BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 948
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  June 15, 2011

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
                                Cameron Smyth, Chair
            SB 948 (Governance and Finance Committee) - As Amended:  June 
                                       7, 2011

           SENATE VOTE  :  39-0
           
          SUBJECT  :  Property taxation.

           SUMMARY  :  Makes changes to property tax collection laws.  
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Allows treasurer-tax collectors, when they provide notice of 
            the right to claim proceeds to the last known parties of 
            interest in a tax sale but cannot obtain the address of the 
            last known party, to skip the requirement to publish the 
            notice in a newspaper of general circulation if the costs of 
            publication exceed the amount of the tax sale's proceeds.

          2)Clarifies that taxpayers file protests with the county clerk, 
            and pay taxes to the treasurer-tax collector.

          3)Allows assessors to disclose information that assists 
            treasurer-tax collectors with tax sales, such as notifying 
            potential parties of interest.  

          4)Amends the Revenue and Taxation Code section regarding 
            discharges of accountability to require discharges under that 
            section to comply with updated Government Code sections.  

          5)Clarifies, for situations of overpayment, that the 
            treasurer-tax collector determines whether an overpayment 
            exists at the date and time the payment is received, and 
            allows the tax collector to process a refund without 
            requesting that the taxpayer file a refund claim.

          6)Requires the treasurer-tax collector, when taxpayers or their 
            agents make payments on the wrong property, 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, and specifies that interest shall only be paid if 
            the treasurer-tax collector does not transfer or refund the 








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            payment after that date.  

          7)Revises the section of law dealing with the correction of 
            errors in publications published by a treasurer-tax collector 
            to specify that the treasurer-tax collector has 60 days after 
            the original publication to republish, and  specifies that the 
            re-publication shall not affect the right of a taxpayer, 
            assesse, or other private party in a material way.

          8)Removes the requirement to notify the Controller, in the 
            situation when a treasurer-tax collector proposes property for 
            a tax sale and that parcel is removed upon the recommendation 
            from the county counsel that removal is in the best interest 
            of the county.

          9)Requires third party agents to submit proof of the source of 
            excess proceeds to which an individual is entitled, so that 
            agents that know specific sources of proceeds can claim 
            proceeds unhindered, but those who do not cannot submit 
            blanket claims.

          10)Makes other technical corrections to property tax collection 
            laws to update incorrect cross references and correct outdated 
            code sections.

          11)Provides that no reimbursement is required by the provisions 
            of the bill because the only costs that may be incurred by a 
            local agency or school district are the result of a program 
            for which legislative authority was requested by that local 
            agency or school district.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires treasurer-tax collectors to provide notice to the 
            right to claim proceeds to the last known parties of interest 
            in a tax sale that exceeds $150, and specifies that if the 
            treasurer-tax collector cannot obtain the address, he/she must 
            publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the 
            county.  

          2)Requires taxpayers to submit payments and protest claims with 
            the treasurer-tax collector.

          3)Requires counties to pay interest to taxpayers when a court 
            allows the taxpayer to recover a penalty previously assessed 








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            under paragraphs specified sections of the Revenue and 
            Taxation Code.  

          4)Prohibits assessors from disclosing information and records, 
            as specified.  

          5)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.  

          6)Requires, when a taxpayer overpays tax by more than $10, the 
            treasurer-tax collector to notify the taxpayer of the 
            overpayment.  

          7)Allows, if a taxpayer makes a payment on the wrong property, 
            the treasurer-tax collector to cancel the credit on the 
            unintended property and apply it to the correct property 
            within a specified time period.

          8)Provides, for taxes paid before or after delinquency, that 
            taxes shall be refunded if the payments exceed the equalized 
            value of the property determined by the county board of 
            equalization. 

          9)Allows, if a treasurer-tax collector makes an error in a 
            publication, the treasurer-tax collector to correct the error 
            in a supplementary publication lasting at least ten days in 
            the same manner as the original publication. 

          10)Allows the treasurer-tax collector, whenever a treasurer-tax 
            collector proposes property for a tax sale, to remove the 
            parcel upon recommendation from the county counsel that the 
            removal is in the best interest of the county, and requires 
            the treasurer-tax collector to notify the Controller of the 
            removal of the parcel for sale.

          11)Allows third party agents to recover excess tax proceeds on 
            behalf of individuals, as specified.

           FISCAL EFFECT :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

          1)In prior years the former Senate Revenue & Taxation Committee 








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            has authored a measure annually to enact several changes to 
            property tax collection laws that is sponsored and approved 
            unanimously by the California Association of County Treasurers 
            and Tax Collectors (CACTTC).  This bill, SB 948, is authored 
            by the newly created Senate Governance and Finance Committee, 
            and is intended to improve the administration of property tax 
            collection laws to help both taxpayers and counties.  
            Consolidating the measures into a single bill negates the need 
            for individual bills to enact each change.  As such, all items 
            in the bill have been vetted through interested parties and 
            have universal agreement to be included in the bill.

          2)This bill is double-referred to the Assembly Revenue and 
            Taxation Committee.

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Debbie Michel / L. GOV. / (916) 
          319-3958