Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 1. General Provisions

Chapter 3. Limitation of Actions

Section 175

175. Deeds to taxing agencies presumed valid after one year. All deeds heretofore and hereafter issued to any taxing agency, including taxing agencies which have their own system for the levying and collection of taxes, by reason of the delinquency of property taxes or assessments levied by any taxing agency or revenue district, shall be conclusively presumed to be valid unless held to be invalid in an appropriate proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to determine the validity of the deed commenced within one year after the execution of the deed, or within one year after the effective date of this section, whichever is later. These proceedings may be prosecuted within the time limits specified above in the manner and subject to the provisions of Sections 3618 to 3636, inclusive.

History.—Added by Stats. 1945, p. 1963, in effect September 15, 1945. Stats. 1988, Ch. 830, in effect January 1, 1989, deleted "the State of California or to" after "issued to", added "the" after "return of", substituted "the" for "said" before "deed", and substituted "is" for "be" before "later" in the first sentence; and substituted "These" for "Such" before "proceedings", substituted "specified above" for "above specified" and substituted "inclusive" for "of this code" in second sentence.

Construction.—This section applies to actions under Chapter 5.7, Part 6, Division 1, of this code for it repeals by implication the portion of Section 3637 of that chapter that refers to the time limitation on the commencement of actions on tax deeds. Wong Him v. City and County of San Francisco, 87 Cal.App.2d 80.

This section is a statute of limitations as distinguished from a curative act and the time factor is reasonable so as to bar quiet title actions commenced almost two years after its effective date by persons other than the original tax-delinquent owner in possession. McCaslin v. Hamblen, 37 Cal.2d 196.

This section applies to action by the tax-delinquent owner in possession. Sears v. Calaveras County, 45 Cal.2d 518; appeal dismissed 351 U.S. 959.

This section does not apply to an action by the state to remove a tax deed as a cloud on its title to property devoted to a public use. People v. Chambers, 37 Cal.2d 552.

Application.—The presumption in this section applies in an action brought in 1947 by the former owner of real property against the purchaser of a tax title from the state, based on irregularities in the notice of sale to the state, the property having been deeded to the State in 1921. Jones v. Bartlett, 94 Cal.App.2d 418.

This section does not prevent the original tax delinquent owner of an interest in land from raising the defense that the assessment as made, and the sale based thereon, was of an interest other than the one he owned, where the tax delinquency is the fault of the assessor and not the owner (Alma Investment Co. v. Krausse, 117 Cal.App.2d 740); nor from bringing an action to quiet title, under similar circumstances (Estribou v. Alma Investment Co., 126 Cal.App.2d 61.)

Application to jurisdictional attacks.—This section is a statute of limitation rather than a curative act and will bar the right to attack a tax deed on jurisdictional grounds where the former owner is not in actual possession. Central Valley Equipment Co. v. State of California, 98 Cal.App.2d 778.

Rule of evidence.—This section provides a rule of evidence in addition to a period of limitation. Luberco, Ltd. v. Kipp, 94 Cal.App.2d. 409.

Waiver of limitation.—The one year limitation for commencing suit is waived if not pleaded. Sheeter v. Lifur, 113 Cal.App.2d 729.