BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 948|
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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS


          Bill No:  SB 948
          Author:   Senate Governance and Finance Committee
          Amended:  6/30/11
          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

           SENATE FLOOR  :  39-0, 5/23/11 (Consent)
          AYES:  Alquist, Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Calderon, 
            Cannella, Corbett, Correa, De León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, 
            Emmerson, Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Hancock, Hernandez, 
            Huff, Kehoe, La Malfa, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Lowenthal, 
            Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Rubio, Runner, 
            Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wolk, 
            Wright, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Harman

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0, 8/25/11 (Consent) - See last page 
            for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Property taxation

           SOURCE  :     California Association of County Treasurer-Tax 
          Collectors


           DIGEST  :    This bill consolidates items that make minor, 
                                                           CONTINUED





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          technical changes to property tax law.

           Assembly Amendments  delete the provision dealing with 
          tax-collectors to publish public notices and make other 
          clarifying changes.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing Law  :

          1.Requires the treasurer-tax collector to publish various 
            notices in a newspaper or three public places including, 
            among others, notice of impending default for failure to 
            pay taxes on real property and notice of intended sale of 
            tax-defaulted property by the tax collector.  Authorizes 
            a treasurer-tax collector, in the case of an error in a 
            publication, to correct the error in a supplementary 
            publication lasting at least ten days in the same manner 
            as the original publication. 

          2.Requires assessors to keep certain information 
            confidential.  Provides an exception to the general rule 
            of confidentiality for certain governmental agencies or 
            representatives.  Requires the county assessor to 
            disclose information, furnish abstracts, or permit access 
            to all records in his/her office to law enforcement 
            agencies, the county grand jury, and other specified 
            entities, including the county recorder in the case of an 
            investigation to determine whether a documentary transfer 
            tax (DTT) is imposed.  

          3.Establishes a procedure by which an assessee of property 
            taxes may pay taxes under protest in cases in which the 
            assessor does not, upon or prior to completion of the 
            local tax roll, send a notice to an assessee whose 
            property was not on the prior year's secured roll, or to 
            an assessee of real property on the local secured roll 
            whose property's full value has increased.  Requires a 
            protest to be filed with the tax collector, together with 
            the payment of taxes, as specified. 

          4.Allows any county department, officer, or employee who 
            collects taxes, penalties, or other costs to file an 
            application for a "discharge of accountability" whenever 
            the costs of collection exceed the revenue collected.  








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          5.Authorizes a county tax collector to sell tax-defaulted 
            property after a specified amount of time.  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 State 
            Controller of the removal of the parcel for sale.

          6.Allows a party of interest in the tax-defaulted property 
            sold at a tax sale to file a claim for the excess 
            proceeds from the sale, as specified.  Allows third party 
            agents to recover excess tax proceeds on behalf of a 
            party of interest, as specified. 

          7.Requires a county to provide notice, including publishing 
            notice in a newspaper, of the right to claim the excess 
            proceeds from the sale of a tax-defaulted property. 

          8.Allows the treasurer-tax collector, in the case where a 
            taxpayer makes a payment on the wrong property, to cancel 
            the credit on the unintended property and apply it to the 
            correct property within a specified time period.  If 
            there is no property to which the credit may be applied, 
            the tax collector is required, upon being convinced by 
            substantial evidence of a mistake, to refund the payment. 


          9.Requires treasurer-tax collectors to provide notice of 
            the right to claim proceeds to the last known address of 
            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 of the 
            tax-defaulted property.  

          10.Requires that property taxes be refunded if the payments 
            exceed the equalized value of the property, as determined 
            by the county Board of Equalization, and authorizes a 
            county tax collector or county auditor to refund taxes 
            within four years of payment if the amount paid exceeds 
            the amount due on the property as shown on the tax roll. 

          11.Requires counties to pay interest to taxpayers when a 







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            court allows the taxpayer to recover a penalty previously 
            assessed under specified sections of R&TC Section 830.

          This bill:

          1.Requires a local county assessor to provide to the tax 
            collector, upon written request from the tax collector, 
            certain confidential information for the preparation and 
            enforcement of tax sales, as specified.  Specifies that 
            this information will remain confidential, not subject to 
            public inspection, and requires the tax collector to 
            reimburse the assessor for the actual and reasonable 
            costs incurred by the assessor in providing this 
            information. 

          2.Modifies the procedure of filing property tax protests by 
            specifying that taxpayers must file a protest with the 
            county clerk, and pay taxes to the treasurer-tax 
            collector.

          3.Amends Revenue and Taxation Code Section 2611.1, relating 
            to discharges of accountability by a county department, 
            officer, or employee who collects taxes, to require 
            discharges under that section to comply with updated 
            Government Code sections that describe the process for 
            county officials to file an application for a "discharge 
            of accountability on the grounds that the amount owed is 
            too small to justify the costs of collection."

          4.Deletes the requirement to notify the State Controller in 
            the situation when a treasurer-tax collector proposes 
            property for a tax sale but then later removes it from 
            the sale upon the recommendation from the county counsel.

          5.Requires third-party agents, who are acting on behalf of 
            any party of interest with respect to filing a claim for 
            any excess proceeds from the tax sale, to submit proof 
            that the source of those proceeds have been disclosed to 
            the party of interest and that a claim to recover those 
            proceeds may be filed by the party of interest directly 
            with the county at no cost.

          6.Allows treasurer-tax collectors, when they are required 
            to provide notice of the right to claim proceeds that 







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            exceed $150 to the last known mailing address of the 
            parties of interest in a tax sale but cannot obtain the 
            address, to forego the requirement to publish the notice 
            in a newspaper of general circulation if the costs of 
            publication exceed the amount of the tax sale proceeds.

          7.Revises the provision 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 may not affect the 
            right of a taxpayer, assessee, or other private party in 
            a material way.

          8.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 when the payment is not subject 
            to chargeback, dishonor, or reversal.  Specifies that 
            interest shall only be paid if the treasurer-tax 
            collector has failed to transfer or refund the payment as 
            required.  

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

          10.Provides that no reimbursement is required by the 
            provisions of this bill for specified reasons.
           
          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 







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          property tax laws without taxing legislative resources.

           Related Legislation. 

           AB 563 (Furutani), introduced in the current legislative 
          session, authorizes designated city employees to obtain or 
          access otherwise confidential information from the county 
          assessor when the city is conducting an investigation to 
          determine whether the DTT should be imposed.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/26/11)

          California Association of County Treasurer-Tax Collectors 
          (source)


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0,8/25/11
          AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill 
            Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, 
            Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter, 
            Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, 
            Donnelly, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, 
            Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, 
            Hagman, Halderman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger 
            Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, 
            Knight, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor, 
            Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nestande, 
            Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, 
            Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, 
            Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, 
            John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Bonilla, Gorell


          AGB:do  8/26/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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