Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 2. OTHER TAXES [6001 - 61045]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 279. )

PART 10.5. SENIOR CITIZENS PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE AND POSTPONEMENT LAW [20501 - 20646]

  ( Heading of Part 10.5 amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 43. )

CHAPTER 3.5. Senior Citizens Possessory Interest Holder Property Tax Postponement Law [20640 - 20640.12]
  ( Chapter 3.5 added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576. )

20640.
  

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Senior Citizens Possessory Interest Holder Property Tax Postponement Law.”

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

20640.1.
  

(a) Unless the context otherwise requires or unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the definitions given in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 20501) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 20581) shall govern the construction of this chapter.

(b) Unless the context otherwise dictates or unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the provisions of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of this code, Civil Code Section 2924b, Civil Code Section 2931c, Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 14735) of Part 5.5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 16180) of Part 1 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code shall be applicable to property tax postponements made pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

20640.2.
  

For the purposes of this chapter:

(a) “Possessory interest” means (1) possession of, or right to the possession of land located in this state whether or not coupled with ownership of the residential dwelling on the same, or (2) a possessory interest or right of occupancy on tax exempt land;

(b) “Residential dwelling” means a dwelling occupied as the principal place of residence of the claimant, and so much of the land surrounding it as is reasonably necessary for use of the dwelling as a home, located on possessory interest property. It shall include condominiums and affixed manufactured homes upon which property taxes, as defined in subdivision (c), are assessed. It also includes part of a multidwelling or multipurpose building and a part of the land upon which it is built.

(c) “Property taxes” means the amount of property tax for which the claimant is personally liable as assessee or is obligated to pay directly to the tax collector pursuant to the terms of the agreement establishing the possessory interest, including all ad valorem property taxes, special assessments, capitalization of leasehold interest, and other charges or user fees which are attributable to the residential dwelling on the county tax bill and the ad valorem property taxes, special assessments, capitalization of leasehold interest, or other charges or user fees appearing on the tax bill of any chartered city which levies and collects its own property taxes.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 896, Sec. 17. (SB 1130) Effective January 1, 2019.)

20640.3.
  

A claimant is an individual who:

(a) Holds a right to a possessory interest pursuant to a validly recorded instrument conveying such possessory interest for a term of years no less than 45 years beyond the last day of the calendar year ending immediately prior to the fiscal year for which taxes are initially postponed.

(b) Occupies as a principal place of residence the residential dwelling affixed to such possessory interest real property on the last day of the year designated in subdivision (d) of Section 20503.

(c) Is either (1) 62 years of age or older on or before December 31 of the fiscal year for which postponement is claimed or (2) blind or disabled, as defined in Section 12050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, at the time of application or on February 10 of the fiscal year for which the postponement is claimed.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 387, Sec. 28. (SB 205) Effective January 1, 2018.)

20640.4.
  

(a) Subject to the limitations provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 20501), Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 20581), or this chapter, a claimant may file with the Controller, a claim for postponement of a sum equal to, but not exceeding the amount of property taxes, for the fiscal year for which the claim is made.

(b) Upon verification of the eligibility requirements set forth in Section 20640.9 the Controller shall mail the claimant a Notice of Election to Postpone which shall be in the form and contain such information as the Controller may prescribe. Accompanying the notice shall be a statement explaining that in order for the claimant to postpone all or part of the property taxes, the Notice of Election to Postpone must be mailed to the Controller with a copy of the instrument creating the possessory interest, said copy to be certified by the county recorder of the county in which such real property is located. Where a memorandum of lease has been recorded in lieu of such instrument, a certified copy of said memorandum shall accompany the copy of the instrument creating the possessory interest.

(c)  Any possessory interest or improvement on which property taxes are delinquent at the time the application for postponement under this chapter is made or on which any other property tax or special assessment imposed by a special district or other tax code area are delinquent at the time the application for postponement under this chapter is made shall not be eligible for postponement.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 391, Sec. 30. (SB 801) Effective January 1, 2016.)

20640.5.
  

(a) The Controller may require as security for the postponement of property taxes pursuant to this chapter any of the following:

1. An assignment to the State of California of the remaining term of the claimant’s possessory interest.

2. A security interest in any improvement owned or leased by claimant located on the land which is subject to the possessory interest.

3. Any other additional security interest, created and perfected with respect to the rights of third persons in the manner provided by law for such type of security interest, which the Controller deems necessary to protect the interest of the state with regard to the repayment of postponed amounts by the claimant or a deceased claimant’s estate.

(b) On the form supplied by the Controller, the claimant shall obtain the written consent of any coholder of the possessory interest and of the grantor of the possessory interest to the assignment by claimant of the remaining term of claimant’s possessory interest. The consent shall be in such form and contain such provisions as the Controller shall prescribe, and shall provide for written notice by the grantor of the possessory interest to the Controller of the occurrence of a default by the claimant under the terms of the instrument creating the possessory interest, a coholder or a prior recorded possessory interest holder which would result in the termination or diminution of claimant’s interest.

The term “grantor of the possessory interest,” as used in this section shall be deemed to include the fee owner of the real property subject to the possessory interest and the holders of all prior recorded unterminated possessory interests.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

20640.6.
  

(a)  Upon receipt of the information described in Section 20640.4 and Section 20640.5, the Controller shall determine whether the state’s interest would be adequately protected if postponement is granted, and if so, the Controller shall make payments directly to a county tax collector, or chartered city that levies and collects its own taxes, for the property taxes owed on behalf of the claimant. Payments may, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be made out of the amounts appropriated pursuant to Section 16180 of the Government Code that are secured by a secured tax lien and obligation as specified by Article 1 (commencing with Section 16180) of Chapter 5 of Division 4 of the Government Code.

(b) The Controller shall cause to be recorded with the county recorder of the county in which the real property is located, a copy of any instrument creating a security interest, which shall include applicable consent forms, in favor of the state. The instrument shall contain a legal description of the real property subject to the possessory interest; and, if the legal description of the possessory interest describes an area less than the entire property ownership, the notice or document shall also contain a reference to the record of the acquisition instrument to the entire parcel from which the possessory interest was created. The priority of the security interest shall be as of the date of recordation.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 391, Sec. 31. (SB 801) Effective January 1, 2016.)

20640.7.
  

The Controller shall prescribe the manner in which a claimant eligible under this chapter, who for any reason is incapacitated, may appoint his or her spouse or an authorized agent, or have any such person appointed for such claimant, for all purposes of claiming and receiving postponement of property taxes.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 391, Sec. 32. (SB 801) Effective January 1, 2016.)

20640.8.
  

The claim for postponement shall be filed after October 1 of the fiscal year in which postponement is claimed and on or before February 10 of such fiscal year. If February 10th falls on Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the date is extended to the next business day.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 391, Sec. 33. (SB 801) Effective January 1, 2016.)

20640.9.
  

Each claimant applying for postponement under this chapter shall file a claim under penalty of perjury with the Controller on a form supplied by the Controller. The claim shall contain:

(a) Evidence acceptable to the Controller that the person was 62 years of age or older, or blind or disabled as described in Section 20640.3.

(b) A statement showing the household income for the period set forth in Section 20503.

(c) A statement describing the residential dwelling in such manner as the Controller may prescribe.

(d) The name of the county in which the residential dwelling is located and the address of the residential dwelling.

(e) The county assessor’s parcel number applicable to the property for which the claimant is applying for the postponement of property taxes.

(f) Other information required by the Controller to establish eligibility.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 391, Sec. 34. (SB 801) Effective January 1, 2016.)

20640.10.
  

The Controller shall maintain a record of all persons who have received postponement amounts pursuant to this chapter. Such record shall include the name and address of the claimant, the name and address of the fee title owner of the real property, the name and address of any other party whose consent to the assignment is required by this chapter, and any other information deemed necessary by the Controller for administration purposes.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

20640.11.
  

All amounts postponed pursuant to this chapter shall be due if any of the following occurs:

(a) The claimant ceases to occupy the residential dwelling as the principal place of residence, sells or otherwise disposes of his possessory interest, or the possessory interest agreement expires by its terms.

(b) The claimant dies. However, if the surviving spouse or another person eligible to postpone pursuant to this chapter continues to occupy the residential dwelling, then the postponed amounts shall not be due unless such person dies, or ceases to occupy the residential dwelling.

(c) The failure of the claimant, the fee title owner, or any owner of a prior recorded possessory interest to perform those acts required by a security interest holder which is senior to the state’s security interest for postponed amounts.

(d) Postponement was erroneously allowed because eligibility requirements were not met.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

20640.12.
  

If the Controller determines that amounts postponed under this chapter have become due and payable, the Controller may take any or all of the following actions:

(a) Demand payment of such amount from the claimant, the estate of any decedent claimant, or any person who was a cotenant with the claimant pursuant to the possessory interest agreement.

(b) Direct the Department of General Services to sell any property pledged by the claimant as security for postponement.

(c) Request the Attorney General to bring an action to recover amounts postponed under this chapter by the claimant.

(d) Utilize any or all of the enforcement and foreclosure provisions set forth in Article 3, Chapter 6 of Part 1 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 576.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC