BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


            Senator Lois Wolk, Chair

                                                      AB 2314 - Block

                                          Introduced: February 19, 2010


            Hearing: June 9, 2010                           Fiscal: Yes

            SUMMARY:  Makes Two Changes to Eligibility Criteria for  
                      Taxpayers to Apply for Cancellation or Taxes and  
                      Refunds when Filing a Late Disabled Veterans'  
                      Exemption Claim.


                 EXISTING LAW (California Constitution) allows the  
            Legislature to partially or wholly exempt from property  
            taxes the value of a disabled veteran's home if the veteran  
            has lost one or more limbs, is totally blind, or is totally  
            disabled, as a result of a service-connected injury.  The  
            Constitution allows taxpayers to apply the disabled  
            veterans' exemption, currently provided by statute at the  
            inflation adjusted value of either $115,060 or $172,592  
            depending on the taxpayer's income, but not in addition to  
            the veterans or homeowners' exemption. The Constitution  
            additionally allows the exemption for unmarried surviving  
            spouses of persons who die while on active duty, or  
            subsequently die as a result of service-connected injuries.  

                 EXISTING LAW provides the specific statutory exemption  
            amounts, and requires taxpayers eligible for the exemption  
            to file a claim for the exemption once with the Assessor.   
            Taxpayers who file claims after February 15th obtain  
            partial exemptions of either 85% or 90% for the first year,  
            then the full exemption in subsequent years; however,  
            taxpayers may obtain a cancellation of taxes and a refund  


                                                         AB 2314 - Block

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            for a claim filed after that date when the U.S. Department  
            of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) has not finished processing the  
            veteran's disability rating certification.  Taxpayers  
            receive refunds when they submit an appropriate claim with  
            the disability rating letter from the USDVA the later of 30  
            days after receiving the letter or on or before the next  
            lien date (January 1st), giving taxpayers waiting for the  
            certification some leeway to obtain the full exemption.   
            Additionally, the law also requires the taxpayer to have an  
            application pending with the USDVA when filing the  

                 THIS BILL extends from 30 days to 90 days the deadline  
            for taxpayers applying for the disabled veterans' exemption  
            to submit the USDVA rating letter.  The measure also  
            repeals the requirement that the taxpayer have an  
            application pending with the USDVA to be eligible for tax  
            cancellation and subsequent refund.

            FISCAL EFFECT: 

                 According to the BOE, AB 2314 does not impact  


            A.  Purpose of the Bill

                 The author provides the following statement:

                 This bill removes unnecessary impediments to receiving  
                 the disabled veterans' property tax exemption  
                 retroactively which the Board of Equalization has  
                 identified and would assist disabled veterans in  
                 getting full retroactive property tax exemptions on  
                 their home should they become eligible for the  
                 exemption at a future date.


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                 A disabled veterans' exemption is available to persons  
                 with a  100%  disability rating from the USDVA.  (The  
                 exemption is also available to surviving spouses of  
                 persons killed in active duty.)  The exemption is up  
                 to $175,592 for those with household incomes below  
                 $51,669 and applies to the principal place of  

                 It can take a number of years to receive a disability  
                 rating from the USDVA, particularly if the veteran  
                 appeals the initial disability rating.  In 2000,  
                 legislation was enacted to allow disabled veterans to  
                 receive the full amount of the exemption retroactively  
                 once they received a qualifying disability rating with  
                 a back dated effective date - but they were only given  
                 30 days to file the claim.  Thirty days will not  
                 always be enough time since there are a variety of  
                 materials as well as various programs and benefits  
                 that disabled veterans' and their families must sort  
                 through after receiving their disability rating which  
                 can be overwhelming.  This bill would give disabled  
                 veterans' more time (up to 90 days) to file for the  
                 property tax exemption for which they become newly  

                 This bill would also eliminate references to having a  
                 pending application with the USDVA which may allow  
                 more disabled veterans to receive the exemption  
                 retroactively to the effective date of disability.  In  
                 some instances, there may not have necessarily been a  
                 pending application and in others tax administrators  
                 have requested proof of the pending application which  
                 was not easy to obtain.  This is an unnecessary  
                 condition and counter to the intent to provide any  
                 subsequently eligible disabled veteran the full amount  
                 of the exemption retroactively.

            Support and Opposition

                 Support:Board of Equalization (sponsor)


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                 Oppose:  None received.


            Consultant: Colin Grinnell