Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
 

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 1. General Provisions

CHAPTER 2. Administrative Provisions


Chapter 2. Administrative Provisions

155. Extension of time for official acts by Board. The time fixed in this division for the performance of any act by the assessor or county board may be extended by the board or its executive director for not more than 30 days, or, in case of public calamity, 40 days. If an extension of time is granted, the executive director of the board shall give written notice thereof to the county auditor, county tax collector, and the officer or county board to whom the extension is granted. The executive director shall inform the board at its next regular meeting of any action with respect to extensions taken by him or her. There shall be the same extension of time for any act of the board dependent on the act for which time was extended.

History.—Stats. 1957, p. 2069, in effect September 11, 1957, added "tax collector" to the list of county officials to whom the board may grant an extension. Stats. 1958 (First Extra Session), p. 255, in effect July 23, 1958, substituted "30" for "20" days. Stats. 1965, p. 1476, in effect September 17, 1965, deleted "By an order entered on its minutes and certified to the county auditor," and added "or its secretary" in the first sentence, added the second and third sentences, and revised the fourth sentence. Stats. 1980, Ch. 411, in effect July 11, 1980, operative January 1, 1981, deleted ", auditor, tax collector," after "assessor" in the first sentence, and added ", county tax collector," after "auditor," deleted "to" before "the officer," and added "county" before "board" in the second sentence. Stats. 2003, Ch. 471 (SB 1062), in effect January 1, 2004, substituted "executive director" for "secretary" throughout the text and added "or her" after "taken by him" in the third sentence.

155.1. Assessment of damaged or destroyed property in disaster areas. [Repealed by Stats. 1979, Ch. 242, in effect July 10, 1979.]

155.2. Preparation of 1979–80 assessment roll. [Repealed by Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, in effect January 1, 1985.]

155.3. Suspension of mandatory duties. [Repealed by Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, in effect January 1, 1985.]

155.3. Extension of time for official acts by Controller. The time fixed for the performance of any act by the auditor or tax collector may be extended by the Controller for not more than 30 days, or, in the case of public calamity, 40 days. If an extension of time is granted, the Controller shall give written notice thereof to the county auditor, tax collector, assessor, and board of supervisors. There shall be the same extension of time for any act of the Controller dependent on the act for which time was extended.

History.—Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 411, in effect July 11, 1980, operative January 1, 1981.

155.13. Reassessment of property damaged by misfortune or calamity. [Repealed by Stats. 1979, Ch. 242, in effect July 10, 1979.]

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155.14. Reassessment of possessory interest in property damaged by misfortune or calamity. [Repealed by Stats. 1979, Ch. 242, in effect July 10, 1979.]

155.20. Exemption of property having low value. (a) Subject to the limitations listed in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e), a county board of supervisors may exempt from property tax all real property with a base year value (as determined pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 50) of Part 0.5) as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, and personal property with a full value so low that, if not exempt, the total taxes, special assessments, and applicable subventions on the property would amount to less than the cost of assessing and collecting them.

(b) (1) The board of supervisors shall have no authority to exempt property with a total base year value, as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, or full value of more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), except that this limitation is increased to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in the case of a possessory interest, for a temporary and transitory use, in a publicly owned fairground, fairground facility, convention facility, or cultural facility. For purposes of this paragraph, "publicly owned convention or cultural facility" means a publicly owned convention center, civic auditorium, theater, assembly hall, museum, or other civic building that is used primarily for staging any of the following:

(A) Conventions, trade and consumer shows, or civic and community events.

(B) Live theater, dance, or musical productions.

(C) Artistic, historic, technological, or educational exhibits.

(2) In determining the level of the exemption, the board of supervisors shall determine at what level of exemption the costs of assessing the property and collecting taxes, assessments, and subventions on the property exceeds the proceeds to be collected. The board of supervisors shall establish the exemption level uniformly for different classes of property. In making this determination, the board of supervisors may consider the total taxes, special assessments, and applicable subventions for the year of assessment only or for the year of assessment and succeeding years where cumulative revenues will not exceed the cost of assessments and collections.

(c) This section does not apply to those real or personal properties enumerated in Section 52.

(d) The exemption authorized by this section shall be adopted by the board of supervisors on or before the lien date for the fiscal year to which the exemption is to apply and may, at the option of the board of supervisors, continue in effect for succeeding fiscal years. Any revision or rescission of the exemption shall be adopted by the board of supervisors on or before the lien date for the fiscal year to which that revision or rescission is to apply.

(e) Nothing in this section shall authorize either of the following:

(1) A county board of supervisors to exempt new construction, unless the new total base year value, as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1, of the property, including this new construction, is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or less.

(2) An assessor to exempt or not to enroll any property of any value, unless specifically authorized by a county board of supervisors, pursuant to this section.

History.—Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 106, p. 179, in effect January 1, 1976. Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, in effect January 1, 1981, added "base year value (as determined pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 50) of Part 0.5 of Division 1) and personal property with a" before "full value" in the first paragraph, added "base year value or" before "full value" and substituted "more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500)" for "four hundred dollars ($400) or more" in the second paragraph, added the balance of the third paragraph after "classes of property", and added the fourth paragraph. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1224, in effect January 1, 1984, deleted "On or before February 14 of each year" before "A county", deleted "for the next succeeding fiscal year" before "all", and deleted "of Division 1)" after "Part 0.5" in the first paragraph, and added the fifth paragraph. Stats. 1984, Ch. 1040, in effect January 1, 1985, substituted "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" for "one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500)" in the second paragraph; and added the sixth and seventh paragraphs. Stats. 1991, Ch. 441, in effect January 1, 1992, added "except mobilehome . . . of Division 2" after "($2,000)" in the second paragraph. Stats. 1995, Ch. 497, in effect January 1, 1996, added "total" after "property with a", substituted "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" for "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" after "of more than", and deleted the exception for mobilehome accessories with a value of $5,000 or less installed or added to mobilehomes purchased prior to July 1, 1980 in the second paragraph; substituted "the" for "such" after "subventions on" in the first sentence of the third paragraph; deleted "of two thousand dollars ($2,000) or less" after "new construction", added "total" after "unless the new", and substituted "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" for "two thousand dollars ($2,000)" after "construction, is" in the sixth paragraph. Stats. 1996, Ch. 570, in effect January 1, 1997, added the subdivision letter designations (a) and (b); numbered the former first, second, and third paragraphs as paragraphs (1),(2), and (3); respectively, added the balance of the first sentence after "($5,000)" , added the second sentence, and added subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (2), of subdivision (a); substituted "for different classes" for "for classes" after "uniformly" in the third paragraph of subdivision (a); numbered the former fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh paragraphs as paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4), respectively, of subdivision (b); and substituted "board of supervisors" for "board" throughout the text. Stats. 1997, Ch. 106 (SB 33), in effect January 1, 1998, deleted paragraph designation (1) and added "(Subject to . . . and (e))," in the first sentence of subdivision (a), renumbered former paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) as paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), added "fairground, fairground facility," after "publicly owned" and added "facility" after "convention" in the first sentence of former paragraph (2) of former subdivision (a); renumbered former paragraph (3) of former subdivision (a) as paragraph (2) of subdivision (b); relettered former paragraphs (1) and (2) of former subdivision (b) as subdivision (c) and (d), respectively; added subdivision (e) and renumbered former paragraphs (3) and (4) of former subdivision (b) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively, of newly created subdivision (e), deleted "Nothing in this section shall authorize" before "a county board" in former paragraph (3) and deleted "Nothing in this section shall authorize" before "an assessor" in former paragraph (4) of former subdivision (b). Stats. 2004, Ch. 183 (AB 3082), in effect January 1, 2005, substituted "subdivisions" for "subsections" after "listed in" in the first sentence of subdivision (a). Stats. 2009, Ch. 204 (SB 822), in effect January 1, 2010, substituted "ten thousand dollars ($10,000)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" after "more than" in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b); and substituted "ten thousand dollars ($10,000)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" after "construction, is" in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e). Stats. 2010, Ch. 185 (SB 1493), in effect January 1, 2011, added "as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1" after "of Part 0.5)" in the first sentence of subdivision (a) and added ", as adjusted by an annual inflation factor pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 110.1," after "base year value" twice in the first sentence of paragraph (1) in subdivision (b) and in the first sentence of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).

Note.—Section 5 of Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, provided that the Legislature finds and declares that the limitations on the rate of property taxation imposed by Article XIII A of the California Constitution has caused the costs of assessment and collection to exceed the revenues received from property taxes imposed on property with a value of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) or less.

Note.—Section 6 of Stats. 1980, Ch. 1098, provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no local agency or school district shall receive reimbursement for any property tax revenues loss pursuant to this act, because the provisions of this act are optional and the exemption provided for in Section 1 of this act is by definition at a level which offsets costs of an equal amount which would otherwise occur.

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1991, Ch. 441, provided that notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the requirements of that section relating to any exemption of property for more than five years or for more than 75 percent of the value thereof, shall not apply to any exemption made by this act. In addition, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act.

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155.21. Exemption of real property on 1978–79 unsecured roll. [Repealed by Stats. 1984, Ch. 678, in effect January 1, 1985.]

156. Abbreviations. In the assessment, advertisement, and sale of real property for taxes, initial letters, abbreviations, and figures may be used to designate the township, range, section, or part of a section. Any other abbreviations approved by the board may be used if an explanation of them appears on each page of the roll or a reference appears on each page to a list of abbreviations within each volume of the roll, or if the procedure in Section 109.6 is adopted the list of abbreviations used shall be available to the public in the office of the tax collector. Such list of abbreviations shall be furnished to the tax collector by the assessor.

History.—Stats. 1943, p. 1333, in effect August 4, 1943, added clause "or a reference . . . each volume of the roll" in the second sentence. Stats. 1967, p. 1959, added following clause in the second sentence, and added the third sentence.

Construction.—The use of the abbreviation "$" to head certain columns on the assessment roll is proper. Bell v. Brigance, 74 Cal.App. 322.

157. Reports of tax collector. [Repealed by Stats. 1988, Ch. 830, in effect January 1, 1989.]

158. Powers of Controller. The Controller has general supervision over the general procedure for tax sales, tax deeds, and redemptions and, to this end, may make any rules and regulations he deems advisable. All county officials are bound by these rules and regulations of the Controller.

160. Serving process on County. In any action against the county to quiet title allowed under this division, service of process shall be made on the tax collector of the county where the real property is situated.

History.—Stats. 1974, Ch. 1101, p. 2339, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "tax collector" for "redemption officer". Stats. 1986, Ch. 1420, effective January 1, 1987, substituted "County" for "State" after "against the", and deleted "and on the Controller" after "situated".

Note.—See Civil Code Section 2931a, relating to service of process in certain actions pertaining to real property upon which exists a lien to secure the payment of taxes other than taxes on the real property.

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162. Document fees. The assessor, tax collector, and auditor shall, except where specifically prohibited by law, charge and collect a fee of one dollar ($1) for preparing each of the following documents:

(a) A certified copy of a redemption certificate.

(b) A certified copy of an installment redemption receipt.

(c) A certified copy of an assessment as entered on the assessment roll.

The fee for providing a copy of a record or document by photographic process shall be the actual cost thereof plus the sum of one dollar ($1). The fee shall be placed in the county general fund.

History.—Added by Stats. 1947, p. 1612, in effect September 19, 1947. Stats. 1953, p. 2101, in effect September 9, 1953, added last sentence. Stats. 1974, Ch. 1101, p. 2339, in effect January 1, 1975, substituted "and auditor" for "auditor, and redemption officer" in the first sentence of the first paragraph. Stats. 2011, Ch. 207 (AB 820), in effect January 1, 2012, deleted former subdivision (c) which related to a certificate of payment showing taxes paid and relettered former subdivision (d) as (c).

162.1. Certificate of payment fees. (a) The assessor, tax collector, or auditor shall charge and collect a fee to cover the actual and reasonable costs incurred by the assessor, tax collector, or auditor to prepare a certificate of payment showing taxes paid.

(b) The amount of the fee shall be established by the board of supervisors of the county and shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 12.5 (commencing with Section 54985) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

History.—Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 207 (AB 820), in effect January 1, 2012.

162.5. Taxing agencies other than counties. Any taxing agency, including a taxing agency having its own system for the levying and collection of taxes or assessments, but excluding a county, may by ordinance or resolution of its governing body provide that the county recorder shall file, record, index, and make notations upon, written instruments pertaining to the assessment, sale, and deeding (whether to such agency or a purchaser therefrom) of property taxed or assessed by such agency in the same manner and with the same effect as provided in this division with respect to comparable instruments pertaining to property subject to county taxes, and the county recorder shall comply with such ordinance or resolution upon payment of the same fees as if the taxing agency were the county. The recorded duplicate of any deed to a taxing agency other than the State or county shall be forwarded by the county recorder to the officer designated in the ordinance or resolution.

History.—Added by Stats. 1947, p. 3102, in effect September 19, 1947. Stats 1957, p. 766, in effect September 11, 1957, added "but excluding a county" and renumbered this section which was formerly numbered Section 162.

163. Notification to assessor; assessment lien revenue. Any entity that receives revenue that is derived from payments with respect to an assessment lien created pursuant to the Improvement Bond Act of 1911 (Division 7 (commencing with Section 5000) of the Streets and Highways Code), the Municipal Improvement Act of 1913 (Division 12 (commencing with Section 10000) of the Streets and Highways Code), or the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 (Division 10 (commencing with Section 8500) of the Streets and Highways Code) shall annually notify the assessor of all of the following:

(a) The lien amount on each subject parcel at the time the lien was created.

(b) In the case in which a lien has been completely satisfied, the date and amount of the payment in satisfaction of the lien, and the identity of the party that made that payment.

(c) The amount of the principal balance of the lien on each subject parcel.

History.—Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 527, in effect January 1, 1996.

163.5. Scope of provisions and definitions. The provisions of this division relating to actions and proceedings for quieting title to property, and holding any tax deed to be void, shall apply to property assessed, sold, or deeded for the taxes or assessments of any taxing agency, including a taxing agency having its own system for the levying and collection of taxes or assessments, but excluding a county, the same, or as nearly the same as possible, as such provisions apply to property assessed, sold, or deeded for county taxes. For this purpose when used in such provisions:

(a) "State" or "county" means the taxing agency.

(b) "Controller" means the governing body of the taxing agency.

(c) "District attorney" means the attorney or legal counsel of the taxing agency.

Any reference in such provisions to all or any portion of this division shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to refer to comparable provisions of the law, charter, or ordinance pursuant to which the taxing agency involved levies and collects taxes or assessments on property.

History.—Added by Stats. 1947, p. 2729, in effect September 19, 1947. Stats. 1957, p. 767, in effect September 11, 1957, added "but excluding a county" and renumbered this section which was formerly numbered 163.

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164. Verification of property taxes. The chief accounting officer of each taxing agency other than the State, may examine and audit the accounts of any other taxing agency, other than the State, charged under any provision of this code with the apportionment of the proceeds of collections made on behalf of both agencies. In the event more than one taxing agency has an interest in such collections the governing bodies of the interested taxing agencies may enter into an agreement to accept the report on the audit of the chief accounting officer of one of such interested taxing agencies.

As used in this section, "chief accounting officer" means as to a county the auditor thereof, as to a city the auditor thereof, as to an irrigation district the secretary of the board of directors thereof, and as to any other taxing agency the officer designated as its chief accounting officer by the governing body thereof.

History.—Added by Stats. 1947, p. 1759, in effect September 19, 1947. Stats. 1957, p. 2922, in effect September 11, 1957, substituted "may" for "shall" in first sentence and renumbered this section which was formerly numbered Section 163.

166. Date of filing by United States mail. (a) Whenever a taxpayer is required to file any statement, affidavit, application, or any other paper or document with a taxing agency by a specified time on a specified date, such filing shall be deemed to be within the specified period if it is sent by United States mail, properly addressed with postage prepaid, and bears a post office cancellation mark of the specified date, or earlier within the specified period, stamped on the envelope, or on itself, or if proof satisfactory to the agency establishes that the mailing occurred on the specified date, or earlier within the specified period.

(b) The provisions of this section shall supersede any contrary special provision of this division unless such special provision specifically provides that this section shall not be applicable.

(c) The provisions of this section are applicable to any filing required to be made by ordinance, rule, or regulation of a taxing agency.

(d) Any statement or affidavit made by a taxpayer asserting such a timely filing must be made within one year of the deadline applicable to the original filing; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to any statement or affidavit asserting the timely filing of a property statement or to any statement made by the taxpayer in connection with an escape assessment imposed pursuant to Section 531.

(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section be liberally construed in favor of the taxpayer and be applicable to all filings relating to property taxation which are required to be made by a taxpayer by a specified time on a specified date.

History.—Added by Stats. 1968, p. 1423, in effect November 13, 1968. Stats. 1970, p. 1427, in effect November 23, 1970, deleted "payment" from the first sentence of subdivision (a); added subdivision (d) and redesignated the previous subdivision (d) as subdivision (e).

Note.—Resolution Chapter 338, Statutes of 1969, in effect August 18, 1969, provides "That the Legislature finds and declares its intent that Section 166 of the Revenue and Taxation Code be applied with respect to applications for the homeowners' property tax exemption and that satisfactory proof to an assessor that an application was mailed on a specified date, as provided for in Section 166, includes a notarized statement by an applicant for the exemption that his application was filed on such date."

167. Presumption affecting burden of proof. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and except as provided in subdivision (b), there shall be a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof in favor of the taxpayer or assessee who has supplied all information as required by law to the assessor in any administrative hearing involving the imposition of a tax on an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, the assessment of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling pursuant to this division, or the appeal of an escape assessment.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the rebuttable presumption described in that subdivision shall not apply in the case of an administrative hearing with respect to the appeal of an escape assessment resulting from a taxpayer's failure either to file with the assessor a change in ownership statement or a business property statement, or to obtain a permit for new construction.

(c) For the purposes of this section, an owner-occupied single-family dwelling means a single-family dwelling that satisfies both of the following:

(1) The dwelling is the owner's principal place of residence.

(2) The dwelling qualifies for a homeowners' property tax exemption.

History.—Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 69, p. 103, in effect January 1, 1977. Sec. 2 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1281, in effect September 30, 1983, deleted "except as provided in Section 1610" after "contrary,". Stats, 1995, Ch. 498, in effect January 1, 1996, added subdivision letter designation (a) before first paragraph, and added "and except . . . (b)," after "contrary," substituted "," for "or" after first "dwelling", and added ", or the appeal . . . assessment" after second "dwelling" therein; and added subdivision (b). Stats. 2011, Ch. 220 (AB 711), in effect January 1, 2012, added "pursuant to this division" after "single-family dwelling" and deleted "pursuant to this division" after "escape assessment" in the first sentence of subdivision (a); added "either" after "taxpayer's failure", substituted "or a" for a comma after "ownership statement", and added "to obtain a" after "statement, or" in the first sentence of subdivision (b), and added subdivision (c).

Note.—Section 3 of Stats. 1976, Ch. 69, p. 104, provided that if the section is not constitutional as limited to single-family homes, it shall have no force or effect.

Construction.—In an administrative hearing involving valuation of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, the burden is on the assessor to overcome the presumption. If the trial court concludes that the assessor's valuation is invalid, the proper remedy is for the assessment appeals board to hold a new hearing. This section does not require the board to assess the property based on the taxpayer's initial estimate of value. Mitchell v. Los Angeles County, 60 Cal.App.4th 497.

Assessment appeals board improperly placed the burden of proof concerning the supplemental assessment of a single family, owner-occupied home on the homeowner contrary to Section 167, subdivision (a). The Board's failure to correctly apply the statutory presumption affecting the burden of proof in favor of the homeowner, required reversal of the Board's judgment and a remand to the Board for a new hearing. Farr v. County of Nevada (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 669.

Construction.—In an appeal of an escape assessment of an aircraft, Section 167, in effect, shifts the burden of proof to the assessor to demonstrate affirmatively that the taxpayer's aircraft was not operated by a common carrier as of the valuation date. In doing so, the statute creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of the taxpayer that the taxpayer's valuation of its aircraft is correct. Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board No. 2; CKE Assoc., 167 Cal.App.4th 1428.

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168. Facsimile signature of tax collector permitted. Any document required in this division to be executed by the tax collector may be executed with a facsimile signature in lieu of a manual signature if the manual signature is filed with the Secretary of State and is certified under oath by the tax collector.

Upon compliance with this section, the facsimile signature shall have the same legal effect as the manual signature of the tax collector.

History.—Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 431, in effect January 1, 1983.

168.5. Document acknowledgement; notary public or county official. Any document required in this division to be acknowledged by the county clerk at no charge may be acknowledged by a notary public or other county official pursuant to Section 1181 of the Civil Code, at no charge.

History.—Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 941 (SB 1231), in effect January 1, 2000.

169. Statewide assessment uniformity. The board shall encourage uniform statewide appraisal and assessment practices.

History.—Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 387, in effect January 1, 1994.

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