Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 2. Assessment

CHAPTER 1. Taxation Base

Article 1. Taxable and Exempt Property

Section 214.02

214.02. Welfare exemption; property in its natural state. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c), property that is used exclusively for the preservation of native plants or animals, biotic communities, geological or geographical formations of scientific or educational interest, or open-space lands used solely for recreation and for the enjoyment of scenic beauty, is open to the general public subject to reasonable restrictions concerning the needs of the land, and is owned and operated by a scientific or charitable fund, foundation, limited liability company, or corporation, the primary interest of which is to preserve those natural areas, and that meets all the requirements of Section 214, shall be deemed to be within the exemption provided for in subdivision (b) of Sections 4 and 5 of Article XIII of the Constitution of the State of California and Section 214.

(b) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to any property of an organization that owns in the aggregate 30,000 acres or more in one county that were exempt under this section prior to March 1, 1983, or that are proposed to be exempt, unless the nonprofit organization that holds the property is fully independent of the owner of any taxable real property that is adjacent to the property otherwise qualifying for tax exemption under this section. For purposes of this section, the nonprofit organization that holds the property shall be considered fully independent if the exempt property is not used or operated by that organization or by any other person so as to benefit any officer, trustee, director, shareholder, member, employee, contributor or bondholder of the exempt organization or operator, or the owner of any adjacent property, or any other person, through the distribution of profits, payment of excessive charges or compensations, or the more advantageous pursuit of their business or profession.

(c) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to property that is reserved for future development.

(d)(1) For the purposes of determining whether the property is used for the actual operation of the exempt activity as required by subdivision (a), consideration shall not be given to the use of the property for either of the following:

(A) Activities resulting in direct or in-kind revenues provided that the activities further the conservation objectives of the property as provided in a qualified conservation management plan for the property. These revenues include those revenues derived from grazing leases, hunting and camping permits, rents from persons performing caretaking activities who reside in dwellings on the property, and admission fees collected for purposes of public enjoyment.

(B) Any lease of the property for a purpose that furthers the conservation objectives of the property as provided in a qualified conservation management plan for the property.

(2) The activities and lease described in paragraph (1) may not generate unrelated business income.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a "qualified conservation management plan" means a plan that satisfies all of the following:

(A) Identifies both of the following:

(i) That the foremost purpose and use of the property is for the preservation of native plants or animals, biotic communities, geological or geographical formations of scientific or educational interest, or as open-space lands used solely for recreation and for the enjoyment of scenic beauty.

(ii) The overall conservation management goals, including, but not limited to, identification of permitted activities, and actions necessary to achieve the goals.

(B) Describes both of the following:

(i) The natural resources and recreational attributes of the property.

(ii) Potential threats to the conservation values or areas of special concern.

(C) Contains a timeline for planned management activities and for regular inspections of the property, including existing structures and improvements.

(e) This section shall be operative from the lien date in 1983 to and including the lien date in 2022, after which date this section shall become inoperative, and as of January 1, 2023, this section is repealed.

(f) The amendments made by Section 4 of Chapter 354 of the Statutes of 2004 shall apply with respect to lien dates occurring on and after January 1, 2005.

(g) The amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall apply commencing with the lien date for the 2013–14 fiscal year.

History.—Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1 (First Extra Session) in effect December 8, 1971, operative on the lien date in 1972. Stats. 1974, Ch. 311, p. 596, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "of Section 214" for "of this section", and substituted "subdivision (b) of Section 4 and Section 5" for "Section 1c". Stats. 1982, Ch. 1485, in effect January 1, 1983, operative March 1, 1983, added "(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c)" before "property" at the beginning of the first sentence, and added subdivisions (b) and (c). Stats. 1992, Ch. 786; in effect January 1, 1993, added subdivision (d). Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, in effect January 1, 1994, added "that is" after "property", deleted "or" after "animals," and after "communities,", deleted "and which property" after "beauty," added a comma after "land", substituted "those" for "such" after "preserve", and substituted "that" for "which" after "areas, and" in subdivision (a); substituted "that" for "which" throughout subdivision (b), and substituted "that are" for "which" in the first sentence of subdivision (b); and substituted "that" for "which" after "property" in subdivision (c). Stats. 2001, Ch. 533 (SB 198), in effect October 5, 2001, substituted "2012" for "2002" after "lien date in" and substituted "2013" for "2003" after "January 1," in the first sentence of subdivision (d). Stats. 2004, Ch. 354 (AB 3073), in effect August 30, 2004, added ", limited liability company," after "fund, foundation" in the first sentence of subdivision (a); deleted "constituted in such a way as to be" after "the property is" in the first sentence of subdivision (b); and added subdivision (e). Stats. 2011, Ch. 202 (AB 703), in effect October 8, 2011, substituted "2022" for "2012" after "lien date in" and substituted "2023" for "2013" after "January 1," in the first sentence of subdivision (d). Stats. 2012, Ch. 863 (AB 2207), in effect September 30, 2012, added subdivision (d); relettered former subdivision (d) as (e); relettered former subdivision (e) as (f) and substituted "Section 4 of Chapter 354 of the Statutes of 2004" for "the act adding this subdivision" after "made by" in the first sentence therein; and added subdivision (g).

Note.—Stats. 1971, p. 5133 (First Extra Session), provided that this section shall remain operative to and including the lien date in 1981 and shall have no further force or effect after such date.

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1992, Ch. 786, 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 exemptions 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.

Note.—Section 2 of Stats. 2001, Ch. 533 (SB 198) provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, 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.

Note.—Section 2 of Stats. 2011, Ch. 575 (AB 703) provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, 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.

Construction.—This section is a valid exercise of the Legislature's power under Article XIII, Section 4(b) of the Constitution. Santa Catalina Island Conservancy v. Los Angeles County, 126 Cal.App.3d 221.