Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 9. Corrections, Cancellations, and Refunds

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions

Section 4806

4806. Prohibition of tax refunds. No refund shall be made under Chapter 5 of this part, nor shall any action be hereafter commenced nor shall any action heretofore commenced be further prosecuted for the recovery, of any tax voluntarily paid which was levied prior to January 1, 1939, claimed to be erroneous or illegal, by reason of errors, omissions or illegalities in preparing, transmitting, computing, determining or fixing the budget or the tax rate or rates of any county, city and county, school district, municipal corporation or other public corporation, or political subdivision, in any case in which the taxes collected from such erroneous or illegal levy have been applied in the next or any succeeding fiscal year to reduce the tax levy for such year, or have been expended, appropriated, or applied for a public purpose.

For the purposes of this section, the mere payment of a tax under protest shall not be deemed to constitute such payment an involuntary payment.

Construction.—Constitutionality.—A tax is paid voluntarily within the meaning of this section unless there is "some compulsion or coercion attending its assertion, which controls the conduct of the party making the payment." Taxes so paid cannot be recovered in the absence of statutory authorization, and although in California such authorization has been provided by Section 5096 and former Section 5136, it may be withdrawn at any time without the violation of constitutional rights. Southern Service Co., Ltd., v. Los Angeles County, 15 Cal.2d 1.

As to what constitutes an involuntary payment, see also Cooper v. Chamberlin, 78 Cal. 450; Gill v. City of Oakland, 124 Cal. 335; Palomares Land Co. v. Los Angeles County, 146 Cal. 530; Hanford Gas Etc. Co. v. Hanford, 163 Cal. 108; Spencer v. City of Los Angeles, 180 Cal. 103; Flynn v. San Francisco, 18 Cal.2d 210; Home Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. City of Los Angeles, 40 Cal.App. 492.