Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 6. Tax Sales

Chapter 2. Sale by Operation of Law

Article 1. General Provisions*

Section 3436

3436. Declaration of default; time. At 12:01 a.m. on July 1, the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs on real property except tax-defaulted property and possessory interests, which have not been paid shall by operation of law be declared in default.

History.—Stats. 1963, p. 3079, in effect September 20, 1963, added "On or before June 30 and" before "not" at the beginning of the first sentence. Stats. 1967, p. 2345, in effect November 8, 1967, deleted "and not less than 21 nor more than 28 days after the first publication of the published delinquent list" after "June 30"; and added "of the notice of intent to sell to the state" after "publication" in the first sentence. Stats 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "notice of impending default" . . . "declared in default" for "notice of intent to sell to the state, the real property on which the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs have not been fully paid, except tax-sold property and possessory interests, shall by operation of law and the declaration of the tax collector be sold to the state" after "publication of the" in the first sentence, and deleted the former second sentence which provided that "The sale shall be in the tax collector's office". Stats. 1992, Ch. 523, in effect January 1, 1993, substituted "At 12:01 . . . July 1" for "On or before June 30, at the time fixed in the publication of the notice of impending default" at the beginning of the paragraph, and deleted "and the declaration of the tax collector" after "of law".

Time.—If the first publication of the delinquent list is more than 28 days prior to the date fixed for the sale, the tax proceedings are void. Bernhard v. Wall, 184 Cal. 612. Cf. Smith v. City of Los Angeles, 158 Cal. 702, holding immaterial, in view of Former Political Code Section 3885 (now Revenue and Taxation Code Section 24), the fact that the delinquent list was first published one day after the required date. See Section 3365.

Amount.—A sale for any amount in excess of that which is lawfully chargeable is void. Hall v. Park Bank of Los Angeles, 165 Cal. 356; Rimmer v. Hotchkiss, 162 Cal. 385; Warden v. Gries, 120 Cal.App. 187. Although several cases have held that an excess of less than one cent in the amount of a penalty will not render a sale void (Bell v. Fee Title Co., 69 Cal.App. 437; Jacoby v. Wolff, 198 Cal. 667, 684; Gottstein v. Kelly, 206 Cal. 742, 745; Schainman v. All Persons, 96 Cal.App. 753), they were all decided prior to the adoption in 1939 of the provision now contained in Section 2623.5.

Property included.—A sale of property which includes more land than was assessed is void. See Los Angeles Olive Growers' Assn. v. Pozzi, 167 Cal. 454.

A single sale may not be made of distinct items of property. Each parcel must be sold for the exact amount which is a lien upon it. See Knox v. Higby, 76 Cal. 264. Five adjoining lots over all of which a building extends should be treated, however, as a unit for purposes of taxation. Cooper v. Miller, 113 Cal. 238.

Effect of sale.—The only practical effect of a sale under this section is to start running the five-year period within which redemption can be effected. During this period the legal title to the property continues in the taxpayer, subject to the lien in favor of the state created by the assessment and levy. Crocker v. Scott, 149 Cal. 575; In re Sieck, 46 Cal.App. 363.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

* Article 1 heading added by Stats. 1967, p. 3190, in effect November 8, 1967.