Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 2. Assessment

Chapter 3. Assessment Generally

Article 2. Information From Taxpayer

Section 451

451. Information held secret. All information requested by the assessor or furnished in the property statement shall be held secret by the assessor. The statement is not a public document and is not open to inspection, except as provided in Section 408.

History.—Stats. 1966, p. 661 (First Extra Session), in effect October 6, 1966, deleted "public" before the word "inspection", and added "except as provided in Section 408." Stats. 1971, p. 3519, in effect March 4, 1972, substituted "requested" for "required" in the first sentence.

Exceptions.—The primary exceptions to the rule of confidentiality are "market data" (§ 408(b)), the assessor's public list of transfers of property interests (§ 408.1), and information ordered disclosed by a court in a proceeding initiated by a taxpayer to challenge the legality of his assessment (§ 408(b)). Chanslor-Western Oil and Development Co. v. Cook, 101

Cal.App.3d 407. An affidavit submitted to an assessor to claim a welfare exemption is voluntarily submitted, is a document separate from the property statement, and is not confidential under this section. Gallagher v. Boller, 231 Cal.App.2d 482.

Disclosure in response to subpoena.—This section probably precludes the disclosure of information or the production of the property statement in response to a subpoena as well as in other ways. See Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1881, subdivision (5), and in re Valencia Condensed Milk Co., 240 F. 310.