State Assessed Property Appeals – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I file a petition?
  2. What should my petition consist of:
  3. How should I submit my petition?
  4. What if I need more time to file my petition?
  5. How will I know if my petition is valid and complete?
  6. Can my petition be dismissed?
  7. Once my petition is accepted as valid and complete, is there briefing allowed?
  8. What is the briefing schedule if no appeals conference is scheduled?
  9. What is the briefing schedule for which an appeals conference is scheduled.
  10. Do I have to request an appeals conference and what are the procedures?
  11. If I requested a hearing, when will I receive my hearing notice?
  12. Can multiple petitions be consolidated for a single hearing or decision?
  13. Will my documents be kept confidential?
  14. What do I do if I want to withdraw my petition?
  15. Can I ask for a rehearing if I disagree with the Board's decision?

  1. How do I file a petition?
    • Unitary Value or Penalty. If a state assessee disagrees with the value or penalty determined by the Board as set forth in the Notice of Unitary Assessed Value, the assessee must file a Petition for Reassessment of Unitary Value by July 20 of the calendar year in which the Notice of Unitary Assessed Value was issued.
    • Correction of Assessment Allocation. If a state assessee disagrees with an assessment allocation, the assessee must file a Petition for Correction of Assessment Allocation by July 20 of the calendar year in which the Notice of Assessment Allocation was issued.
    • Nonunitary Value or Penalty. If a state assessee disagrees with the value or penalty determined by the Board as set forth in the Notice of Nonunitary Assessed Value, the assessee must file a Petition for Reassessment of Nonunitary Value by September 20 of the calendar year in which the Notice of Nonunitary Value was issued.
    • Escaped/Excessive Assessment. If a state assessee disagrees with the value or penalty determined by the Board as set forth in the notice of escaped or excessive assessment, the assessee must file a petition for reassessment of escaped or excessive assessment no later than the date stated in the notice of escaped or excessive assessment mailed to the assessee at its address shown in the records of the Board.
    • Private Railroad Cars.
      • If an owner or assessee disagrees with a value or penalty determined by the Board, the owner or assessee must file a Petition for Reassessment of Private Railroad Car Value on or before September 20 (or October 5, if extended in writing by the Board or its designee) of the year in which the Notice of Private Railroad Car value is issued.
      • If the Board fails to complete the private railroad car tax assessments on or before August 1 but completes the assessments in the following month under section 11651.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the date for filing a petition for reassessment will be extended to October 20 (or November 4, if extended by the Board or its designee).
      • For any assessment made outside the regular assessment period, the Petition for Reassessment must be filed on or before the 50th day following the notice of the assessment.
      • If a petition is not timely received, the Board may consider the petition to be a claim for refund.
  2. What should my petition consist of:

    A valid and complete petition must:

    • Be in writing and state the name and address of the petitioner, the Board-adopted value, the petitioner's opinion of value, and the precise elements of the Board's valuation or penalty that petitioner is contesting (including, for nonunitary property, the property identification information and location).
    • State whether the petition constitutes a claim for refund under Revenue and Taxation Code section 5148, subdivision (f).
    • State the facts relied upon to support the requested change in value and include supporting documents, including appraisal reports, financial studies, and any other materials relevant to determining the value of the petitioner's property or reasons why the penalty should be abated.
    • State whether any or all of the following are requested: an appeals conference, oral hearing, or Written Findings and Decision.
    • Be signed by the petitioner or by an authorized representative. If the petition is signed by an agent, including an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California, the agent must be authorized by the petitioner before the time the petition is filed. Both the petitioner's mailing address and the agent's mailing address must be provided in the petition. The following language must be contained in the signature block of the petition:

      I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing and all information herein, including any accompanying statements or documents, is true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I am: (1) an officer, partner, or employee of the petitioner authorized to sign this petition; (2) an agent authorized by the petitioner; or (3) an agent who is any attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California, State Bar No. __________, who has been retained by the petitioner and has been authorized by the petitioner to file this petition.

    • Be accompanied by a statement of authorization. If the petition is signed by an agent, other than an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California, a statement of authorization, as described herein, or a power of attorney is required. A statement of authorization must be in writing and must include the following information:
      (a) Name and address of the petitioner;
      (b) Petitioner's State Board of Equalization company identification number;
      (c) Name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers of the agent;
      (d) Statement that the agent is authorized to file the petition and represent the petitioner in the petition; and
      (e) Signature of an officer, partner, or an employee who has been designated by petitioner in writing to sign such statement on behalf of the petitioner.
  3. How should I submit my petition?
    • The original petition and supporting documents, together with 10 copies, must be submitted by mail or in person to the Chief of Board Proceedings. A compact disc containing an electronic file conforming to the requirements of the Board Proceedings Division will be accepted in lieu of the copies if submitted with the original petition.
  4. What if I need more time to file my petition?
    • Filing of Petition. The Chief Counsel may extend the deadline to file a petition once for a period not to exceed 15 days, provided that the petitioner files a written or electronic request for the extension with the Chief of Board Proceedings no later than the due date of the petition.
    • Supporting Documents. The Chief Counsel may grant a reasonable extension of time for reasonable cause to allow the petitioner to file supporting documentation, provided that the petitioner files a written or electronic request for the extension with the Chief of Board Proceedings no later than the due date of the petition.
  5. How will I know if my petition is valid and complete?
    • Upon receipt of the petition, the Chief of Board Proceedings will determine whether the petition is valid and complete, including whether the petition is timely. If any question arises as to the timeliness of a petition or whether a petition is valid and complete, the Chief of Board Proceedings will refer the petition to the Chief Counsel.
    • Accepting the Petition. If the Chief of Board Proceedings, or the Chief Counsel, determines that the petition is valid and complete and that the petition is timely, or that there is a genuine, material issue relating to validity, completeness or timeliness, the Chief of Board Proceedings must accept the petition. The Chief of Board Proceedings will provide written acknowledgement of the acceptance to the petitioner and the Respondent.
    • Issues relating to Validity, Completeness, and Timeliness. If the Chief Counsel determines that there is a genuine, material issue relating to validity, completeness, or timeliness, such matters will be considered to be at issue in the petition and will be decided by the Board.
    • If a petition is invalid or incomplete, the Chief of Board Proceedings will notify the petitioner in writing that the petition is invalid or incomplete. The petitioner will be given a 15-day extension to cure or complete the defects identified.
    • Rejecting the Petition. If the Chief of Board Proceedings and the Chief Counsel determine that the petition is not valid or complete or that the petition is not timely, and that there is no genuine, material issue relating to validity, completeness, or timeliness, the Chief of Board Proceedings must reject the petition. The Chief of Board Proceedings must provide written notification to the petitioner and the Respondent.
  6. Can my petition be dismissed?
    • A petition will be dismissed if the petition is not timely; or the petitioner fails to timely cure the defects in an invalid or incomplete petition. The Chief of Board Proceedings will send written notice of the dismissal and supporting reasons therefore to the petitioner.
  7. Once my petition is accepted as valid and complete, is there briefing allowed?
    • A valid and complete petition is considered the petitioner's opening brief.
    • The State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis is the State-Assessed Properties Division's written response to the petition.
    • The petitioner's reply to the State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis is optional.
  8. What is the briefing schedule if no appeals conference is scheduled?
    • The State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis will be submitted to the Chief of Board Proceedings no less than 45 days before the date on which the petition is scheduled for Board action.
    • The petitioner may submit to the Chief of Board Proceedings a reply to the State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis within 15 days after the Board Proceedings Division mails the State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis to the petitioner. The petitioner may not submit new or additional evidence with its reply brief unless the State-Assessed Properties Division or Appeals Division previously requested new or additional information, but the petitioner may dispute or agree with the analysis and recommendations set forth in the State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis.
    • At least 10 days before the Board meeting date for which the petition is scheduled for Board action, the Appeals Division will submit a Hearing Summary or Summary Decision to the Chief of Board Proceedings.
  9. What is the briefing schedule for which an appeals conference is scheduled.
    • The Appeals Division will generally hold an appeals conference at least 30 days before the Board meeting at which the petition is scheduled for hearing or other Board action. The Appeals Division has broad discretion in determining the briefing schedules and the deadlines for submitting additional information.
    • The State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis must be submitted to the Chief of Board Proceedings no later than 35 days before the scheduled appeals conference date.
    • The petitioner must submit to the Chief of Board Proceedings a reply to the State Assessed Properties Division's Analysis within 15 days after the Board Proceedings Division mails the State-Assessed Properties Division's Analysis to the petitioner. The petitioner may not submit new or additional evidence with its reply brief unless the State-Assessed Properties Division or Appeals Division conference holder previously requested new or additional information, but the petitioner may dispute or agree with the analysis and recommendation set forth in the State-Assessed Properties Division's analysis.
    • The Appeals Division may request additional information or briefing to be provided by the petitioner or the State Assessed Properties Division before, during, or after the Appeals conference.
  10. Do I have to request an appeals conference and what are the procedures?
    • An appeals conference will be held if requested by the following:
      • By the petitioner in the petition;
      • By the State-Assessed Properties Division no later than August 15 for petitions for reassessment of unitary value or October 15 for petitions for reassessment of nonunitary value;
      • By the Assistant Chief Counsel of the Appeals Division; or
      • By any Board Member.
    • An appeals conference will consider all issues raised in the petition. The purpose of an appeals conference is to obtain additional facts and evidence, obtain stipulations of fact, and narrow questions of law, in order to facilitate a more efficient and productive oral hearing or other Board action on the petition.
    • The parties may attend the appeals conference in person or by telephone. The Appeals Division will attempt to conduct the appeals conference at a time and in a manner that is convenient for both the petitioner and the State-Assessed Properties Division.
    • The petitioner and the State-Assessed Properties Division will be notified of the date, time, and place of the appeals conference in writing or by electronic mail or facsimile. The petitioner and the State-Assessed Properties Division must confirm their participation in writing or by electronic mail or facsimile. Once the parties agree to attend an appeals conference, the Appeals Division, at its discretion, may choose to hold the appeals conference at the stated date, time, and place even if one party does not appear.
    • An attorney from the Appeals Division (conference holder) will conduct the appeals conference. To the extent practicable, the conference holder will ensure that the appeals conference is informal and non-adversarial in nature.
    • The petitioner must be represented at the conference by an agent or employee who is thoroughly familiar with the facts and issues and has been authorized to represent the petitioner. The State-Assessed Properties Division will be represented by an appraiser.
    • The conference holder will not record, videotape, or arrange for court reporting of the appeals conference. Any party may arrange for the appeals conference to be recorded or reported, at that party's expense. If the appeals conference is recorded or reported, a transcript must be made available to all participants. A recording or transcript of an appeals conference becomes a disclosable public record, if and when the petition being discussed on the record or transcript becomes a disclosable public record under chapter 5 of Rules for Tax Appeals.
    • If an appeals conference is scheduled, the Chief Counsel may shorten the time period for issuing the notice of hearing.
  11. If I requested a hearing, when will I receive my hearing notice?
    • The Board must hear and decide all petitions for reassessment of unitary or nonunitary values and correction of allocated values by December 31 of the year in which the notice of assessment was issued and render its decisions no later than December 31 that year.
    • The Board must hear petitions for reassessment of private railroad car values and render its decisions by January 31 of the year following the year in which the notice was issued. If the assessment was made outside the regular assessment period, the Board must hear the petition within 90 days of the date on which the petition was filed and render its decision within 45 days of the date of the hearing on the petition.
    • If petitioner requests an oral hearing in its petition, the Chief of Board Proceedings will mail a Notice of Board Hearing to the petitioner at least 45 days before the scheduled hearing date.
  12. Can multiple petitions be consolidated for a single hearing or decision?
    • Yes. Multiple petitions may be consolidated for hearing or decision.
    • If petitions are consolidated, the State-Assessed Properties Division will draft a single Analysis to address and analyze the issues presented in all of the petitions. The Appeals Division will draft one Hearing Summary for all of the consolidated petitions.
  13. Will my documents be kept confidential?
    • Oral hearings are generally conducted during open session at public meetings held in accordance with Government Code sections 11120 and 11123.
    • A taxpayer waives its right to confidentiality when the taxpayer files a petition and submits a written request for an oral hearing before the Board.
    • The waiver is effective on the date the Board issues its first Public Agenda Notice providing public notice of the date and time of the taxpayers' oral hearing to which the waiver applies.
    • A waiver may be rescinded by the taxpayer at any time before it becomes effective, if the taxpayer agrees to waive its oral hearing before the Board.
  14. What do I do if I want to withdraw my petition?
    • A petitioner may withdraw its petition at any time, up to and including the date of the scheduled Board hearing, by notifying the Chief of Board Proceedings in writing, including by electronic mail or facsimile.
  15. Can I ask for a rehearing if I disagree with the Board's decision?
    • No. The decision of the Board upon a property tax petition is final. The Board may not reconsider or rehear a petition. The Board may modify a decision on a petition to correct a clerical error.

For further explanation of these guidelines, please visit our website for the Rules for Tax Appeals at: http://www.boe.ca.gov/meetings/pdf/RTA.pdf and for other frequently asked questions relating to property taxes please visit our website at: http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/faqspropindex.htm