Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 5. Collection of Taxes

CHAPTER 4. Collection on the Unsecured Roll

Article 2. Seizure and Sale*

Section 2951

2951. Seizure and sale. Taxes due on unsecured property may be collected by seizure and sale of any of the following property belonging or assessed to the assessee:

(a) Personal property.

(b) Improvements.

(c) Possessory interests.

History.—Stats. 1943, p. 2441, in effect August 4, 1943, substituted "unsecured property" for "unsecured roll." Stats. 1974, Ch. 908, p. 1915, in effect January 1, 1975, renumbered the section which was formerly numbered 2914.

Note.—Stats. 1943, p. 2441, amending the provisions of the Code, provides as follows: "Sec. 13. The substitution of the term 'unsecured property' for the term 'unsecured roll' in the sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code amended hereby shall not be construed as changing the intent and meaning of said sections but the use in this act of the term 'unsecured property' is hereby declared to be a positive expression of a continuing legislative intent with respect to the matters set forth in said sections and of the sections of the Political Code from which the contents of said sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code were drawn in the process of codification."

Assessor not liable to purchaser for negligence.—A purchaser may not recover damages suffered by reason of the invalidity of the sale, caused by the negligence of the assessor in computing the amount of the tax. Routh v. Quinn, 20 Cal.2d 488.

Effect of seizure.—Priorities.—The seizure of the property does not create any priority over existing liens. Fresno County v. Commodity Credit Corp., 112 F.2d 639. A seizure and sale of property for delinquent taxes is not effective to defeat or impair the interest of one holding a perfected security interest in the property. Chrysler Credit Corp. v. Ostly, 42 Cal.App.3d 663, Cf. R. C. A. Photophone, Inc. v. Huffman, 5 Cal.App.2d 401, holding that a seizure and sale of property assessed to a lessee extinguished the rights of the lessor.

Effect of seizure.—Hearing.—This section is constitutional in that it permits a seizure of property without a prior administrative hearing but that it violates the due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions insofar as it authorizes the sale of property without the benefit of such a hearing. T. M. Cobb Co. v. Los Angeles County, 16 Cal.3d 606.

Effect of seizure.—Estoppel.—A party claiming under one who is in default of payment of taxes on liened personal property is estopped from asserting a tax title against the prior lienor where said party has knowledge of the prior lienor's claim and the prior lienor does not receive adequate notice of the tax sale which purportedly divests the prior lienor of title to the property. Dohrmann Co. v. Security Savings and Loan Assoc., 8 Cal.App.3d 655.

Nonjudicial foreclosure.—An ad valorem tax lien on plaintiff's possessory interest in tax-exempt Indian land was not eliminated by the nonjudicial foreclosure sale of the previous owner's possessory interest by a senior lienholder, where the lien was placed on the property before the sale and the senior lienholder was aware of it and agreed to pay it but failed to do so. Thus, the property was subject to seizure and sale for delinquent taxes under Section 107 and this section. Barer v. Riverside County, 57 Cal.App.4th 558.

* Unless otherwise noted all the sections under Article 2 were enacted by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908, p. 1915, in effect January 1, 1975.