Article XIII A of the California Constitution has caused the costs of assessment and collection to exceed the revenues received from property taxes imposed on property with a value of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) or less.

Note.—Section 6 of Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no local agency or school district shall receive reimbursement for any property tax revenues loss pursuant to this act, because the provisions of this act are optional and the exemption provided for in Section 1 of this act is by definition at a level which offsets costs of an equal amount which would otherwise occur.

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1991, Ch. 441, provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the requirements of that section relating to any exemption of property for more than five years or for more than 75 percent of the value thereof, shall not apply to any exemption made by this act. In addition, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act.