Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 2. Assessment

Chapter 3. Assessment Generally

Article 1. General Requirements

Section 408.3

408.3. Property characteristics information; public records. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Sections 451 and 481 and in Section 6254 of the Government Code, property characteristics information maintained by the assessor is a public record and shall be open to public inspection.

(b) For purposes of this section, "property characteristics," includes, but is not limited to, the year of construction of improvements to the property, their square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms of all dwellings, the property's acreage, and other attributes of or amenities to the property, such as swimming pools, views, zoning classifications or restrictions, use code designations, and the number of dwelling units of multiple family properties.

(c) Notwithstanding Section 6257 of the Government Code or any other provision of law, if the assessor provides property characteristics information at the request of any party, the assessor may require that a fee reasonably related to the actual cost of developing and providing the information be paid by the party receiving the information.

The actual cost of providing the information is not limited to duplication or production costs, but may include recovery of developmental and indirect costs, as overhead, personnel, supply, material, office, storage, and computer costs. All revenue collected by the assessor for providing information under this section shall be used solely to support, maintain, improve, and provide for the creation, retention, automation, and retrieval of assessor information.

(d) The Legislature finds and declares that information concerning property characteristics is maintained solely for assessment purposes and is not continuously updated by the assessor. Therefore, neither the county nor the assessor shall incur any liability for errors, omissions, or approximations with respect to property characteristics information provided by the assessor to any party pursuant to this section. Further, this subdivision shall not be construed to imply liability on the part of the county or the assessor for errors, omissions, or other defects in any other information or records provided by the assessor pursuant to the provisions of this part.

History.—Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1511, effective January 1, 1987. Stats. 1995, Ch. 527, in effect January 1, 1996, deleted "of this code" after "and 481" in subdivision (a); deleted "such" after "indirect costs," in the first sentence of the second paragraph in subdivision (c); deleted former subdivision (e) which read: "Except as provided in subdivision (f), this section shall apply only to a county with a population which exceeds 715,000."; and deleted former subdivision (f) which read: "In any county with a population of 715,000 or less, the assessor may make property characteristic information open to public inspection."

Note.—Section 2 of Stats. 1986, Ch. 1511, provided that no reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act.