Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 4. Levy of Tax

CHAPTER 2. Effect of Tax

Section 2192.1

2192.1. Priority of tax liens. Every tax declared in this chapter to be a lien on real property, and every public improvement assessment declared by law to be a lien on real property, have priority over all other liens on the property, regardless of the time of their creation. Any tax or assessment described in the preceding sentence shall be given priority over matters including, but not limited to, any recognizance, deed, judgment, debt, obligation, or responsibility with respect to which the subject real property may become charged or liable.

History.—Added by Stats. 1959, p. 2299, in effect September 18, 1959. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1281, in effect September 30, 1983, added "and" after "property", and deleted "and the lien of taxes and assessments upon real property of all taxing agencies as set forth in Section 3900 of this code" before "have priority". Stats. 1993, Ch. 853, in effect October 6, 1993, deleted "real" after "on the" in the first sentence, and added the second sentence.

Note.—The act which added this section also provided: It is the intent of the Legislature that Section 2192.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code be declaratory of the existing law and it is not intended nor shall it be construed as effecting any change thereof. It is enacted to avoid the interpretation of the federal case of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co. v. United States, 247 F.2d 777, that the existing law, as generally recognized for many years and as set forth in California cases, including California Loan and Trust Co. v. Weis, 118 Cal. 489, has been changed from that which is declared herein.

Legislative intent.—This section is declaratory of the intent of previously enacted and future legislation. Accordingly, in a proceeding to apportion a condemnation award, a lien for unpaid property taxes is entitled to priority over a pre-existing mortgage lien which was created prior to the enactment of this section. Redevelopment Agency v. Pacific Vegetable Oil Co., 241 Cal.App.2d 606.

Federal tax lien.—Federal tax lien has priority over subsequently accruing liens for local real estate taxes, and the state may not avoid the priority rules of the federal tax lien by characterizing subsequently accruing local liens as expenses of sale. United States v. Buffalo Savings Bank, 371 U.S. 228.