Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )


  ( Part 5 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

CHAPTER 4. Collection on the Unsecured Roll [2901 - 2963]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

ARTICLE 2. Seizure and Sale [2951 - 2963]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908. )


Taxes due on unsecured property may be collected by seizure and sale of any of the following property belonging or assessed to the assessee:

(a) Personal property.

(b) Improvements.

(c) Possessory interests.

(Added by renumbering Section 2914 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


A record shall be kept of the property seized and sold.

(Added by renumbering Section 2915 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


Property shall not be seized or sold in satisfaction of taxes on unsecured property until after the date such taxes become delinquent, unless the tax collector first determines that seizure prior to that date is necessary because there is a great probability that the taxes will not be collectible after the delinquency date due to the financial condition of the taxpayer or other suitable reason, and prior to the seizure files a written declaration under penalty of perjury with the clerk of the board of supervisors setting forth the grounds and necessity for such seizure.

The tax collector shall deliver a copy of the declaration to the assessee at the time of seizure.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2953, any property which is assessed on the unsecured roll and is advertised for sale pursuant to Sections 6101 to 6111, inclusive, of the Uniform Commercial Code, or which is advertised to be sold at public auction, or which has been seized for prior year’s delinquent taxes may be seized by the tax collector prior to delinquency without filing a declaration with the clerk of the board of supervisors.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 668, Sec. 24. Effective January 1, 1995.)


(a) An assessee may challenge a seizure of property made pursuant to Section 2953 by petitioning for a writ of prohibition or writ of mandate in the superior court alleging:

(1) That there are no grounds for the seizure;

(2) That the declaration of the tax collector is untrue or inaccurate; and

(3) That there are and will be sufficient funds to pay the taxes prior to the date such taxes become delinquent.

(b) As a condition of maintaining the special proceedings for a writ, the assessee shall file with the tax collector a bond sufficient to pay the taxes and all fees and charges actually incurred by the tax collector as a result of the seizure, and shall furnish proof of the bond with the court. Upon the filing of the bond, the tax collector shall release the property to the assessee.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 517, Sec. 361.)


If the assessee prevails in the special proceeding for a writ under Section 2954, the assessee is entitled to recover from the county all costs, including attorney’s fees, incurred by virtue of the seizure and subsequent actions, and the tax collector shall bear the costs of seizure and any fees and expenses of keeping the seized property. If, however, subsequent to the date the taxes in question become delinquent, the taxes are not paid in full and it becomes necessary for the tax collector to seize property of the assessee in payment of the taxes or to commence an action against the assessee for recovery of the taxes, in addition to all taxes and delinquent penalties, the assessee shall reimburse the county for all costs incurred at the time of the original seizure and all other costs charged to the tax collector or the county as a result of the original seizure and any subsequent actions.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 517, Sec. 362.)


In all special proceedings for a writ brought under this article, all courts in which such proceedings are pending shall, upon the request of any party thereto, give such proceedings precedence over all other civil actions and proceedings, except actions and proceedings to which special precedence is otherwise given by law, in the matter of the setting of them for hearing or trial and in their hearing or trial, to the end that all such proceedings shall be quickly heard and determined.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


Notice of the time and place of sale shall be given at least one week before the sale by publication in a newspaper in the county, or by posting in three public places. In the event that it is necessary to continue the sale to a later date, notice shall be given as provided above.

(Added by renumbering Section 2916 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


The sale shall be at public auction. A sufficient amount of the property shall be sold to pay the taxes, penalties, and costs.

Costs include but are not limited to:

(a) The costs of advertising.

(b) The same mileage and keeper’s fees as allowed by law to the sheriff for seizing and keeping property under attachment.

(c) A fee of not exceeding fifteen dollars ($15) for each seizure which may be charged by the tax collector making the seizure.

Whenever any of the foregoing costs have been incurred by the county any payment of taxes made thereafter shall include the amount of such costs.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 828.)


Property seized may be redeemed by the owner thereof by the payment of taxes, penalties and costs at any time before such property is sold. Prior to the time the property is sold such payment may be made at the office of the tax collector or to the auctioneer at the place of sale as designated in the notice of sale. For purposes of this section, property is sold when the bid is accepted by the auctioneer.

(Added by renumbering Section 2917.5 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


On payment of the price bid for property sold, the delivery of the property with a bill of sale vests title in the purchaser.

(Added by renumbering Section 2918 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


Any excess in the proceeds of the sale over the taxes, penalties, and costs shall be returned to the owner of the property. Until claimed the excess shall be deposited in the county treasury, subject to the order of the owner or his successor in interest. Any excess in the proceeds of any sale heretofore or hereafter made becomes the property of the county if not claimed within three years after the date of sale.

(Added by renumbering Section 2919 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


The unsold portion of any property may be left at the place of sale at the risk of the owner.

(Added by renumbering Section 2920 by Stats. 1974, Ch. 908.)


Property shall not be seized and sold for taxes on the unsecured roll after three years from the date taxes due become delinquent. The limitation period shall be tolled for any period during which collection actions are prohibited by bankruptcy laws or rules, or by court order.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 532, Sec. 24.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC2.