Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 0.5. Implementation of Article XIII A of the California Constitution

Chapter 4. Assessment Appeals

Section 80

80. Application for reduction in base-year value. (a) An application for reduction in the base-year value of an assessment on the current local roll may be filed during the regular filing period for that year as set forth in Section 1603 or Section 1840, subject to the following limitations:

(1) The base-year value determined by a local board of equalization or by the State Board of Equalization, originally or on remand by a court, or by a court shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value for any 1975 assessment which was appealed.

(2) The base-year value determined pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 110.1 shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value unless an equalization application is filed no later than the regular filing period following the 1980 lien date. Once an application is filed, the base-year value determined pursuant to that application shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value for that assessment.

(3) The base-year value determined pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 110.1 shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value, unless an application for equalization is filed during the regular equalization period for the year in which the assessment is placed on the assessment roll or in any of the three succeeding years. Once an application is filed, the base-year value determined pursuant to that application shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value for that assessment.

(4) The base-year value determined pursuant to Section 51.5 shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value unless an application for equalization is filed during the appropriate equalization period for the year in which the error is corrected or in any of the three succeeding years. Once an application is filed, the base-year value determined pursuant to that application shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value for that assessment.

(5) Any reduction in assessment made as the result of an appeal under this section shall apply for the assessment year in which the appeal is taken and prospectively thereafter.

(b) This section does not prohibit the filing of an application for appeal where a new value was placed on the roll pursuant to Section 51.

(c) An application for equalization made pursuant to Section 620 or Section 1605 when determined, shall be conclusively presumed to be the base-year value in the same manner as provided herein.

History.—Stats. 1987, Ch. 537, in effect January 1, 1988, added hyphen in "base-year" throughout text substituted "that" for "such" before "assessment" in the second sentence of subsection (a)(2) and in the second sentence of subsection (a)(3), relettered former subsection (a)(4) as (a)(5), and added subsection (a)(4).

Note.—Section 1(a) of Stats. 1987, Ch. 537, provided that the Legislature finds and declares that fairness and equity require that county assessors have express authority to make corrections to property tax base-year values whenever it is discovered that a base-year value does not reflect applicable constitutional or statutory valuation standards or the base- year value was omitted. Any limitations imposed upon the assessor's authority to correct these errors would result in a system of taxation which, on the one hand, denies the benefits of Article XIII A of the California Constitution to some taxpayers where the barred error or correction would reduce the base-year value and, on the other hand, encourages even the most honest person to engage in deception and concealment in order to delay discovery of changes in ownership or new construction beyond the point where a correction of the base-year value can be made. Further, the failure to place any value on the assessment roll for property which completely escapes taxation because of limitations on the authority to correct errors would violate the constitutional requirement that all property in the state shall be subject to taxation. Nothing in this act violates either the spirit or the letter of Article XIII A of the California Constitution since all corrections permitted by it must be consistent with applicable constitutional and statutory valuation standards.

Construction.—The conclusive presumption in subdivision (a)(3) does not itself bar refund claims or refund actions. A conclusive presumption is an evidentiary concept, and misapplication of an evidentiary rule in an action is merely an error of substantive law which does not render a judgment void for lack of jurisdiction. Plaza Hollister Limited Partnership v. San Benito County, 72 Cal.App.4th 1. Under subdivision (a) (5), a taxpayer is entitled to a reduction in assessments only for the year in which the appeal is taken and prospectively, but not retroactively. Thus, while new 1981 base-year values were established in conjunction with a 1984 application for reduction of assessment which was granted, they did not affect any assessment prior to 1984. And since it filed an application for reduction of the 1984 assessment only, under Section 5097, the taxpayer was limited to a refund of taxes extending from the 1984 assessment. Osco Drug, Inc. v. Orange County, 221 Cal.App.3d 189. A stipulated judgment between a county and a property taxpayer was void to the extent that it retroactively applied a reduction in base-year value resulting from an assessment appeal to assessment years predating the assessment appeal. Subdivision (a)(5) provides that any reduction in assessment made as the result of an appeal under the statute applies for the assessment year in which the appeal is taken and prospectively thereafter. Plaza Hollister Limited Partnership v. San Benito County, 72 Cal.App.4th 1.

Taxpayer requested correction of the base year value of its possessory interest within four years of the date of change in ownership but did not timely file claims for refund. Under subdivision (a) (5), the only claim for refund that could be made was for the year in which the appeal was taken, and taxpayer made no claim for refund for that year. In the alternative, subdivision (a)(5) constituted a complete defense. Metropolitan Culinary Services, Inc. v. Los Angeles County, 61 Cal.App.4th 935.

Application not required.—Ordinarily, to obtain a reduced assessment, the taxpayer must file an assessment appeal in accordance with this section and Section 1603. However, after a property owner has been granted a reduction under Section 51, that section dispenses with the usual requirement to file an assessment appeal. El Dorado Palm Springs, Ltd. v. Board of Supervisors, 104 Cal.App.4th 1262.