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SB-196 Property taxes: community land trust.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 10/10/2019 09:00 PM
SB196:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 196
CHAPTER 669

An act to amend Sections 75.11, 402.1, and 532 of, and to add and repeal Section 214.18 of, the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation.

[ Approved by Governor  October 09, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  October 09, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 196, Beall. Property taxes: community land trust.
The California Constitution generally limits ad valorem taxes on real property to 1% of the full cash value of that property. For purposes of this limitation, the California Constitution defines “full cash value” as the assessor’s fair market value valuation of real property as shown on the 1975–76 tax bill under “full cash value” or, thereafter, the appraised value of that real property when purchased, newly constructed, or a change in ownership has occurred. Existing property tax law generally defines this “full cash value” of property as the property’s “fair market value” and defines these terms to mean the amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and the seller have knowledge of all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable restrictions upon those uses and purposes. Existing property tax law requires the assessor to consider the effect of certain enforceable restrictions, including, among others, a contract that is a 99-year ground lease between a community land trust, as defined, and the qualified owner, as defined, of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling or an owner-occupied unit in a multifamily dwelling, that subjects a single-family dwelling or unit in a multifamily dwelling and the leased land on which the dwelling or unit is situated to affordability restrictions, as defined.
This bill would require, when valuing property subject to the enforceable restriction described above, that the sale or resale price of the dwelling or unit be rebuttably presumed to include both the dwelling or unit and the leased land on which the dwelling or unit is situated, and would authorize this presumption to be overcome if the assessor establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that all or a portion of the value of the leased land is not reflected in the sale or resale price of the dwelling or unit. The bill would require corrections of base year values and declines in value owing to the restrictions on properties assessed pursuant to these provisions to apply to all lien dates occurring after September 27, 2016. The bill would also make findings and declarations regarding the public purpose served by the bill.
Existing property tax law, in accordance with the California Constitution, provides for a “welfare exemption” for property used exclusively for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes and that is owned or operated by certain types of nonprofit entities, if certain qualifying criteria are met.
This bill would provide that property is within the welfare exemption if that property is owned by a community land trust, as defined, otherwise qualifying for the welfare exemption, and specified conditions are met, including that the property is being or will be developed or rehabilitated as housing, as specified. The bill would require this exemption to apply for 5 lien dates, as provided. The bill would prohibit this exemption from being denied on the basis that the subject property does not currently contain specified property that is in the course of construction. The bill would require the community land trust to be liable for property tax for the years for which the property was exempt under these provisions if the property was not developed or rehabilitated, or if the development or rehabilitation is not in the course of construction, by January 1, 2025, in the case of property acquired by the community land trust before January 1, 2020, or within 5 years of the lien date following the acquisition of the property in the case of property acquired by the community land trust on and after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2025, and would require the community land trust to notify the assessor if property owned by the community land trust is not in the course of construction by these dates. The bill, in the case where property that is owned by a community land trust becomes subject to taxation as so described, would require any assessment made, as provided, to be made within 5 years of the lien date following the date on which the property becomes subject to taxation.
By imposing new duties upon local government officials with respect to the exemption provided by this bill, 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 the statutory provisions noted above.
Existing law requires the state to reimburse local agencies annually for certain property tax revenues lost as a result of any exemption or classification of property for purposes of ad valorem property taxation.
This bill would provide that, notwithstanding those provisions, no appropriation is made and the state shall not reimburse local agencies for property tax revenues lost by them pursuant to the bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The availability of housing is of vital statewide importance, and the development of decent and secure housing for every Californian is a priority of the highest order.
(b) There is currently a severe housing crisis in California, especially impacting the ability of persons and families of low and moderate income to purchase and own or rent a home or unit.
(c) Community land trusts and limited equity housing cooperatives acquire, develop, rehabilitate, and own single-family dwelling units and multifamily housing unit projects for the specific purpose of providing, among other affordable housing options, limited equity home ownership and affordable rental housing to persons and families of low and moderate income.
(d) To facilitate the acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and financing of ownership and rental housing for persons and families of low and moderate income, community land trusts and limited equity housing cooperatives, when acquiring, developing, or rehabilitating property for persons and families of low and moderate income, the property must be exempt from property taxation upon acquisition to facilitate development and rehabilitation of restricted affordable dwellings and units. With regard to this exemption, the exempt activities of community land trusts and limited equity housing cooperatives that are working with community land trusts qualitatively differ from the exempt activities of other nonprofit entities that provide housing, in that the land is held in perpetuity for persons and families of low and moderate income. The holding of real property by community land trusts and limited equity housing cooperatives is central to those entities’ exempt purposes and activities. Thus, owning property constitutes the exclusive use of that property for a charitable purpose, within the meaning of subdivision (b) of Section 4 of Article XIII of the California Constitution. Moreover, in the case of homes sold to persons and families of low and moderate income, the underlying land will become taxable once the home is sold.

SEC. 2.

 Section 75.11 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

75.11.
 (a) If the change in ownership occurs or the new construction is completed on or after January 1 but on or before May 31, then there shall be two supplemental assessments placed on the supplemental roll. The first supplemental assessment shall be the difference between the new base year value and the taxable value on the current roll. In the case of a change in ownership of the full interest in the real property, the second supplemental assessment shall be the difference between the new base year value and the taxable value to be enrolled on the roll being prepared. If the change in ownership is of only a partial interest in the real property, the second supplemental assessment shall be the difference between the sum of the new base year value of the portion transferred plus the taxable value on the roll being prepared of the remainder of the property and the taxable value on the roll being prepared of the whole property. For new construction, the second supplemental assessment shall be the value change due to the new construction.
(b) If the change in ownership occurs or the new construction is completed on or after June 1 but before the succeeding January 1, then the supplemental assessment placed on the supplemental roll shall be the difference between the new base year value and the taxable value on the current roll.
(c) If there are multiple changes in ownership or multiple completions of new construction, or both, with respect to the same real property during the same assessment year, then there shall be a net supplemental assessment placed on the supplemental roll, in addition to the assessment pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b). The net supplemental assessment shall be the most recent new base year value less the sum of (1) the previous entry or entries placed on the supplemental roll computed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), and (2) the corresponding taxable value on the current roll or the taxable value to be entered on the roll being prepared, or both, depending on the date or dates the change of ownership occurs or new construction is completed as specified in subdivisions (a) and (b).
(d) No supplemental assessment authorized by this section shall be valid, or have any force or effect, unless it is placed on the supplemental roll on or before the applicable date specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4), as follows:
(1) The fourth July 1 following the July 1 of the assessment year in which the event giving rise to the supplemental assessment occurred.
(2) The eighth July 1 following the July 1 of the assessment year in which the event giving rise to the supplemental assessment occurred, if the penalty provided for in Section 504 is added to the assessment.
(3) The eighth July 1 following the July 1 of the assessment year in which the event giving rise to the supplemental assessment occurred, if the change in ownership was unrecorded and a change in ownership statement required by Section 480 or preliminary change in ownership report, as required by Section 480.3, was not timely filed.
(4) Notwithstanding any other law, in the case where property that is owned by a community land trust and was previously exempt pursuant to Section 214.18 becomes subject to taxation pursuant to subdivision (d) of that section, any assessment made in the amount of an exemption, or that portion of the exemption, previously allowed pursuant to Section 214.18 shall be made within five years of the lien date following the date on which the property becomes subject to taxation.
(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4), there shall be no limitation period on making a supplemental assessment, if the penalty provided for in Section 503 is added to the assessment.
For the purposes of this subdivision, “assessment year” means the period beginning annually as of 12:01 a.m. on the first day of January and ending immediately prior to the succeeding first day of January.
(e) If, before the expiration of the applicable period specified in subdivision (d) for making a supplemental assessment, the taxpayer and the assessor agree in writing to extend the period for making a supplemental assessment, correction, or claim for refund, a supplemental assessment may be made at any time prior to the expiration of that extended period. The extended period may be further extended by successive written agreements entered into prior to the expiration of the most recent extension.

SEC. 3.

 Section 214.18 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

214.18.
 (a) Property is within the exemption provided by Sections 4 and 5 of Article XIII of the California Constitution if the property is owned by a community land trust, otherwise qualifying for exemption under Section 214, and all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The property is being or will be developed or rehabilitated as any of the following:
(A) An owner-occupied single-family dwelling.
(B) As an owner-occupied unit in a multifamily dwelling.
(C) As a member-occupied unit in a limited equity housing cooperative.
(D) As a rental housing development.
(2) Improvements on the property are or will be available for use and ownership or for rent by qualified persons.
(3) (A) A deed restriction or other instrument, requiring a contract or contracts serving as an enforceable restriction on the sale or resale value of owner-occupied units or on the affordability of rental units is recorded on or before the lien date following the acquisition of the property by the community land trust.
(B) For purposes of this section, “a contract or contracts serving as an enforceable restriction on the sale or resale value of owner-occupied units or on the affordability of rental units” means a contract described in paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 402.1.
(C) A copy of the deed restriction or other instrument shall be provided to the assessor.
(b) (1) Subject to subdivision (d), the exemption provided by subdivision (a) shall not be denied to a property on the basis that the property does not currently contain a single-family dwelling, a unit in a multifamily dwelling, a unit in a limited equity housing cooperative, or a rental housing development that is in the course of construction.
(2) Once property that is a rental housing development is in the course of construction, the property shall be deemed to qualify for the exemption provided under Section 214 and on subsequent lien dates the property shall qualify for exemption pursuant to Section 214.
(c) For purposes of this section, all of the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Community land trust” has the same meaning as that term is defined in clause (ii) of subparagraph (B) paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 402.1.
(2) “Course of construction” has the same meaning as the term “facilities in the course of construction,” as used and defined in Sections 214.1 and 214.2.
(3) “Limited equity housing cooperative” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 817 of the Civil Code.
(4) “Persons and families of low income” has the same meaning as the term “lower income households,” as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “Persons and families of low or moderate income” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(6) “Qualified persons” means the following:
(A) In the case of property developed for owner-occupied housing, as described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), persons and families of low or moderate income, including persons and families of low or moderate income that own a dwelling or unit collectively as member occupants or resident shareholders of a limited equity housing cooperative.
(B) In the case of property developed for rental housing, as described in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), persons and families of low income.
(7) “Rental housing development” means a rental housing development in which all of the residential units in the development, other than units provided to property managers, are required to be rented to, and occupied by, persons and families of low or moderate income, at rents that do not exceed an affordable rent as described in Section 50053 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the community land trust shall be liable for property tax for the years for which the property was exempt from taxation pursuant to this section if the property was not developed or rehabilitated, or if the development or rehabilitation is not in the course of construction, in accordance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) as follows:
(A) In the case of property acquired by the community land trust before January 1, 2020, by January 1, 2025.
(B) In the case of property acquired by the community land trust on and after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2025, within five years of the lien date following the acquisition of the property by the community land trust.
(2) The community land trust shall notify the assessor of the county in which the property is located if property owned by the community land trust granted an exemption pursuant to this section is not in the course of construction by the dates specified in paragraph (1).
(e) Property shall be eligible for exemption pursuant to this section as follows:
(1) In the case of property acquired by the community land trust before January 1, 2020, for lien dates occurring on and after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2025.
(2) (A) In the case of property acquired by the community land trust on and after January 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2025, for the first five lien dates following the acquisition of the property by the community land trust.
(B) Property shall be eligible for exemption for the lien dates specified in subparagraph (A) regardless of the repeal of this section.
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 402.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

402.1.
 (a) In the assessment of land, the assessor shall consider the effect upon value of any enforceable restrictions to which the use of the land may be subjected. These restrictions shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Zoning.
(2) Recorded contracts with governmental agencies other than those provided in Sections 422, 422.5, and 422.7.
(3) Permit authority of, and permits issued by, governmental agencies exercising land use powers concurrently with local governments, including the California Coastal Commission and regional coastal commissions, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
(4) Development controls of a local government in accordance with any local coastal program certified pursuant to Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.
(5) Development controls of a local government in accordance with a local protection program, or any component thereof, certified pursuant to Division 19 (commencing with Section 29000) of the Public Resources Code.
(6) Environmental constraints applied to the use of land pursuant to provisions of statutes.
(7) Hazardous waste land use restriction pursuant to Section 25226 of the Health and Safety Code.
(8) (A) A recorded conservation, trail, or scenic easement, as described in Section 815.1 of the Civil Code, that is granted in favor of a public agency, or in favor of a nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that has as its primary purpose the preservation, protection, or enhancement of land in its natural, scenic, historical, agricultural, forested, or open-space condition or use.
(B) A recorded greenway easement, as described in Section 816.52 of the Civil Code, that is granted in favor of a public agency, or in favor of a nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that has as its primary purpose the developing and preserving of greenways.
(9) A solar-use easement pursuant to Chapter 6.9 (commencing with Section 51190) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.
(10) A contract where the following apply:
(A) The contract is with a nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that has received a welfare exemption under Section 214.15 for properties intended to be sold to low-income families who participate in a special no-interest loan program.
(B) The contract restricts the use of the land for at least 30 years to owner-occupied housing available at affordable housing cost in accordance with Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) The contract includes a deed of trust on the property in favor of the nonprofit corporation to ensure compliance with the terms of the program, which has no value unless the owner fails to comply with the covenants and restrictions of the terms of the home sale.
(D) The local housing authority or an equivalent agency, or, if none exists, the city attorney or county counsel, has made a finding that the long-term deed restrictions in the contract serve a public purpose.
(E) The contract is recorded and provided to the assessor.
(11) (A) A contract where the following apply:
(i) The contract is a renewable 99-year ground lease between a community land trust and the qualified owner of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling or an owner-occupied unit in a multifamily dwelling.
(ii) The contract subjects a single-family dwelling or unit in a multifamily dwelling, and the land on which the dwelling or unit is situated that is leased to the qualified owner by a community land trust for the convenient occupation and use of that dwelling or unit, to affordability restrictions.
(iii) One of the following public agencies or officials has made a finding that the affordability restrictions in the contract serve the public interest to create and preserve the affordability of residential housing for persons and families of low or moderate income:
(I) The director of the local housing authority or equivalent agency.
(II) The county counsel.
(III) The director of a county housing department.
(IV) The city attorney.
(V) The director of a city housing department.
(iv) The contract is recorded and is provided to the assessor.
(B) (i) For purposes of this paragraph, the sale or resale price of the dwelling or unit is rebuttably presumed to include both the dwelling or unit and the leased land on which the dwelling or unit is situated. This presumption may be overcome if the assessor establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that all or a portion of the value of the leased land is not reflected in the sale or resale price of the dwelling or unit.
(ii) Notwithstanding any other law, corrections of base year values and declines in value owing to the restrictions on properties assessed under this subparagraph shall apply to all lien dates occurring after September 27, 2016.
(C) For purposes of this paragraph, all of the following definitions shall apply:
(i) “Affordability restrictions” mean that all of the following conditions are met:
(I) The dwelling or unit can only be sold or resold to a qualified owner to be occupied as a principal place of residence.
(II) The sale or resale price of the dwelling or unit is determined by a formula that ensures the dwelling or unit has a purchase price that is affordable to qualified owners.
(III) There is a purchase option for the dwelling or unit in favor of a community land trust intended to preserve the dwelling or unit as affordable to qualified owners.
(IV) The dwelling or unit is to remain affordable to qualified owners by a renewable 99-year ground lease.
(ii) “Community land trust” means a nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that satisfies all of the following:
(I) Has as its primary purposes the creation and maintenance of permanently affordable single-family or multifamily residences.
(II) All dwellings and units located on the land owned by the nonprofit corporation are sold to a qualified owner to be occupied as the qualified owner’s primary residence or rented to persons and families of low or moderate income.
(III) The land owned by the nonprofit corporation, on which a dwelling or unit sold to a qualified owner is situated, is leased by the nonprofit corporation to the qualified owner for the convenient occupation and use of that dwelling or unit for a renewable term of 99 years.
(iii) “Limited equity housing cooperative” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 817 of the Civil Code.
(iv) “Persons and families of low or moderate income” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(v) “Qualified owner” means persons and families of low or moderate income, including persons and families of low or moderate income that own a dwelling or unit collectively as member occupants or resident shareholders of a limited equity housing cooperative.
(b) There is a rebuttable presumption that restrictions will not be removed or substantially modified in the predictable future and that they will substantially equate the value of the land to the value attributable to the legally permissible use or uses.
(c) Grounds for rebutting the presumption may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the past history of like use restrictions in the jurisdiction in question and the similarity of sales prices for restricted and unrestricted land. The possible expiration of a restriction at a time certain shall not be conclusive evidence of the future removal or modification of the restriction unless there is no opportunity or likelihood of the continuation or renewal of the restriction, or unless a necessary party to the restriction has indicated an intent to permit its expiration at that time.
(d) In assessing land with respect to which the presumption is unrebutted, the assessor shall not consider sales of otherwise comparable land not similarly restricted as to use as indicative of value of land under restriction, unless the restrictions have a demonstrably minimal effect upon value.
(e) In assessing land under an enforceable use restriction wherein the presumption of no predictable removal or substantial modification of the restriction has been rebutted, but where the restriction nevertheless retains some future life and has some effect on present value, the assessor may consider, in addition to all other legally permissible information, representative sales of comparable lands that are not under restriction but upon which natural limitations have substantially the same effect as restrictions.
(f) For the purposes of this section the following definitions apply:
(1) “Comparable lands” are lands that are similar to the land being valued in respect to legally permissible uses and physical attributes.
(2) “Representative sales information” is information from sales of a sufficient number of comparable lands to give an accurate indication of the full cash value of the land being valued.
(g) It is hereby declared that the purpose and intent of the Legislature in enacting this section is to provide for a method of determining whether a sufficient amount of representative sales information is available for land under use restriction to ensure the accurate assessment of that land. It is also hereby declared that the further purpose and intent of the Legislature in enacting this section and Section 1630 is to avoid an assessment policy which, in the absence of special circumstances, considers uses for land that legally are not available to the owner and not contemplated by government, and that these sections are necessary to implement the public policy of encouraging and maintaining effective land use planning. This statute shall not be construed as requiring the assessment of any land at a value less than as required by Section 401 or as prohibiting the use of representative comparable sales information on land under similar restrictions when this information is available.

SEC. 5.

 Section 532 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

532.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any assessment made pursuant to either Article 3 (commencing with Section 501) or this article shall be made within four years after July 1 of the assessment year in which the property escaped taxation or was underassessed.
(b) (1) Any assessment to which the penalty provided for in Section 504 must be added shall be made within eight years after July 1 of the assessment year in which the property escaped taxation or was underassessed.
(2) Any assessment resulting from an unrecorded change in ownership for which either a change in ownership statement, as required by Section 480 or a preliminary change in ownership report, as required by Section 480.3, is not timely filed with respect to the event giving rise to the escape assessment or underassessment shall be made within eight years after July 1 of the assessment year in which the property escaped taxation or was underassessed. For purposes of this paragraph, an “unrecorded change in ownership” means a deed or other document evidencing a change in ownership that was not filed with the county recorder’s office at the time the event took place.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), in the case where property has escaped taxation, in whole or in part, or has been underassessed, following a change in ownership or change in control and either the penalty provided for in Section 503 must be added or a change in ownership statement, as required by Section 480.1 or 480.2 was not filed with respect to the event giving rise to the escape assessment or underassessment, an escape assessment shall be made for each year in which the property escaped taxation or was underassessed.
(4) Notwithstanding any other law, in the case where property that is owned by a community land trust and was previously exempt pursuant to Section 214.18 becomes subject to taxation pursuant to subdivision (d) of that section, any assessment made in the amount of an exemption, or that portion of the exemption, previously allowed pursuant to Section 214.18 shall be made within five years of the lien date following the date on which the property becomes subject to taxation.
(c) For purposes of this section, “assessment year” means the period defined in Section 118.

SEC. 6.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to apply the requirements of Section 41 of the Revenue and Taxation Code to this act. To assist the Legislature in determining whether the exemption allowed by Section 214.18 of the Revenue and Taxation Code fulfills the goals, purposes, and objectives as described in Section 1 of this act, the State Board of Equalization shall annually collect data from county assessors to quantify the amount of assessed value exempted, and the number of owner-occupied dwelling units or rental units, or both, created by community land trusts granted this exemption. Community land trusts claiming this exemption shall provide information to county assessors, in the form and manner as required by the county assessor, about the additional housing created.

SEC. 7.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the amendments to Section 402.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code by this act serve a public purpose and do not constitute a prohibited gift of public funds within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XVI of the California Constitution by providing necessary property tax relief to persons and families of low or moderate income and thereby creating a secure and stable affordable housing stock.

SEC. 8.

 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.

SEC. 9.

 Notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act.