Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 0.5. Implementation of Article XIII A of the California Constitution
Chapter 5.5. Property Tax Rates*
93. Ad valorem property tax; limitation. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), no local agency, school district, county superintendent of schools, or community college district shall levy an ad valorem property tax, other than that amount which is equal to the amount needed to make annual payments for the interest and principal on general obligation bonds or other indebtedness approved by the voters prior to July 1, 1978 or the amount levied pursuant to Part 10 (commencing with Section 15000) of Division 1 and Sections 39308, 39311, 81338, and 81341 of the Education Code. In determining the tax rate required for the purposes specified in this subdivision, the amount of the levy shall be increased to compensate for any allocation and payment of tax revenues required pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 33670 and subdivision (d) of Section 33675 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) A county shall levy an ad valorem property tax on taxable assessed value at a rate equal to four dollars ($4) per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed value, and at an equivalent rate when the ratio prescribed in Section 401 is changed from 25 percent to 100 percent. The revenue from that tax shall be distributed, subject to the allocation and payment as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 33675 of the Health and Safety Code, to local agencies, school districts, county superintendents of schools, and community college districts in accordance with the provisions of the Government Code through the 1978–79 fiscal year and in accordance with applicable provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code in each fiscal year thereafter. Revenues from property tax delinquency penalties, and accrued legal interest paid on judgments for the recovery of unpaid property taxes rendered by courts of this state, shall be distributed pursuant to Sections 4653.6, 4655.4, and 4658.4 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or their successors.
(c) Any jurisdiction may levy an ad valorem property tax rate in the excess of the rate permitted in subdivision (b) in order to produce revenues in an amount which is equal to the amount needed to make annual payments for the interest and principal on any bonded indebtedness for the acquisition or improvement of real property which is approved by a two-thirds vote of its voters after June 4, 1986.
History.—Stats. 1981, Ch. 261, in effect January 1, 1982, added the balance of the first sentence of subdivision (b) after "of assessed value". Stats. 1986, Ch. 1457, effective January 1, 1987, added "and (c)" after "(b)," in the first sentence of subdivision (a), substituted "that" for "such" after "from" in the second sentence of subdivision (b), and added subdivision (c). Stats. 1989, Ch. 1230, in effect January 1, 1990, added "through the 1978–79 . . . year thereafter" after "Government Code" in the second sentence of, and added the third sentence to subdivision (b).
Note.—Section 2 of Stats. 1989, Ch. 1230 stated that the Legislature finds and declares that property tax delinquency penalties, and accrued legal interest paid on judgments for the recovery of unpaid property taxes rendered by courts of this state, are separate and distinct from property tax revenues, and that it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to nullify the holding of the court in City of Los Angeles v. County of Los Angeles, (1983) 139 Cal.App.3d 999. Sec. 3 thereof provided that notwithstanding the amendments to this section made by this act, the allocation of funds pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section in fiscal years 1978–79 to 1988–89, inclusive, and in fiscal year 1989–90 to December 31, 1989, inclusive, shall be deemed correct, and no reductions or increases in those allocations shall be required by reason of this act. Sec. 4 thereof provided no reimbursement is required pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the Legislature finds and declares that the revenues provided to counties by this act exceed any additional costs which might be incurred by counties as a result of this act. Notwithstanding Section 17580 of the Government Code, unless otherwise specified in this act, the provisions of this act shall become operative on the same date that the act takes effect pursuant to the California Constitution.
Construction.—Government Code Section 26912 and former Revenue and Taxation Code Section 2237, now Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 93 and 95 et seq., which were enacted to implement Article XIII A of the Constitution and under which counties could levy the 1 percent property tax allowed under Article XIII A and distribute the revenues to local agencies but only to those agencies that levied a property tax during the 1977–78 fiscal year, were constitutional. City of Rancho Cucamonga v. Mackzum, 228 Cal.App.3d 929.
For purposes of determining the amount of property tax that was to be reallocated from a county to a newly incorporated city (Government Code Section 56842), the county properly excluded from its calculation of the total property tax revenue the interest generated by property taxes after they had been collected. The disposition of property tax revenue can have no effect upon the amount collected, even though penalties and interest for delinquent taxes are classified as property tax. Moreover, the fact that a 1989 amendment to subdivision (b) does not mention interest earned on property taxes in general is not evidence of a legislative intent that such interest earned on property taxes generally be classified as property tax. The amendment was intended to nullify case law concerning the classification of interest collected on delinquent taxes, not to address interest on idle funds derived from property taxes. City of Highland v. San Bernardino County, 4 Cal.App.4th 1174.
This section and Section 4653.6 do not require penalties on Mello-Roos special taxes to go to the county general fund, since special taxes are not ad valorem property taxes. Thus, delinquency penalties collected by a county in conjunction with special taxes for a city and a community facilities district must be distributed to the city and the district. City of Camarillo v. Ventura County, 26 Cal.App.4th 1351.
* Chapter 5.5 was added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1256, in effect January 1, 1981.