Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 3. Equalization

Chapter 1. Equalization by County Board of Equalization

Article 1. Generally

Section 1611.5

1611.5. Record, transcript, findings, and conclusions. Written findings of fact of the county board shall be made if requested in writing by a party up to or at the commencement of the hearing, and if payment of any fee or deposit which may be required to cover the expense of preparing the findings is made by the party prior to the conclusion of the hearing. However, the party requesting findings may abandon the request and waive findings at the conclusion of the hearing. If the requesting party abandons his or her request at this time, his or her fee or deposit shall be returned if no findings have yet been prepared. If the request is abandoned, the other party may orally or in writing renew the request upon payment of the required fee or deposit, and becomes responsible for any costs for the preparation of findings. A reasonable fee may be imposed by the county to cover the expense of preparing findings and conclusions. The written findings of fact shall fairly disclose the board's determination of all material points raised by the party in his or her petition and at the hearing, including a statement of the method or methods of valuation used in appraising the property.

At the hearing the final determinations by the board shall be supported by the weight of the evidence and, with regard to questions of value, its determinations shall be made without limitation by reason of the applicant's opinion of value stated in the application for reduction in assessment pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1603.

If written findings of fact have been requested, the board shall transmit those findings to the requesting party accompanied by a notice that any request for a transcript of the proceedings must be made within 60 days following the date of the final determination of the board.

History.—Added by Stats. 1967, p. 1460, in effect June 7, 1967. Stats. 1968, p. 2292, in effect November 13, 1968, revised this section, deleting "and conclusions of law" from the second sentence, and adding the third and fourth sentences and all language of the section following "findings and conclusions" in the fifth sentence. Stats. 1971, p. 760, in effect March 4, 1972, deleted the first sentence of the first paragraph and added the third paragraph concerning the transcript. Stats. 1974, Ch. 180, p. 358, in effect April 24, 1974, renumbered the section which was formerly numbered 1605.5. Stats. 1977, Ch. 877, in effect January 1, 1978, added the clause to the second paragraph beginning with "and with regard to . . ." Stats. 1978, Ch. 57, in effect January 1, 1979, added the clause to the 10th sentence of the first paragraph, after the word "parcel" beginning with "or a total of fifty dollars . . ." Stats. 1985, Ch. 617, effective January 1, 1986, added ", and if payment . . . conclusion of the hearing" after "commencement of the hearing" in the first sentence, added "or her" after "his", in the third sentence, and added ", his or her fee . . . prepared. If the request if abandoned," after "time", resulting in a new fourth sentence, substituted "upon payment . . . and becomes" for "thereby becoming" after "request" in the fourth sentence, deleted ", but shall not exceed ten dollars ($10) per parcel or a total of fifty dollars ($50) for findings covering applications on contiguous parcels or assessments on the roll involving the same issues and the same owners" after "conclusions" in the fifth sentence, and added "or her" after "his" and added a comma after "hearing" in the sixth sentence of the first paragraph; substituted "its" for "such" after "value," in the second paragraph; and substituted "those" for "such" after "transmit" in the third paragraph.

Construction.—The provisions that final determinations "shall be supported by the weight of the evidence" does not change the long-standing rule that in a judicial review of the findings of a county board, the superior court is required to apply the substantial evidence rule. Hunt Wesson Foods, Inc. v. Alameda County, 41 Cal.App.3d 163; American Chemical Corp. v. Los Angeles County, 42 Cal.App.3d 45, cert. den. 422 U.S. 1007.

Generally.—While the board need not adhere to technical evidentiary rules, the record must contain some "legal" evidence to support its decision. Where it does not, the cause must be remanded for further consideration. Madonna v. San Luis Obispo County, 39 Cal.App.3d 57.

Findings.—In the application of property tax rule no. 4 for the value adjustments of non-cash sales and differentials in time or size and in the application of rule no. 6 for the value adjustments of the cost of repairs and alterations to bring property improvements up to code, the findings should demonstrate that specific adjustments were in fact made and not merely considered. Midstate Theatres, Inc., v. Stanislaus County, 55 Cal.App.3d 864.