California Revenue and Taxation Code
The assessor shall prepare an assessment roll, as directed by the board, in which shall be listed all property within the county which it is the assessor's duty to assess.
This local roll shall show: (a) The name and address, if known, of the assessee. The assessor is not required to maintain electronic mail addresses.
(b) Land, by legal description.
(c) A description of possessory interests sufficient to identify them.
(d) Personal property. A failure to enumerate personal property in detail does not invalidate the assessment.
(e) The assessed value of real estate, except improvements.
(f) The assessed value of improvements on the real estate.
(g) The assessed value of improvements assessed to any person other than the owner of the land.
(h) The assessed value of possessory interests.
(i) The assessed value of personal property, other than intangibles.
(j) The revenue district in which each piece of property assessed is situated.
(k) The total taxable value of all property assessed, exclusive of intangibles.
(l) Any other things required by the board.
(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), when any tract of land is situated in two or more revenue districts, the part in each district shall be separately assessed.
(b) Where the owner of two or more contiguous parcels comprising the tract is identical, and the full value of any parcel is less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), that parcel may be combined with the contiguous parcel with the greatest assessed valuation.
(c) Where the owner of two or more contiguous parcels comprising the tract is identical, and the tract of land is being used for a single-family residence and constitutes 45,000 square feet or less, the smallest parcel may be combined with the largest contiguous parcel.
Land and improvements thereon shall be separately assessed.
In the event that a separate assessment of rights and privileges appertaining to mines or minerals and land is made, the descriptive words "mining rights" or "mineral rights" on the assessment roll shall include the right to enter in or upon the land for the exploration, development and production of minerals, including oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons.
Improvements shall be assessed by the assessor by showing their value opposite the description of the parcel of land on which they are located, if they are assessed to the same assessee.
Taxable improvements on land exempt from taxation shall be shown like other real estate on the roll. Value shall not be assessed against the exempt land and the land does not become responsible for the assessment made against the taxable improvements.
(a) Land once described on the roll need not be described a second time, but any person, claiming and desiring to be assessed for it, may have his or her name inserted with that of the assessee.
(b) A person is "claiming" property for purposes of subdivision (a) only if he or she provides the assessor with one of the following supporting documents:
(1) A certified copy of a deed, judgment, or other instrument that creates or legally verifies that person's ownership interest in the property.
(2) A certified copy of a document creating that person's security interest in the property.
(3) His or her declaration, under penalty of perjury, that he or she currently has possession of the property and intends to be assessed for the property in order to perfect a claim in adverse possession.
If the name of an absent owner is known to the assessor, or in the case of real property, if it appears of record in the office of the county recorder, the property shall be assessed to such owner; otherwise, the property shall be assessed to unknown owners.
When a person is assessed as agent, trustee, bailee, guardian, conservator, executor, or administrator, his representative designation shall be added to his name, and the assessment entered separately from his individual assessment.
A mistake in the name of the owner or supposed owner of real estate does not render invalid an assessment or any deed to a purchaser at a tax sale.
A mistake in the name of an owner or supposed owner of property on the unsecured roll which does not prevent the person from reasonably ascertaining that he or she is the assessee does not render invalid an assessment or any tax sale.
After each assessment of tax-defaulted property the assessor shall enter on the roll the fact that it is tax defaulted and the date of the declaration of default.
The assessor shall prepare an index to the local roll, in the form prescribed by the board, showing the name of the assessee, each place therein where his assessment appears, and any other information required by the board. This index shall be delivered to the tax collector on or before the delivery of the extended roll.
On or before July 1, annually, the assessor shall complete the local roll. He shall make and subscribe an affidavit on the roll substantially as follows:
"I, ____, Assessor of ____ County, swear that between the lien date and July 1, 19____, I have made diligent inquiry and examination to ascertain all the property within the county subject to assessment by me, and that it has been assessed on the roll, according to the best of my judgment, information, and belief, at its value as required by law; and that I have faithfully complied with all the duties imposed on the assessor under the revenue laws; and that I have not imposed any unjust or double assessment through malice, ill will, or otherwise; nor allowed anyone to escape a just and equal assessment through favor, reward, or otherwise."
The failure to make or subscribe this affidavit, or any affidavit, does not affect the validity of the assessment.
The assessor may require from any of his deputies an affidavit on the roll similar to his own.
As soon as the assessor completes the local roll, he shall deliver it to the auditor.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of state law, when the assessment roll is a machine-prepared roll the contents of the roll and the arrangement of property on the roll may be prescribed by the board.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (f), the assessor shall, upon or prior to completion of the local roll, do either of the following:
(1) Inform each assessee of real property on the local secured roll whose property's full value has increased over its full value for the prior year of the assessed value of that property as it shall appear on the completed local roll.
(2) Inform each assessee of real property on the local secured roll, or each assessee on the local secured roll and each assessee on the unsecured roll, of the assessed value of his or her real property or of both his or her real and his or her personal property as it shall appear on the completed local roll.
(b) The information given by the assessor to the assessee pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) shall include a notification of hearings by the county board of equalization, which shall include the period during which assessment protests will be accepted and the place where they may be filed. The information shall also include an explanation of the stipulation procedure set forth in Section 1607 and the manner in which the assessee may request use of this procedure.
(c) In the case of an increase in a property's full value that is determined pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) over the property's full value determined for the prior year in accordance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 51, the information shall also include the base year value of the property, compounded annually from the base year to the current year by the appropriate inflation factors.
(d) The information shall be furnished by the assessor to the assessee by regular United States mail directed to him or her at his or her latest address known to the assessor.
(e) Neither the failure of the assessee to receive the information nor the failure of the assessor to so inform the assessee shall in any way affect the validity of any assessment or the validity of any taxes levied pursuant thereto.
(f) This section shall not apply to annual increases in the valuation of property which reflect the inflation rate, not to exceed 2 percent, pursuant to the authority of subdivision (b) of Section 2 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution, for purposes of property tax limitation determinations.
(g) This section does not apply to increases in assessed value caused solely by changes in the assessment ratio provided for in Section 401.
(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1999.
Where the personal property on the secured roll of a person not required to file a property statement pursuant to Section 441 is assessed in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), excluding household furnishings and personal effects, the assessor, on or before July 15, may notify the assessee of the full value, the assessed value of such property, and the ratio used in the manner prescribed by Sections 619 and 619.1.
If the assessee does not receive notice of the assessment pursuant to this section, the assessee may pay taxes based upon such assessment under protest and obtain equalization of the assessment in the same manner as set forth in Section 620.
If the assessor does not send a notice pursuant to Section 619 or Section 621 to an assessee whose property was not on the prior year's secured roll, or to an assessee of real property on the local secured roll whose property's full value has increased, then such assessee may pay taxes under protest. If payments are made in installments, the protest need not be repeated with the second installment. Protests shall be made by filing with the tax collector, together with the payment of the taxes or their first installment, a petition for assessment reduction on the form prescribed by the county board, which form the collector is to forward to the clerk of the county board with the notation that taxes were paid under protest pursuant to this section. The county board may, after receipt of the petition for assessment reduction from the tax collector, hold a public hearing at the next regular board meeting, notice of time and place of which shall be sent to the person paying the tax under protest at the address stated in the protest or if no such address is stated, then to the address of the assessee according to the last equalized assessment roll. If the taxes are so paid and the assessee has not previously applied for a reduction of the assessment, the county board at its next annual meeting as an equalization board shall thereupon equalize such assessment in the manner prescribed by Article 1 (commencing with Section 1601) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of this division.
The tax rate fixed for property on the roll on which the property so equalized appears at the time of its original assessment shall be applied to the amount of the equalized assessment, determined in accordance with the preceding paragraph. In the event that the resulting figure is less than the tax theretofore computed, the taxpayer shall be liable for tax only for the lesser amount, and the difference shall be canceled. If the taxpayer has already paid the tax previously computed, such difference shall be refunded to him pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 5096) of Part 9 of this division, as an erroneously collected tax.
If any taxes are paid under protest pursuant to this section, the taxing agency to which the taxes are paid may, in accordance with Section 26906.1 of the Government Code, impound such taxes until the final disposition of the claim or action respecting the protest. No such impounding is required.
In any county the assessor, with the approval of the board of supervisors, may give the information required by Section 619, and similar information with reference to personal property, as an alternative to giving the information by United States mail, by having published lists of assessments in newspapers, or both. In counties of more than 4 million population and counties of more than 1 million population, as determined by the July 1, 1965, Department of Finance revised estimate, which are contiguous to a county with more than 4 million population, the assessor, with the approval of the board of supervisors, may divide the county into publication areas not to exceed five in number. Within such areas the assessment listing may be grouped by assessment map books, by post office zones or by such other arrangements as may be determined by the assessor as most likely to give notice to assessees and as practicable for publication in local newspapers. The complete assessment data of one such area may be printed in one year, and for other areas in successive years as directed by him until the full county is covered. Each year at least all changes of assessment listings for all the areas shall be printed, together with a notice that no changes were made with regard to properties not on the list of changes, so that all changes will be on a current basis for the entire county. Newspapers for the publications shall be selected as they are for publication of the delinquent tax lists and the rate paid for the advertising shall be the same.
Neither the failure of the assessee to receive this information nor the failure of the assessor to so inform the assessee shall in any way affect the validity of any assessment or the validity of any taxes levied pursuant thereto.
The assessor may place a single assessment on the roll for all leased personal property in the county that is assessed with respect to the same taxpayer. Any property assessed pursuant to this section shall, in the absence of evidence establishing otherwise, be deemed to be located at the taxpayer's primary place of business within the county.