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SB-1246 Property tax: order for refund: claims.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 05/16/18 - Amended Senate        


SB1246:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  April 30, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1246


Introduced by Senator Gaines

February 15, 2018


An act to amend Sections 2635, 4801, 4836, 5097, 5097.2, 5104, and 5151 of, and to add Section 5105 to, the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1246, as amended, Gaines. Property tax: order for refund: claims.
(1) Existing property tax law defines taxes for purposes of property tax corrections, cancellations, and refunds to include assessments collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes.
This bill would define assessments for purposes of these provisions to mean any non-ad valorem levies collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes.
(2) Existing property tax law requires property taxes to be refunded to the taxpayer or last recorded owner, as provided, under specified circumstances and requires that a refund only be made pursuant to a claim for refund. Existing law requires the claim to be verified by the person who paid the tax, including his or her guardian, executor, or administrator. Existing law requires the payment of interest on those refunds at the greater of 3% per annum or the county pool apportioned rate, as provided.
This bill would authorize authorize, pursuant to the board of supervisors of a county adopting a resolution or ordinance that so provides, a refund of property taxes or assessments without a verified claim if there has been no transfer of the property in the fiscal year that the taxes were levied and if the refund amount is less than $5,000. This bill would exempt these provisions from the payment of interest on those refunds, as provided.
The bill would also authorize an order for a refund to be paid to, and would permit a claim for a refund to be verified by, the assessee of the property as shown on the tax roll if there has been no transfer of the property in the fiscal year that the taxes were levied and if the refund amount is less than $5,000.

By changing the manner in which local county officials administer property tax refunds, 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.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2635 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

2635.
 When the amount of taxes paid exceeds the amount due, as shown on the bill, by more than ten dollars ($10), the tax collector shall either order a refund pursuant to Section 5105 or shall send notice of the overpayment to the taxpayer. The notice shall be mailed to the taxpayer’s last known address and shall state the amount of the overpayment and that a refund claim may be filed pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 5096) of Part 9.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4801 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

4801.
 (a) As used in this part, “taxes” includes assessments collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes.
(b) As used in this part, “assessment” “assessments” means a non-ad valorem levy collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4836 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

4836.
 (a) If the correction will result in a reduction of an assessment that would entitle the assessee, or person who paid the tax, to a refund, the auditor shall either process the order for refund pursuant to Section 5105 or notify the assessee, or person who paid the tax, in writing at the address available to the county tax collector or the assessor, or another address, if known, of the requirements for obtaining a refund pursuant to Section 5097. The notice shall state that the assessee, or person who paid the tax, is entitled to a refund and that a claim for a refund shall be filed, pursuant to Section 5097, within 60 days of the date of the notice or four years after making the payment, whichever is later. Notwithstanding Section 5097, a claim for a refund shall be deemed timely filed if it is filed within 60 days of the date of the notice.
(b) If the correction will increase the amount of unpaid taxes, the assessor shall notify the assessee of the procedure for obtaining review by the county board under Section 1605 and the procedure for applying for cancellation under Section 4986.

SEC. 4.

 Section 5097 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

5097.
 (a) An order for a refund under this article shall not be made, except on a claim:
(1) (A) Verified by the person who paid the tax, his or her guardian, executor, trustee, or administrator.
(B) The claim may be verified by, and paid to, the assessee of that property as shown on the tax roll at the address available to the county tax collector or the assessor, or another address, if known, if both of the following conditions are met:
(i) There has been no transfer of the property during or since the fiscal year for which the taxes subject to refunded refund were levied.
(ii) The amount of the refund is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) or (4), filed within four years after making the payment sought to be refunded, or within one year after the mailing of notice as prescribed in Section 2635, or the period agreed to as provided in Section 532.1, or within 60 days of the date of the notice prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4836, whichever is later.
(3) (A) Filed within one year, if an application for a reduction in an assessment or an application for equalization of an assessment has been filed pursuant to Section 1603 and the applicant does not state in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for a refund, of either of the following events, whichever occurs first:
(i) After the county assessment appeals board makes a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment of the property, and mails a written notice of its determination to the applicant and the notice does not advise the applicant to file a claim for refund.
(ii) After the expiration of the time period specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1604 if the county assessment appeals board fails to hear evidence and fails to make a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment of the property.
(B) Filed within six months, if an application for a reduction in an assessment or an application for equalization of an assessment has been filed pursuant to Section 1603 and the applicant does not state in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for a refund, after the county assessment appeals board makes a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment, and mails a written notice of its determination to the applicant and the notice advises the applicant to file a claim for refund within six months of the date of the county assessment appeals board’s final determination.
(4) Filed within eight years after making the payment sought to be refunded, or within 60 days of the notice prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4836, whichever is later, if the claim for refund is filed on or after January 1, 2015, and relates to the disabled veterans’ exemption described in Section 205.5.
(b) An application for a reduction in an assessment filed pursuant to Section 1603 shall also constitute a sufficient claim for refund under this section if the applicant states in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for refund. If the applicant does not so state, he or she may thereafter and within the period provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) file a separate claim for refund of taxes extended on the assessment which the applicant applied to have reduced pursuant to Section 1603 or 1604.
(c) If an application for equalization of an escape assessment is filed pursuant to Section 1603, a claim may be filed on any taxes resulting from the escape assessment or the original assessment to which the escape relates within the period provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), an order for a refund under this article may be made without a claim pursuant to Section 5015. 5105.
(e) The amendments made to this section by Chapter 656 of the Statutes of 2014 apply to claims for refund filed on or after January 1, 2015.

SEC. 5.

 Section 5097.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

5097.2.
 Notwithstanding Sections 5096 and 5097, any taxes paid before or after delinquency may be ordered for refund by the county tax collector or the county auditor, within four years after the date of payment, if:
(a) Paid more than once.
(b) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as shown on the roll by an amount greater than ten dollars ($10).
(c) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as the result of corrections to the roll or cancellations after those taxes were paid.
(d) In any other case, where a claim for refund is made under penalty of perjury and is for an amount less than ten dollars ($10).
(e) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as the result of a reduction attributable to a hearing before an assessment appeals board or an assessment hearing officer.

SEC. 6.

 Section 5104 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

5104.
 Any order for refund of taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, or costs authorized pursuant to this article as a result of a reduction in the value of taxable property, as the result of corrections or cancellations to the tax roll after taxes or assessments were paid, or due to the overpayment of taxes, may be paid to the latest recorded owner of that property, or to the assessee of that property, as shown on the tax roll, rather than to the person who paid the amount of tax or assessment to be refunded, if both of the following conditions are met:
(a) There has been no transfer of the property during or since the fiscal year for which the taxes subject to refund were levied.
(b) The amount of the refund is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

SEC. 7.

 Section 5105 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

5105.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 5097, an order for refund of taxes or assessments authorized pursuant to this article may be paid to the assessee of that property, or to the latest recorded owner of that property, as shown on the tax roll roll, without a claim for refund filed, if both of the following conditions are met:

(a)

(1) There has been no transfer of the property during or since the fiscal year for which the taxes subject to refund were levied.

(b)

(2) The amount of the refund is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(b) This section shall become operative in a county only if the board of supervisors of the county adopts a resolution or ordinance approving the operation of this section.

SEC. 8.

 Section 5151 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

5151.
 (a) Interest at the greater of 3 percent per annum or the county pool apportioned rate shall be paid, when that interest is ten dollars ($10) or more, on any amount refunded under Section 5096.7, or refunded to a taxpayer for any reason whatsoever. However, no interest shall be paid under the provisions of this section if the taxpayer has been given the notice required by Section 2635 and has failed to apply for the refund within 30 days after the mailing of that notice, or if the tax collector orders a refund pursuant to Section 5105 within 30 days of the taxpayer’s payment. For purposes of this section, “county pool apportioned rate” means the annualized rate of interest earned on the total amount of pooled idle funds from all accounts held by the county treasurer, in excess of the county treasurer’s administrative costs with respect to that amount, as of June 30 of the fiscal year preceding the date the refund is calculated by the auditor. For each fiscal year, the county treasurer shall advise the Controller of the county pool apportioned rate, and of computations made in deriving that rate, no later than 90 days after the end of that fiscal year. Any interest paid on a refund at a rate provided for by this subdivision as it read prior to January 1, 2009, shall be deemed to be correct.
(b) The interest rate provided for in subdivision (a) does not apply to interest on refunds of those amounts of tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993. Interest on refunds of amounts of a qualified tax shall be paid at that rate provided for by this section as it read prior to January 1, 1993. As used in this section, a “qualified tax” means a tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993, and had not been refunded as of April 6, 1995. This subdivision shall not be construed to affect the interest paid on refunds of those amounts of tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993, and have been refunded as of April 6, 1995.
(c) (1) The interest computation period shall commence with the date of payment of the tax when any of the following applies:
(A) A timely application for reduction in an assessment was filed, without regard to whether the refund ultimately results from a judgment or order of a court, an order of a board of equalization or assessment appeals board, or an assessor’s correction to the assessment roll.
(B) The refund is pursuant to a roll correction resulting from the determination or adjustment by the assessor or a local assessment appeals board of a base year value.
(C) The refund results from a correction to the assessment roll pursuant to Section 4831 or 4876.
(2) Interest on refunds of taxes on property acquired by a public agency in eminent domain shall accrue from the date of recordation of the deed.
(3) In all other cases the interest computation period shall commence on the date of filing a claim for refund or payment of the tax, whichever is later. However, in the event of the granting of property tax relief pursuant to Section 69, 69.3, or 170, interest is not payable on any resulting refund of taxes, provided that payment of that refund of taxes is made within 120 days after the county assessor has sent authorization for the reduction to the county auditor.
(d) The computation of interest shall terminate as of a date within 30 days of the date of mailing or personal delivery of the refund payment.
(e) The interest charged shall be apportioned to the appropriate funds, as determined by the county auditor.
(f) The amendments made to this section by Section 4 of Chapter 801 of the Statutes of 1996 shall apply to all refunds made after January 1, 1997.

SEC. 9.

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.