Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 1. General Provisions

CHAPTER 2. Administrative Provisions

Section 167

167. Presumption affecting burden of proof. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and except as provided in subdivision (b), there shall be a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof in favor of the taxpayer or assessee who has supplied all information as required by law to the assessor in any administrative hearing involving the imposition of a tax on an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, the assessment of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling pursuant to this division, or the appeal of an escape assessment.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the rebuttable presumption described in that subdivision shall not apply in the case of an administrative hearing with respect to the appeal of an escape assessment resulting from a taxpayer's failure either to file with the assessor a change in ownership statement or a business property statement, or to obtain a permit for new construction.

(c) For the purposes of this section, an owner-occupied single-family dwelling means a single-family dwelling that satisfies both of the following:

(1) The dwelling is the owner's principal place of residence.

(2) The dwelling qualifies for a homeowners' property tax exemption.

History.—Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 69, p. 103, in effect January 1, 1977. Sec. 2 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1281, in effect September 30, 1983, deleted "except as provided in Section 1610" after "contrary,". Stats, 1995, Ch. 498, in effect January 1, 1996, added subdivision letter designation (a) before first paragraph, and added "and except . . . (b)," after "contrary," substituted "," for "or" after first "dwelling", and added ", or the appeal . . . assessment" after second "dwelling" therein; and added subdivision (b). Stats. 2011, Ch. 220 (AB 711), in effect January 1, 2012, added "pursuant to this division" after "single-family dwelling" and deleted "pursuant to this division" after "escape assessment" in the first sentence of subdivision (a); added "either" after "taxpayer's failure", substituted "or a" for a comma after "ownership statement", and added "to obtain a" after "statement, or" in the first sentence of subdivision (b), and added subdivision (c).

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1976, Ch. 69, p. 104, provided that if the section is not constitutional as limited to single-family homes, it shall have no force or effect.

Construction.—In an administrative hearing involving valuation of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, the burden is on the assessor to overcome the presumption. If the trial court concludes that the assessor's valuation is invalid, the proper remedy is for the assessment appeals board to hold a new hearing. This section does not require the board to assess the property based on the taxpayer's initial estimate of value. Mitchell v. Los Angeles County, 60 Cal.App.4th 497.

Assessment appeals board improperly placed the burden of proof concerning the supplemental assessment of a single family, owner-occupied home on the homeowner contrary to Section 167, subdivision (a). The Board's failure to correctly apply the statutory presumption affecting the burden of proof in favor of the homeowner, required reversal of the Board's judgment and a remand to the Board for a new hearing. Farr v. County of Nevada (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 669.

Construction.—In an appeal of an escape assessment of an aircraft, Section 167, in effect, shifts the burden of proof to the assessor to demonstrate affirmatively that the taxpayer's aircraft was not operated by a common carrier as of the valuation date. In doing so, the statute creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of the taxpayer that the taxpayer's valuation of its aircraft is correct. Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board No. 2; CKE Assoc., 167 Cal.App.4th 1428.