BILL NUMBER: AB 563 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Furutani FEBRUARY 16, 2011 An act to amend Section 408 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 563, as introduced, Furutani. Property taxation: assessor: disclosure: appraisal information. Existing property tax law requires the assessor to disclose certain appraisal information to specified state and local agencies, including, among others, the county recorder when conducting an investigation to determine whether a documentary transfer tax is imposed. This bill would expand the list of local agencies the assessor is required to disclose certain appraisal information to, to include city employees when conducting an investigation to determine whether a documentary transfer tax is imposed. By imposing additional duties on county officials with respect to the disclosure of certain appraisal information, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 408 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read: 408. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e), any information and records in the assessor's office that are not required by law to be kept or prepared by the assessor, disabled veterans' exemption claims, and homeowners' exemption claims, are not public documents and shall not be open to public inspection. Property receiving the homeowners' exemption shall be clearly identified on the assessment roll. The assessor shall maintain records which shall be open to public inspection to identify those claimants who have been granted the homeowners' exemption. (b) The assessor may provide any appraisal data in his or her possession to the assessor of any county. The assessor shall disclose information, furnish abstracts, or permit access to all records in his or her office to law enforcement agencies, the county grand jury, the board of supervisors or their duly authorized agents, employees, or representatives when conducting an investigation of the assessor's office pursuant to Section 25303 of the Government Code, the county recorder and employees of a city when conducting an investigation to determine whether a documentary transfer tax is imposed, the Controller, employees of the Controller for property tax postponement purposes, probate referees, employees of the Franchise Tax Board for tax administration purposes only, staff appraisers of the Department of Financial Institutions, the Department of Transportation, the Department of General Services, the State Board of Equalization, the State Lands Commission, the State Department of Social Services, the Department of Child Support Services, the Department of Water Resources, and other duly authorized legislative or administrative bodies of the state pursuant to their authorization to examine the records. Whenever the assessor discloses information, furnishes abstracts, or permits access to records in his or her office to staff appraisers of the Department of Financial Institutions, the Department of Transportation, the Department of General Services, the State Lands Commission, or the Department of Water Resources pursuant to this section, the department shall reimburse the assessor for any costs incurred as a result thereof. (c) Upon the request of the tax collector, the assessor shall disclose and provide to the tax collector information used in the preparation of that portion of the unsecured roll for which the taxes thereon are delinquent. The tax collector shall certify to the assessor that he or she needs the information requested for the enforcement of the tax lien in collecting those delinquent taxes. Information requested by the tax collector may include social security numbers, and the assessor shall recover from the tax collector his or her actual and reasonable costs for providing the information. The tax collector shall add the costs described in the preceding sentence to the assessee's delinquent tax lien and collect those costs subject to subdivision (e) of Section 2922. (d) The assessor shall, upon the request of an assessee or his or her designated representative, permit the assessee or representative to inspect or copy any market data in the assessor's possession. For purposes of this subdivision, "market data" means any information in the assessor's possession, whether or not required to be prepared or kept by him or her, relating to the sale of any property comparable to the property of the assessee, if the assessor bases his or her assessment of the assessee's property, in whole or in part, on that comparable sale or sales. The assessor shall provide the names of the seller and buyer of each property on which the comparison is based, the location of that property, the date of the sale, and the consideration paid for the property, whether paid in money or otherwise. However, for purposes of providing market data, the assessor may not display any document relating to the business affairs or property of another. (e) (1) With respect to information, documents, and records, other than market data as defined in subdivision (d), the assessor shall, upon request of an assessee of property, or his or her designated representative, permit the assessee or representative to inspect or copy all information, documents, and records, including auditors' narrations and workpapers, whether or not required to be kept or prepared by the assessor, relating to the appraisal and the assessment of the assessee's property, and any penalties and interest thereon. (2) After enrolling an assessment, the assessor shall respond to a written request for information supporting the assessment, including, but not limited to, any appraisal and other data requested by the assessee. (3) Except as provided in Section 408.1, an assessee, or his or her designated representative, may not be permitted to inspect or copy information and records that also relate to the property or business affairs of another, unless that disclosure is ordered by a competent court in a proceeding initiated by a taxpayer seeking to challenge the legality of the assessment of his or her property. (f) (1) Permission for the inspection or copying requested pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) shall be granted as soon as reasonably possible to the assessee or his or her designated representative. (2) If the assessee, or his or her designated representative, requests the assessor to make copies of any of the requested records, the assessee shall reimburse the assessor for the reasonable costs incurred in reproducing and providing the copies. (3) If the assessor fails to permit the inspection or copying of materials or information as requested pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) and the assessor introduces any requested materials or information at any assessment appeals board hearing, the assessee or his or her representative may request and shall be granted a continuance for a reasonable period of time. The continuance shall extend the two-year period specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1604 for a period of time equal to the period of continuance. SEC. 2. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.