Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 2. Assessment
Chapter 3. Assessment Generally
Article 1.5. Valuation of Open-Space Land Subject to an Enforceable Restriction*
423.7. Valuation of land subject to a wildlife habitat contract. (a) When valuing open-space land subject to a wildlife habitat contract, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 421, the board, for purposes of surveys required by Section 15640 of the Government Code, and all assessors shall value that land by using the average current per-acre value based on recent sales including the sale of an undivided interest therein, of lands subject to a wildlife habitat contract within the same county. Whenever ownership of open-space land is held by a corporation and the principal underlying asset of that corporation is represented by those lands, the price received for each bona fide sale of shares of stock in those corporations or certificates of membership in nonprofit corporations shall be treated as a sale of open-space land by the assessor in determining average value for open-space lands within the meaning of this section.
(b) In the valuation of open-space land subject to a wildlife habitat contract as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 421, irrespective of the number of parcels represented by a single ownership, the assessor shall use sales of less than 150 acres in determining the average value of those lands only if the sale is of an undivided interest of land subject to a wildlife habitat contract as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 421. The assessor shall not use any other sale of less than 150 acres of land.
(c) In the event of sales of corporate stock or membership, as referred to in subdivision (a), the assessor shall determine the average per-acre sales price and multiply such sales price by the number of acres held under the single ownership from which the land was sold, in order to determine the current total value of the single ownership.
(d) The assessor shall then determine the average current per-acre value of that land subject to a wildlife habitat contract, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 421, by adding the current value of all those lands including corporate sales as set forth in subdivision (c), of which there has been a recent sale, and then dividing the total current value by the total number of acres of all that land of which there has been a recent sale.
(e) Whenever less than 10 years remain to the expiration of a wildlife habitat contract, the value of land determined under subdivision (a) shall be modified pursuant to this subdivision. If the full cash value of that land as determined under Section 110.1 is greater than the value determined under subdivision (a) of this section, a pro rata share of the amount of that difference shall be added in annual equal installments to the value determined pursuant to subdivision (a) over the remaining term of the wildlife habitat contract.
(f) Owners of open-space land subject to a wildlife habitat contract which has been used exclusively for habitat by native or migratory wildlife, recreation, and native pasture shall report the sale of that land, or an interest therein, to the county assessor within 30 days of the sale.
(g) In the event that a wildlife habitat contract is canceled upon the application of an owner of the land covered by the contract, a penalty equal to 6 percent of the full cash value of the land as determined under Section 110.1 on the lien date next following cancellation shall be imposed. The penalty shall become delinquent on the December 10 next following that lien date and shall be treated in all respects as a delinquent penalty imposed under Section 2617 or 2704. This subdivision shall not apply when a wildlife habitat contract is canceled without the consent of an owner of the land affected.
(h) The provisions of Section 426 shall not apply to any lands valued for assessment purposes pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(i) The assessor shall not value any land under a single ownership under this section unless the owners of that land have provided the assessor with a schedule of sales of that land that have occurred during the previous four years.
(j) If there are no prior sales within the county of open-space land subject to a wildlife contract and used exclusively for habitat by native or migratory wildlife, recreation, and native pasture, the assessor shall value the land pursuant to Section 110.1.
(k) Unless a party to an instrument which creates an enforceable restriction expressly prohibits such a valuation, the valuation resulting from the method described in this section shall not exceed the valuation that would have resulted by calculation under Section 110.1, as though the property was not subject to an enforceable restriction in the base year.
History.—Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 1165, p. 2427, in effect January 1, 1974, Sec. 5 thereof provided for state payment to local government for revenue lost because of this act. Stats. 1980, Ch. 802, in effect January 1, 1981, added subdivision (l). Stats. 1982, Ch. 1465, in effect January 1, 1983, in addition to making a number of grammatical changes throughout the section, substituted "110.1" for "405" after "Section" in the second sentence of subdivision (e), in the first sentence of subdivision (g), and in the first sentence of subdivision (j); deleted former subdivision (g); and renumbered former subdivisions "(h)" as "(g)," "(i)" as "(h)," "(j)" as "(i)," "(k)" as "(j)," and "(l)" as "(k)", respectively. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1281, in effect September 30, 1983, substituted "section 15640 of the Government Code" for "Section 1815" after "required by" in the first sentence of subdivision (a), and substituted "that" for "such a" after "prohibits" in subdivision (k).
* Stats. 1969, p. 1930, in effect November 10, 1969, repealed Section 4 of Stats. 1967, p. 3651, which made Article 1.5 operative only until the 61st day following adjournment of the Regular Session of the 1970 Legislature.