Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 9. Corrections, Cancellations, and Refunds
Chapter 5. Refunds
Article 3.5. Scope of Judicial Review of Assessments in Refund Actions
5170. Scope of Judicial Review of Assessments in Refund Actions. In suits for the refund of state-assessed property taxes, the trial court shall not be restricted to the administrative record, but shall consider all evidence relating to the valuation of the property admissible under the rules of evidence. The court shall base its decision upon the preponderance of the evidence before it.
History.—Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1372, in effect January 1, 1989.
Construction.—This section, by its own terms, applies only to property assessed by the Board pursuant to Article XIII, Section 19 of the Constitution and hence, is inapplicable in suits for refund of local property taxes. Simms v. Pope, 218 Cal.App.3d 472. This section vests the trial court in a tax refund action with the power of independent review, allowing it to consider all evidence relating to the valuation of the property, not just the evidence in the administrative record. Thus, where the trial court exercises the power of independent review, the appellate court must determine, on the entire record, whether substantial evidence supports the trial court's findings as opposed to those of the administrative agency involved. The evidence must be of ponderable legal significance, reasonable in nature, credible, and of solid value. Southern Pacific Pipe Lines, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization, 14 Cal.App.4th 42.