Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 2. Assessment

CHAPTER 1. Taxation Base

Article 2.5. Late Exemption Claims*

Section 279

279. Disabled veterans' exemption; effective dates. (a) Subject to the provisions regarding cancellations and the limitation periods on refunds, property becomes eligible for the disabled veterans' property tax exemption, as described in Section 205.5, as of:

(1) The effective date of a disability rating, as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that qualifies the claimant for the exemption.

(2) The date a qualified claimant purchases a property that constitutes the principal place of residence, provided residency is established within 90 days of purchase.

(3) The date a qualified claimant establishes residency at a property owned by the claimant or the spouse, as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 205.5.

(4) The date the veteran died, as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, in the case where the unmarried surviving spouse is the claimant.

(b) A claim for the disabled veterans' property tax exemption filed by a qualified claimant, once granted, shall remain in continuous effect unless any of the following occurs;

(1) Title to the property changes.

(2) The owner does not occupy the dwelling as his or her principal place of residence.

(A) If the claimant is confined to a hospital or other care facility but principally resided at a dwelling immediately prior to that confinement, the claimant will be deemed to occupy that same dwelling as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date, provided that the dwelling has not been rented or leased as described in Section 205.5.

(B) If a person receiving the disabled veterans' exemption is not occupying the dwelling because the dwelling was damaged in a misfortune or calamity, the person will be deemed to occupy that same dwelling as his or her principal place of residence, provided the person's absence from the dwelling is temporary and the person intends to return to the dwelling when possible to do so. Except as provided in subparagraph (C), when a dwelling has been totally destroyed, and thus no dwelling exists, the exemption provided by Section 205.5 is not applicable until the structure has been replaced and is occupied as a dwelling.

(C) A dwelling that was totally destroyed in a disaster for which the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency, that qualified for the exemption provided by Section 205.5 and has not changed ownership since the disaster, will be deemed occupied by the person receiving a disabled veterans' exemption provided the person intends to reconstruct a dwelling on the property and occupy the dwelling as his or her principal place of residence when it is possible to do so.

(3) The property is altered so that it is no longer a dwelling.

(4) The veteran is no longer disabled as defined in Section 205.5.

(5) The unmarried surviving spouse claimant remarries.

(c) The assessor of each county shall verify the continued eligibility of each person receiving a disabled veterans' exemption, and shall provide for a periodic audit of, and establish a control system to monitor, disabled veterans' exemption claims.

History.—Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 662, p. 1451, in effect September 10, 1975. Stats. 2003, Ch. 278 (AB 322), in effect September 4, 2003, lettered the former first paragraph as subdivision (a), added "described in Section 205.5" after "property tax exemption" deleted "as defined in Section 205.5," after "of a dwelling," and substituted "in continuous effect unless any of the following occurs: (1) Title to the property changes. (2) The owner does not occupy the dwelling as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date. For purposes of this paragraph, if a veteran is, on the lien date, confined to a hospital or other care facility but principally resided at a dwelling immediately prior to that confinement, the veteran will be deemed to occupy that same dwelling as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date, provided that the dwelling has not been rented or leased as described in Section 205.5. (3) The property is altered so that it is no longer a dwelling. (4) The veteran is no longer disabled as defined in Section 205.5." for "effect until such time as title to the property changes, the owner does not occupy the home as his principal place of residence on the lien date, or the property is altered so that it is no longer a dwelling as defined in Section 205.5, or the veteran is no longer disabled as defined in Section 205.5." therein; and lettered the former second paragraph as subdivision (b), substituted "each" for "the" after "The assessor of", deleted "in which such a dwelling is situated" after "of each county", added "continued" after "shall verify the", substituted "person" for "who is" after "each" and substituted ", and shall provide for a periodic audit of, and establish a control system to monitor," for "to continue to receive such an exemption in accordance with rules and regulations, which shall be issued by the board, to provide for a periodic audit and for the establishment of a control system for the" after "disabled veterans' exemption" in the first sentence therein. Stats. 2008, Ch. 594 (SB 1495), in effect January 1, 2009, substituted a colon for a semicolon after "the following occurs" in the first sentence of subdivision (a) and designated the former second sentence of paragraph (2) as the first sentence of subparagraph (A) and substituted "If" for "For purposes of this paragraph, if" before "a veteran is" therein, and added subparagraphs (B) and (C) thereto. Stats. 2011, Ch. 202 (AB 188), in effect January 1, 2012, added subdivision (a); relettered former subdivision (a) as (b) and substituted "filed by a qualified claimant" for "described in Section 205.5 filed by the owner of a dwelling" after "tax exemption" in the first sentence of the first paragraph, deleted "on the lien date" after "of residence" in the first sentence of paragraph (2), and substituted "the claimant is" for " a veteran is, on the lien date" after "If" and substituted "claimant" for "veteran" after "confinement, the" in the first sentence of subparagraph (A), and deleted "on the lien date" after "the dwelling" and after "of residence" in the first sentence and deleted "on the lien date" after "dwelling exists" in the second sentence of subparagraph (B), and deleted "on the lien date" after "veterans' exemption" in the first sentence of subparagraph (C) and added paragraph (5) thereto; and relettered former subdivision (b) as (c).

Note.—Section 7 of Stats. 1975, Ch. 662, provided that no appropriation shall be made pursuant to Section 5 of this act because there are minor savings as well as minor costs in this act which, in the aggregate, do not result in significant identifiable cost changes.

Note.—Section 1 of Stats. 2003, Ch. 278 (AB 322) provided that:

(a) The Legislature of the State of California finds and declares the following:

(1) The California Constitution allows the Legislature to establish an exemption from property taxes for the home of a disabled veteran or the spouse of a disabled veteran, including the unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran.

(2) A disabled veteran is defined by law as a veteran who, because of an injury incurred in military service is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of two or more limbs, is totally disabled, or who, as a result of service-connected injury, died while in active military service.

(3) The Revenue and Taxation Code authorizes a property tax exemption for property owned by a disabled veteran, if that property constitutes the principal place of residence of the disabled veteran.

(4) The Revenue and Taxation Code also authorizes a property tax exemption for property owned by an unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, if that property constitutes the principal place of residence of the unmarried surviving spouse.

(5) There are many disabled veterans who own property that qualifies for the disabled veterans' property tax exemption, but due to the fact that these disabled veterans are confined to hospitals or other medical institutions they are unable to occupy that property as their principal place of residence. In many cases the spouses of these disabled veterans continue to occupy the property as their principle place of residence.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to amend the Revenue and Taxation Code to conform with the California Constitution to further extend the disabled veterans' property tax exemption to property owned by the spouse of a living disabled veteran while that disabled veteran is confined to a hospital or other care facility and to extend the veterans' property tax exemption to an otherwise qualifying veteran who is unable to occupy that property as his or her principal place of residence because he or she is confined to a hospital or other care facility, provided that the property is not rented or leased to a third party.

Section 4 thereof 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.

Section 5 thereof provided that this act provides for a tax levy within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.

* Article 2.5 was added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 303, p. 615, in effect July 12, 1971, operative for property taxes for the 1970–71 fiscal year and fiscal years thereafter.