BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 948|
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                                    CONSENT


          Bill No:  SB 948
          Author:   Senate Governance and Finance Committee
          Amended:  4/27/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE GOVERNANCE & FINANCE COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 5/4/11
          AYES:  Wolk, Huff, DeSaulnier, Fuller, Hancock, Hernandez, 
            Kehoe, La Malfa, Liu

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8


           SUBJECT  :    Property taxation

           SOURCE  :     California Association of County Treasurer-Tax 
          Collectors


           DIGEST  :    This bill consolidates twelve items that make 
          minor, technical changes to property tax law.

           ANALYSIS  :    Currently, treasurer-tax collectors (TTCs) 
          must provide notice to the right to claim proceeds to the 
          last known parties of interest in a tax sale that exceeds 
          $150.  If the treasurer-tax collector cannot obtain the 
          address, he/she must publish notice in a newspaper of 
          general circulation in the county.  

          This bill allows treasurer-tax collectors not to publish 
          the notice in a newspaper of general circulation if the 
          costs of publication exceed the amount of the tax sale's 
          proceeds.
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          Third party agents occasionally seek to recover excess 
          proceeds on behalf of individuals, and submit blanket 
          claims to treasurer-tax collectors with only the name of an 
          individual, but not the source of the proceeds that he/she 
          may be entitled to receive.  The agents file the claims 
          hoping to find proceeds that can then be marketed to the 
          individual contingent on a finder's fee, often exceeding 50 
          percent.  Treasurer-tax collectors are concerned that they 
          are able to locate these taxpayers without the agents, and 
          will benefit taxpayers by sending proceeds without the 
          finder's fee.  

          This bill requires agents to submit proof of the source of 
          excess proceeds to which the individual is entitled, so 
          that agents that know specific sources of proceeds can 
          claim proceeds unhindered, but those who don't cannot 
          submit blanket claims.

          Currently, the treasurer-tax collector must publish 
          specified notices in newspapers or three public places in 
          each township.  

          This bill allows a board of supervisors to enact a 
          resolution authorizing the treasurer-tax collector to post 
          these notices on the TTC's regularly maintained Web site.  
          The treasurer-tax collector must continue to publish a 
          shortened notice in a newspaper stating that the full 
          notice is available on the TTC's Web site.  

          Taxpayers file property tax protests with the county 
          clerks, and make payments to treasurer-tax collectors; 
          however, Revenue and Taxation Code Section 620 states that 
          taxpayers must submit payments and protest claims with the 
          TTC.  

          This bill clarifies that taxpayers file protests with the 
          county clerk, and pay taxes to the treasurer-tax collector.

          Revenue and Taxation Code Section 5150.5 requires counties 
          to pay interest to taxpayers when a court allows the 
          taxpayer to recover a penalty previously assessed under 
          paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 
          830.  However, the referenced penalties are in subdivision 

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          (c) of Section 830.  

          This bill corrects the cross-reference.

          State law prohibits assessors from disclosing information 
          and records, unless specifically exempted.  

          This bill allows assessors to disclose information that 
          assists treasurer-tax collectors with tax sales, such as 
          notifying potential parties of interest.  The treasurer 
          tax-collector must submit a written request certifying that 
          he/she needs the information to help administer the tax 
          sale law, which cannot include social security numbers.  
          The assessor may charge the treasurer-tax collector for 
          his/her costs, which the treasurer-tax collector must add 
          to the delinquent tax amount.

          The Government Code allows any county department, officer, 
          or employee that collects taxes, penalties, or other costs 
          to file an application for a "discharge of accountability" 
          whenever the costs of collection exceed the revenue 
          collected.  Section 25257, 25258, 25259, and 25259.5 
          describe the process for county officials to file the 
          application, and were recently updated by the Legislature 
          (SB 857 ›Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee], 
          Chapter 720, Statutes of  2010).  However, corresponding 
          Revenue and Taxation Code Section 2611.1 still contains 
          language allowing for discharges of accountability which 
          conflicts with the updated Government Code sections.  

          This bill amends the Revenue and Taxation Code section 
          regarding discharges of accountability to require 
          discharges under that section to comply with the updated 
          Government Code sections.  

          When a taxpayer overpays tax by more than $10, the 
          treasurer-tax collector must notify the taxpayer of the 
          overpayment.  

          This bill clarifies that the treasurer-tax collector 
          determines whether an overpayment exists takes place at the 
          time the date and time the payment is received.  The bill 
          also states that the tax collector may process a refund 
          without requesting that the taxpayer file a refund claim.

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          Occasionally, taxpayers or their agents make payments on 
          the wrong property.  If the taxpayer or his or her agent 
          can convince the treasurer-tax collector by substantial 
          evidence that the payment was intended for another 
          property, the treasurer-tax collector cancels the credit on 
          the unintended property and applies it to the correct 
          property within a specified time period.  Treasurer-tax 
          collectors cancel the payment and refund the amount when 
          the taxpayer does not intend the payment to apply to 
          another piece of property.  

          This bill requires the treasurer-tax collector to transfer 
          the payment to the intended property or refund the payment 
          to the taxpayer within 60 days of verifying the mistake, or 
          the date that the payment is not subject to chargeback, 
          dishonor, or reversal.  The bill additionally specifies 
          that interest shall only be paid if the treasurer-tax 
          collector does not transfer or refund the payment after 
          that date.  

          Revenue and Taxation Code Section 5096 provides for that 
          taxed paid before or after delinquency shall be refunded if 
          the payments exceed the equalized value of the property 
          determined by the county board of equalization.  

          This bill changes the reference for the section from the 
          county board of equalization to a recently updated section 
          that requires the county clerk to record changes each month 
          made by the assessment appeals board.  This bill also 
          provides that the treasurer-tax collector shall refund 
          payments, as long as the overpayment exceeds $10. 

          If a treasurer-tax collector makes an error in a 
          publication, he/she may correct the error in a 
          supplementary publication lasting at least ten days in the 
          same manner as the original publication.  

          This bill recasts this section to specify that the 
          treasurer-tax collector has 60 days after the original 
          publication to republish.  This bill specifies that the 
          republication shall not affect the right of a taxpayer, 
          assesse, or other private party in a material way.


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          Currently, whenever a treasurer-tax collector proposes 
          property for a tax sale, the TTC may remove the parcel upon 
          the recommendation from the county counsel that the removal 
          is in the best interest of the county.  The treasurer-tax 
          collector must notify the controller whenever he/she 
          removes a parcel.  

          This bill removes the requirement to notify the Controller.

           Comments
           
          Each year, the former Revenue and Taxation Committee 
          authored a bill to enact several changes to Property Tax 
          Law sponsored by the California Association of County 
          Treasurer-Tax Collectors, who collect property tax 
          payments, execute tax sales, and manage local agencies' 
          money.  Many of these bills are technical in nature, and 
          enacting them in separate measures isn't warranted.  
          Although this bill may not be germane under a strict 
          interpretation of the single-subject and germaneness rules 
          presented in Californians for an  Open Primary v. McPherson  
          (2006), it implements important and necessary changes to 
          property tax laws without taxing legislative resources.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/17/11)

          California Association of County Treasurer-Tax Collectors 
          (source)



          AGB:do  5/17/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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