Annual Report 2011-2012


Legislation

Property Taxes

Deceptive Business Solicitations

Places additional restrictions on advertisements designed to imply an official government connection relating to property tax matters.

Assembly Bill 75, Chapter 269, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption—Care Facilities

Ensures unmarried surviving spouses remain eligible if confined to a hospital or care facility.

Assembly Bill 188, Chapter 202, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Confidential Assessor Records—City Access

Allows specified city finance department employees to obtain or access otherwise confidential information when investigating whether documentary transfer taxes should be imposed on an unrecorded change in control or change in ownership of property.

Assembly Bill 563, Chapter 320, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Mills Act Historical Property Inspections

Requires historical properties receiving a property tax benefit under the Mills Act to be inspected every 5 years by the local body that is a party to the contract to ensure compliance.

Assembly Bill 654, Chapter 278, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Welfare Exemption—Natural Lands

Extends the sunset date of the property tax welfare exemption for property in its natural state to January 1, 2023.

Assembly Bill 703, Chapter 575, Statutes of 2011; effective October 8, 2011

Burden of Proof—Vacation or Secondary Homes

Shifts the burden of proof from the assessor to a taxpayer in an assessment appeal hearing for owner-occupied single-family dwellings that are vacation or secondary homes.

Assembly Bill 711, Chapter 220, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

County Optional Property Tax Postponement Program

Establishes an optional program to be administered at the county level to replace the state suspended program for seniors and the disabled.

Assembly Bill 1090, Chapter 369, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Williamson Act—Continued County Participation in Program

Allows eligible participating counties to revise Williamson Act contracts to shorten terms and levy an additional assessment. The resulting revenues are dedicated to the county. Provides that a landowner may choose to not renew and begin the cancellation process.

Assembly Bill 1265, Chapter 90, Statutes of 2011; effective July 15, 2011

Change in Ownership Reporting

Modifies property tax change in ownership reporting requirements and related penalties for (1) real property transfers that must be reported to the local county assessor and (2) legal entity ownership interest transfers that must be reported to the BOE.

Senate Bill 507, Chapter 708, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

State Assessee Revenue Allocation—Power Plant

Changes the allocation of property tax revenues from a proposed public utility owned power plant in Contra Costa County.

Senate Bill 536, Chapter 710, Statutes of 2011; effective October 9, 2011

Solar-Use Easements—Enforceable Restriction

Allows property owners and local governments to rescind Williamson Act contracts and simultaneously enter into “solar-use easements” which the bill creates. Provides that a solar-use easement is a land use restriction and the assessor must consider the effect of the enforceable restriction upon the value of the land.

Senate Bill 618, Chapter 596, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

BOE-sponsored Property Tax Omnibus Bill

Parent-Child Exclusion—Cooperative Housing Corporations. Allows transfers of interests in cooperative housing corporations to qualify for the exclusion.

Base Year Value Transfers—Disasters. Ensures that disaster victims are eligible for a base year value transfer when land values comprise more than 50% of the value of the property.

Seismic Safety New Construction Exclusion. Updates citations to the building codes and corrects a California Constitution cross reference.

Exemption Termination. Clarifies that certain exemptions cease on the date of sale or transfer of the property.

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption—Filing Period. Allows more time to file a claim for property newly eligible after the lien date.

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption—Annual Notice. Specifies the notice is to be mailed prior to the lien date.

Change in Ownership Statements—Penalty-Related Appeals. Clarifies that in counties with assessment appeals boards, that board, rather than the Board of Supervisors, will hear appeals.

State Assessee Penalties—Partial Abatement. Expressly allows for partial abatement of penalties related to failure to timely provide information.

Declines in Value—Manufactured and Floating Homes. Allows floating homes and manufactured homes to receive a decline in value after the roll has closed.

Private Railroad Car Taxes—Refunds and Cancellation: Public Notices. Raises the statutory threshold from more than $15,000 to more than $50,000 for requiring a 10-day public record of proposed determinations prior to granting refunds or cancellations of tax.

Senate Bill 947, Chapter 351, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

California Assessor Association-sponsored Property Tax Omnibus Bill:

Base Year Value Transfers—Additional New Construction. Gives homeowners up to six months to request value added by new construction be included under the initial base year value transfer.

Aircraft Definitions. Updates obsolete references contained in “certificated aircraft,” “air taxi,” and “aircraft” definitions.

Separate Assessment Requests. Changes the period that a person filing an affidavit of interest has to apply to the tax collector to have a parcel separately valued.

Senate Bill 947, Chapter 351, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Confidential Assessor Records—Tax Collector Access

Allows the tax collector to obtain or access otherwise confidential information held by the county assessor.

Senate Bill 948, Chapter 352, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

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Sales and Use Taxes

Out-of-State Retailers and Use Tax Collection Requirements

Expands the types of out-of-state retailers that are “engaged in business in this state” and thus required to register with the BOE to collect and pay use tax on their sales of tangible personal property to purchasers in California.

Assembly Bill 155, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2011; effective September 23, 2011, but operative either September 15, 2012, or January 1, 2013, depending on the status of specified federal and state legislation.

BOE-sponsored Business Taxes Omnibus Bill

Lemon Law and Use Tax. Allows the BOE to reimburse a manufacturer of a new motor vehicle for the use tax the manufacturer refunds to a buyer or lessee when the new motor vehicle is reacquired by the manufacturer according to California’s “Lemon Law.”

Election Forms for Bad Debts. Removes the requirement that retailers and lenders file an election form with the BOE prior to claiming a bad debt in the case of accounts held by a lender that have been found worthless and written off by the lender.

Vessels Purchased Outside California. Makes a technical clarification to the repair, retrofit, and modification exception related to the 12-month rebuttable presumption for vessels purchased outside this state.

Bank and Third Party Check Charges. Allows a taxpayer to file a claim for reimbursement of bank charges and third party check charges incurred by the taxpayer as the direct result of an erroneous processing action or erroneous collection action by the BOE.

Orders of Restitution. Provides express authority to the BOE and the SCO to collect orders of restitution awarded to the BOE in criminal proceedings in the same manner as tax liabilities.

Assembly Bill 242, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

AIDS/HIV Thrift Store Exemption

Extends until January 1, 2019, the sales and use tax exemption for sales of used clothing, household items, or other retail merchandise by thrift stores operated for the purposes of raising funds to provide medical, hospice, or social services for individuals with AIDS or HIV. This exemption was set to expire January 1, 2012.

Assembly Bill 289, Chapter 289, Statutes of 2011; effective September 21, 2011

Decreases Transactions and Use Tax Rate to Multiples of 0.125

Decreases the rate at which a city or county may levy, increase, or extend a transactions (sales) and use tax to a rate of 0.125, or multiples of 0.125 percent (formerly 0.25 or multiples of 0.25 percent), for general and special purposes.

Assembly Bill 686, Chapter 176, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Transactions and Use Tax—County of Alameda

Authorizes the County of Alameda, subject to two-thirds voter approval, to impose a transactions and use tax for the support of countywide transportation programs at a rate of no more than 0.50 percent that would, in combination with other transactions and use taxes, exceed the maximum combined rate (2%) established by existing law. The provisions specify that if the ordinance proposing the transactions and use tax is not approved in the November 6, 2012, General Election, that the provisions of the bill will be repealed as of January 1, 2014.

Assembly Bill 1086, Chapter 327, Statutes 2011; effective January 1, 2012

BOE-sponsored Enforcement Bill

Contractors’ Licenses. Authorizes the BOE to request the CSLB to deny or suspend a contractor’s license for his or her failure to resolve any outstanding BOE-related final tax or fee liabilities.

Refusal of Seller’s Permit. Authorizes the BOE to refuse to issue a seller’s permit to any person who has an outstanding liability with the BOE and has not entered into an installment payment agreement, as specified.

Information Sharing. Allows the BOE to use the new employee registry information maintained by the EDD for tax enforcement purposes.

Assembly Bill 1307, Chapter 734, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Top 500 Tax Delinquencies

  • Increases the BOE’s public list of the top 250 tax delinquencies to the top 500 tax delinquencies, and requires state governmental licensing entities to refuse to issue, reactivate, reinstate, or renew an occupational, professional or a driver license, or suspend a license of tax debtors on the top 500 delinquencies list on or after July 1, 2012. Also, prohibits any state agency from entering into a contract for goods and services with a tax debtor on the top 500 list.
  • Allows the BOE to collect any delinquent tax debts owed to other states and the IRS, but only upon a reciprocal agreement in which the other states or the IRS agree to collect the BOE’s delinquent tax debts.

Assembly Bill 1424, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Certain Disabled Veterans as Consumers

Extends from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2022, the sunset date of the provision that classifies a “qualified itinerant vendor” as a consumer of, and not a retailer of, tangible personal property owned and sold by the qualified itinerant vendor, except alcoholic beverages and tangible personal property sold for more than $100.

Senate Bill 805, Chapter 246, Statutes of 2011; effective September 6, 2011

Financial Institutions Record Matching

In part, this budget trailer bill authorizes the BOE and the EDD to provide the FTB with information relating to delinquent tax debtors, and allows that information to be used in the collection of delinquent amounts under the Financial Institution Record Match program administered by the FTB.

Senate Bill 1015, Chapter 37, Statutes of 2012; effective June 27, 2012

Multistate Tax Compact

In part, this budget trailer bill repeals the existing law that adopted the Multistate Tax Compact.

Senate Bill 1015, Chapter 37, Statutes of 2012; effective June 27, 2012

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Special Taxes and Fees

BOE-sponsored Orders of Restitution

Amends the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax, Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax, and Diesel Fuel Tax Laws to provide both the BOE and the SCO with express authority to collect orders of restitution awarded to the BOE in criminal proceedings in the same manner as tax liabilities.

Assembly Bill 242, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Rate Extension

Extends the temporary underground storage tank maintenance fee rate increase of six mills ($0.006) for each gallon placed in an underground storage tank for an additional two years, from January 1, 2012, until January 1, 2014.

Assembly Bill 291, Chapter 569, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Oil Spill Administration and Prevention Fee Increase

Temporarily increases the current cap on the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee from five cents ($0.05) to six and one-half cents ($0.065) per barrel of crude oil or petroleum product, from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2015.

Assembly Bill 1112, Chapter 583, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

BOE-sponsored Enforcement Bill

Authorizes the CSLB to refuse to issue, reinstate, reactivate, or renew, or to suspend a contractor’s license for failure to resolve any outstanding BOE-related final tax or fee liabilities. The bill also allows the BOE to use the new employee registry information maintained by the EDD for tax collection and enforcement purposes.

Assembly Bill 1307, Chapter 734, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Insurance Tax—Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans

Extends the imposition of the gross premiums tax on every Medi-Cal managed care plan in this state, from July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, as specified.

Assembly Bill x1 21, Chapter 11, Statutes of 2011; effective January 1, 2012

Fire Prevention Fee

Requires the BOE to annually assess and collect a fire prevention fee on each habitable structure on a parcel that is within a state responsibility area based upon specified information provided by the CAL FIRE, which includes the appropriate name and address of each person liable for the fee and the amount of the fee to be assessed.

Assembly Bill x1 29, Chapter 8, Statutes of 2011; effective July 8, 2011

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