...

STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION PROPERTY AND SPECIAL TAXES DEPARTMENT

by user

on
Category: Documents
3

views

Report

Comments

Transcript

STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION PROPERTY AND SPECIAL TAXES DEPARTMENT
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
BETTY T. YEE
First District, San Francisco
STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
PROPERTY AND SPECIAL TAXES DEPARTMENT
MICHELLE STEEL
Third District, Rolling Hills Estates
450 N STREET, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
PO BOX 942879, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA 94279-0064
916 445-4982  FAX 916 323-8765
JEROME E. HORTON
Fourth District, Los Angeles
www.boe.ca.gov
JOHN CHIANG
State Controller
_______
August 9, 2010
BARBARA ALBY
Acting Member
Second District, Sacramento
_______
RAMON J. HIRSIG
Executive Director
No. 2010/037
TO COUNTY ASSESSORS AND INTERESTED PARTIES:
ASSESSORS' HANDBOOK SECTION 504,
ASSESSMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FIXTURES
Board staff is initiating an interested parties project to revise Assessors' Handbook Section 504,
Assessment of Personal Property and Fixtures (AH 504). Enclosed is a draft of proposed AH
504 with revisions shown in strikeout/underscore format. Please note that information regarding
property tax audits has been removed from AH 504 and will be addressed in a separate audit
handbook. We invite your comments and suggestions for items to be included in the new audit
manual.
Interested parties are encouraged to participate in the drafting process of the AH 504 revision.
Please provide suggested language changes and/or proposed additions in the form of alternative
text. Identify the page and line number for all changes. Proposed changes/additions will be
accepted until November 30, 2010 and should be submitted to Mrs. Ladeena Ford at
[email protected] or sent to the above address.
After reviewing comments received from interested parties, it is anticipated that the project will
proceed as follows:



Staff will distribute an agenda matrix summarizing proposed changes to the draft.
Staff will meet with interested parties to discuss proposed changes to the draft.
The Board's Property Tax Committee will hear any unresolved issues.
All documents regarding proposed AH 504 will be posted on the Board's website at
www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/otherprojects10.htm. If you have any questions or comments
regarding this project, you may contact Mrs. Ford at 916-445-0208.
Sincerely,
/s/ David J. Gau
David J. Gau
Deputy Director
Property and Special Taxes Department
DJG:sk
Enclosure
ASSESSORS' HANDBOOK
SECTION 504
ASSESSMENT OF
PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FIXTURES
OCTOBER 2002 AUGUST 2010
CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
BETTY T. YEE, SAN FRANCISCO
FIRST DISTRICT
MICHELLE STEEL, ROLLING HILLS ESTATE
THIRD DISTRICT
JEROME E. HORTON, LOS ANGELES
FOURTH DISTRICT
JOHN CHIANG, SACRAMENTO
STATE CONTROLLER
——
BARBARA ALBY, ACTING MEMBER , SACRAMENTO
SECOND DISTRICT
RAMON J. HIRSIG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
1
FOREWORD
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
This edition of Assessors' Handbook Section 504 (AH 504), Assessment of Personal Property
and Fixtures, is a an update of the 2002 edition of AH 504, which constituted a complete rewrite
and compilation of three original manuals no longer in circulation: Assessors' Handbook Section
571 (AH 571), Appraisal of Equipment, Inventory, and Supplies, Section 221 (AH 221), Tax
Situs of Property, and Section 572 (AH 572), General Audit Guidelines. AH 504 includes some
text from the original manuals and material concerning subjects not previously covered in the
three prior handbook sections.
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
In this edition of the This manual, the chapter dealing with audits, as well as several appendices,
have been removed since they will be included in other handbook sections is a complete
reorganization of topics. The rewrite was undertaken by staff members of the County-Assessed
Properties Division (CAPD) Assessment Policy and Standards Division (APSD) in conjunction
with the staff of the Property Taxes Section Tax and Fees Program Division of the Legal
Department of the State Board of Equalization and is the product of staff writing at the direction
of the Board.
16
17
18
19
20
The objective of this manual is to give property tax appraisers, auditor-appraisers, and other
interested parties an understanding of issues concerning personal property and fixtures for
assessment purposes. The manual builds on the basic knowledge of generally accepted
accounting principles and appraisal concepts. It should serve as a guide for the appraisal and
assessment of personal property and fixtures.
21
22
23
24
25
If there is an inconsistency resulting from the absence of technical data in this manual and a
more advanced, specific manual is available, the more specific manual controls. Moreover, in the
interest of accuracy and thoroughness, appraisers, auditor-appraisers, and other interested parties
are advised to consult with qualified experts and other authoritative sources regarding the
technical aspects of valuing any complex property.
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
As part of the process of producing this manual, meetings were held with assessors, industry
representatives, and other interested parties. Conflicts regarding the content of the manual were
identified, and most were resolved. Those issues not resolved were voted on by Members of the
Board of Equalization after hearing testimony from interested parties and Board staff. The results
of the voting are reflected as Board positions on issues in the manual. The Board originally
approved this manual on December 10, 1998. Subsequent updates were approved by and the
Board approved an update on June 15, 2000, and . This second update of the manual was
approved by the Board on October 3, 2002.
34
35
Under Government Code sections 15606 et seq., the Board is charged with the duty of
administratively enforcing and interpreting the statutes governing the local assessment function.
36
37
While regulations adopted by the State Board of Equalization are binding as law, Board-adopted
manuals are advisory only. Nevertheless, courts have held that they may be properly considered
AH 504
i
August 2010October 2002
1
2
as evidence in the adjudicatory process. 1 The citations and law references in this publication
were current as of the writing of the manual.
3
The Board approved this handbook section on
.
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
David J. Gau
Deputy Director
Property and Special Taxes Department
California State Board of Equalization
[Date]
1
Coco-Cola Co. v. State Board of Equalization (1945) 25 Cal.2d 918; Prudential Ins. Co. v. City and County of
San Francisco (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 1142; Hunt-Wesson Foods, Inc. v. County of Alameda (1974)
41 Cal.App.3d 163.
AH 504
ii
August 2010October 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
2
3
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................1
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
WHAT IS TAXABLE?..........................................................................................................................1
WHAT IS TAXABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY?.......................................................................................1
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE SEVEN FACTORS OF AN ASSESSMENT .................................................3
Assessability of Property..............................................................................................................3
Taxable Property v. Versus Exempt Property..........................................................................3
Statute of Limitations...............................................................................................................4
Lien Date..................................................................................................................................5
Assessee of Property ....................................................................................................................5
Owner—One Who is in Possession or Control........................................................................5
Assessee of Leased Equipment............................................................................................6
Assessee of Improvements...................................................................................................6
Joint Assessees.........................................................................................................................6
Unknown Owner......................................................................................................................7
Situs of Property ..........................................................................................................................7
Description of Property ...............................................................................................................7
Classification of Property ............................................................................................................7
Security of Property .....................................................................................................................8
Secured Property Defined ........................................................................................................8
Unsecured Property Defined....................................................................................................8
Securing Personal Property......................................................................................................8
Value of Property.........................................................................................................................9
25
CHAPTER 2: CLASSIFICATION ............................................................................................11
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
IMPORTANCE OF CLASSIFICATION ...................................................................................................11
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION TYPES AS REQUIRED BY LAW ..............................................................11
Land ...........................................................................................................................................12
Improvements.............................................................................................................................12
Personal Property......................................................................................................................12
CLASSIFICATION FOR VALUATION PURPOSES .................................................................................12
Improvements (Structure v. Versus Fixture)..............................................................................13
Structure Item.........................................................................................................................13
Fixture ....................................................................................................................................13
Three Tests for Determining Whether an Article is a Fixture ...........................................13
Physical Annexation (Test)................................................................................................14
Constructive Annexation (Test).........................................................................................14
Intent (Test)........................................................................................................................15
Importance of Classification as Structure Versus Fixture .....................................................17
Classification Guidelines .......................................................................................................17
Special Classification Issues ..................................................................................................18
Classification of ATM's .....................................................................................................18
Classification of Billboards................................................................................................18
Classification of Telephone Systems .................................................................................19
AH 504
iii
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Classification of Service Station Improvements................................................................19
Classification of Partitions.................................................................................................20
Classification of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Tanks .............................................................20
Classification of Wind Machines.......................................................................................20
Tangible Personal Property (General Categories) ...................................................................21
Equipment ..............................................................................................................................21
Supplies..................................................................................................................................21
Business Inventory Exemption ..............................................................................................22
Questions and Answers Regarding Classification of Supplies Versus Inventory .............23
Vehicles, Vessels, Aircraft, and Manufactured Homes .........................................................30
Vehicles..............................................................................................................................30
Vessels, Aircraft, and Manufactured Homes .....................................................................31
13
CHAPTER 3: SITUS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY...............................................................32
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
WHAT IS TAX SITUS: PERMANENT VERSUS TEMPORARY SITUS......................................................32
DETERMINING SITUS OF MOVABLE PROPERTY ...............................................................................33
General Situs Rules (Rule 205)..................................................................................................33
Over Six Months Prior to the Lien Date ................................................................................33
Less Than Six Months Prior to the Lien Date........................................................................34
Movable Property In-Transit..................................................................................................34
Situs Other Than at Location .................................................................................................34
Habitual Presence of Substantial Average Rule ....................................................................34
Habitual Situs at More Than One Location in California..................................................35
Habitual Situs Both in California and in Another State or Nation ....................................35
Federal Law Versus State Law .................................................................................................. 35
Apportionment Between States and/or Foreign Nations ........................................................... 36
Example: Situs of Movable Property.....................................................................................37
Situs of Leased or Rented Property (Rule 204) .........................................................................38
Single Assessment for Leased Personal Property..................................................................39
Situs of Property In-Transit (Rule 203) .....................................................................................40
Property Moving in Interstate or Foreign Commerce............................................................40
Commencement of Transit.................................................................................................40
Termination of Transit .......................................................................................................40
Interruption of Transit........................................................................................................40
Property Moving in Intrastate Commerce..............................................................................41
Situs of Property Being Transported by an Owner............................................................41
Situs of Property Being Transported to a Buyer................................................................41
Interruption of Transportation............................................................................................42
OTHER SPECIAL SITUS SITUATIONS ................................................................................................42
Aircraft.......................................................................................................................................42
Definitions..............................................................................................................................42
General Aircraft .....................................................................................................................42
Certificated Aircraft ...............................................................................................................42
Air Taxi..................................................................................................................................42
Situs of Aircraft......................................................................................................................43
General Aircraft and Unscheduled Air Taxis ....................................................................43
Certificated Aircraft and Scheduled Air Taxis ..................................................................43
AH 504
iv
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Aircraft Repair and Replacement Parts..............................................................................44
Vessels........................................................................................................................................44
Definition of Documented and Nondocumented Vessels......................................................44
Situs of Documented Vessels.................................................................................................45
Situs of Nondocumented Vessels...........................................................................................46
Situs of Intercounty Ferryboats..............................................................................................46
Situs of Seagoing Vessels / Home Port Doctrine...................................................................46
Application of Situs Determination .......................................................................................48
Situs of Linen Supply..................................................................................................................49
Situs of Vending Equipment/Games...........................................................................................49
Situs of Containers.....................................................................................................................49
Situs of Returnable Containers ..................................................................................................49
Situs of Semi-Permanent Containers .........................................................................................50
Situs of Artificial Satellites.........................................................................................................50
Situs of Racehorses ....................................................................................................................50
Situs of Personal Property Owned by Members of the Armed Forces ......................................51
17
CHAPTER 4: VALUATION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY..................................................52
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
REVIEW OF THE VALUE CONCEPT ...................................................................................................52
APPROACHES TO VALUE .................................................................................................................53
Cost Approach ...........................................................................................................................53
Reproduction Cost Approach.................................................................................................54
Replacement Cost Approach..................................................................................................54
Historical Cost Approach.......................................................................................................55
Variations of the Cost Approach............................................................................................55
Valid Cost Components .........................................................................................................56
Direct and Indirect Costs ...................................................................................................56
Trade Level ........................................................................................................................66
Depreciation of Machinery & Equipment..........................................................................73
Types of Depreciation Defined..........................................................................................74
Physical Deterioration ............................................................................................................... 75
Functional Obsolescence ........................................................................................................... 75
External Obsolescence............................................................................................................... 75
Methods of Estimating Depreciation and Value................................................................76
Market Method .......................................................................................................................... 76
Equipment Index Factors and Percent Good Factors ................................................................ 77
Sampling.................................................................................................................................... 81
Straight-Line or Age-Life Method ............................................................................................ 82
Cost to Cure Technique ............................................................................................................. 82
Production Output or Service Hours Method ............................................................................ 82
Utilization Adjustment .............................................................................................................. 83
Limitations of the Cost Approach..........................................................................................84
Comparative Sales Approach ....................................................................................................87
Income Approach .......................................................................................................................89
Processing the Income Stream ...............................................................................................91
Vacancy (Idle Time) and Collection Losses......................................................................92
Expenses ............................................................................................................................92
AH 504
v
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
Valuation Methodology .........................................................................................................92
Summary of the Income Approach ....................................................................................94
RECONCILIATION AND VALUE CONCLUSION ...................................................................................95
4
5
CHAPTER 5: ASSESSMENT OF IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO BUSINESS
PROPERTY..................................................................................................................................96
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
DEFINITIONS OF RELEVANT TERMS ................................................................................................96
Improvements.............................................................................................................................96
Building Improvements ..............................................................................................................96
Landlord Improvements .............................................................................................................97
Leasehold (or Tenant) Improvements ........................................................................................97
Structure Items ...........................................................................................................................97
Fixtures ......................................................................................................................................98
Types of Fixtures ...................................................................................................................98
Trade Fixtures ....................................................................................................................98
Fixed Machinery and Equipment.......................................................................................99
CLASSIFICATION ...........................................................................................................................100
Classification on the Property Statement ................................................................................100
Why Classification is Important...............................................................................................100
Fixtures are a Separate Appraisal Unit When Measuring Declines in Value ......................100
Fixtures may be a Separate Appraisal Unit for Supplemental Roll Purposes......................101
Fixture Value Included in Value Criterion for Mandatory Audit Purposes.........................102
APPRAISAL OF IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO BUSINESS PROPERTY ..............................................103
General ....................................................................................................................................103
Some Valuation Issues .............................................................................................................104
New Construction ................................................................................................................104
Valuation of Abandoned Leasehold Improvements ............................................................106
Valuation of Fixtures Under Decline in Value ....................................................................107
DETERMINATION OF ASSESSEE .....................................................................................................108
COORDINATION IN THE ASSESSMENT OF LANDLORD IMPROVEMENTS AND LEASEHOLD
IMPROVEMENTS ............................................................................................................................109
Establish a Comprehensive Set of Written Procedures Regarding Assessment of Landlord and
Leasehold Improvements .........................................................................................................109
Clearly Identify Landlord and Leasehold Improvements on Appraisal Records ....................110
Coordination of Landlord and Leasehold Improvement Appraisal.........................................110
35
CHAPTER 6: SPECIAL ISSUES ............................................................................................111
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
VALUATION OF OTHER TYPES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY...............................................................111
Leased Equipment....................................................................................................................111
Assessability ........................................................................................................................111
Assessee ...............................................................................................................................111
Leasing with Exempt Entities ..........................................................................................112
Banks and Financials ............................................................................................................... 112
Insurance Companies............................................................................................................... 113
Government Entities ................................................................................................................ 113
Other Exempt Entities or Institutions ...................................................................................... 117
Situs......................................................................................................................................118
AH 504
vi
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
Description: Types of Leases...............................................................................................118
Short-Term Leases ...........................................................................................................118
Extended-Term Leases.....................................................................................................118
True Leases ......................................................................................................................119
Conditional Sales Contracts or Financing Leases............................................................119
Biopharmaceutical Industry Equipment and Fixtures.............................................................125
Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment and Fixtures.........................................................125
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS ...........................................................................................................126
Idle, Unused, or Obsolete Equipment ......................................................................................126
Equipment Purchased Used.....................................................................................................126
Vehicles ....................................................................................................................................129
Expensed Equipment................................................................................................................132
Containers................................................................................................................................132
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Tanks...............................................................................................132
Oak Barrels..............................................................................................................................133
Animals and Migratory Livestock............................................................................................133
Special Value Allowances ........................................................................................................134
Works of Art ........................................................................................................................134
Motion Pictures....................................................................................................................134
Business Records .................................................................................................................134
One-Way Paging Companies...................................................................................................135
Biopharmaceutical Industry Equipment and Fixtures.............................................................136
Possessory Interests .................................................................................................................137
Pawn Shops..............................................................................................................................137
VALUATION OF AIRCRAFT AND VESSELS ......................................................................................137
BANKRUPTCY ...............................................................................................................................137
Assessee of a Business in Bankruptcy Protection ....................................................................138
Special Valuation Issues Surrounding Bankrupt Entities........................................................138
38
CHAPTER 7: PROPERTY STATEMENTS ..........................................................................140
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
DISCOVERING ASSESSABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY .......................................................................141
Property Transfers ...................................................................................................................142
Business Permits ......................................................................................................................142
Sales Tax Permits.....................................................................................................................142
Business Questionnaires ..........................................................................................................143
Telephone Directory and Reverse Telephone Directory .........................................................143
Newspapers ..............................................................................................................................143
Valuation Forms 600B and 600R ............................................................................................143
Differentiating Between a True Lease and a Conditional Sales Contract ............................... 119
Valuation of Leased Equipment...........................................................................................121
Supplies ....................................................................................................................................121
Construction in Progress .........................................................................................................122
Computer and Related Equipment ...........................................................................................123
General Valuation ............................................................................................................123
Storage Media for Computer Programs ...........................................................................124
Basic Operating Programs ....................................................................................................... 124
Processing Programs ............................................................................................................... 125
AH 504
vii
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ....................................................................................143
Field Canvass...........................................................................................................................143
Field Checks.............................................................................................................................144
Other Sources of Information ..................................................................................................144
OBTAINING STATEMENTS .............................................................................................................144
Filing Requirements.................................................................................................................144
Direct Billing ...........................................................................................................................145
PROCESSING PROPERTY STATEMENTS ..........................................................................................146
Preliminary Review: Required Information.............................................................................146
Contents of Statement ..........................................................................................................147
Situs......................................................................................................................................147
Description of Property........................................................................................................147
Tax Day................................................................................................................................148
Authorized Signature ...........................................................................................................149
Specific Sections of the Property Statement.............................................................................149
Part I: General Information..................................................................................................150
Part II: Declaration of Property Belonging to You..............................................................151
Supplies............................................................................................................................151
Construction-In-Progress (CIP) .......................................................................................152
Schedule A .......................................................................................................................152
Schedule B: Proper Classification of Fixture and Structure Items (Schedule B) ............153
Supplemental Schedule....................................................................................................153
Part III: Declaration of Property Belonging to Others.........................................................153
Inconsistent Reporting .............................................................................................................154
Review of Previous Audit Findings..........................................................................................154
Property Statement Checklist...................................................................................................155
Valuation..................................................................................................................................157
Late Filings and Non-Filings...................................................................................................157
Verification of Existing Business ........................................................................................158
Business Close-Outs.................................................................................................................158
Low Value Property (Low Value Ordinance) ..........................................................................158
Property Statements For Special Types of Property................................................................158
Aircraft.................................................................................................................................159
Vessels .................................................................................................................................159
Racehorses ...........................................................................................................................160
36
CHAPTER 98: ROLL PROCEDURES...................................................................................161
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
IDENTIFYING ROLL ERRORS ..........................................................................................................161
ESCAPE ASSESSMENTS ..................................................................................................................161
Tax Rate and Interest ...............................................................................................................163
Penalty .....................................................................................................................................164
Statute of Limitations ...............................................................................................................164
Low Value Escape Assessments ...............................................................................................165
Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment...................................................................................165
Entry on Roll ............................................................................................................................166
Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment ............................................................................166
ROLL CORRECTIONS .....................................................................................................................167
AH 504
viii
August 2010October 2002
1
2
3
REFUNDS.......................................................................................................................................168
BASE YEAR VALUE CORRECTIONS ...............................................................................................169
SUMMARY OF REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE SECTIONS REGARDING ROLL PROCEDURES.........169
4
5
APPENDIX AB: COORDINATION OF LANDLORD AND LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENT
APPRAISALS..............................................................................................................................173
6
7
8
DEVELOP AN INTER-DEPARTMENTAL MEMORANDUM FOR COORDINATION .................................173
Description of Method .............................................................................................................174
Example................................................................................................................................174
9
APPENDIX B G: SAMPLING...................................................................................................179
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
GENERAL ......................................................................................................................................179
Representativeness...................................................................................................................179
Sample Size ..............................................................................................................................180
Stratification ............................................................................................................................181
Measurement............................................................................................................................182
Outliers ....................................................................................................................................182
VALIDITY OF RESULTS ..................................................................................................................182
SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................183
18
APPENDIX C H: APPLICATION OF THE MARKET METHOD.........................................185
19
20
21
22
23
24
DEVELOPING COMBINED FACTORS ...............................................................................................186
Method 1: Compute Changes Between Current Lien Date and Previous Years .....................186
Example ...............................................................................................................................186
Method 2: Compute Historical Changes in Price....................................................................187
Example ...............................................................................................................................187
SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................187
25
APPENDIX D I: LIFING STUDIES.........................................................................................188
26
27
28
29
30
DATA SOURCES.............................................................................................................................189
GENERAL STEPS ............................................................................................................................190
Calculating The Survivor Curve ..............................................................................................190
Matching to Known Patterns of Survival.................................................................................191
Applying the Parameters of the Matching Curve ....................................................................191
31
APPENDIX E J: SUMMARY OF COURT CASES..................................................................198
32
GLOSSARY OF TERMS..........................................................................................................207
33
BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................................220
34
35
AH 504
ix
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
2
WHAT IS TAXABLE?
3
Article XIII, section 1 of the California Constitution defines taxable property:
4
Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or the laws of the United States.
5
6
7
8
9
10
(a) All property is taxable and shall be assessed at the same percentage of fair
market value. When a value standard other than fair market value is prescribed by
this Constitution or by statute authorized by this Constitution, the same
percentage shall be applied to determine the assessed value. The value to which
the percentage is applied, whether it be the fair market value or not, shall be
known for property tax purposes as the full value.
11
(b) All property so assessed shall be taxed in proportion to its full value.
12
13
14
15
16
All property is taxable (or assessable) unless it is exempt by the Constitution or statutes.2 This
taxable property may be defined as real property and personal property. This section of the
Assessors' Handbook deals with appraisal and assessment procedures for taxable personal
property and fixtures, and it includes discussions of property tax audits, roll changes, and
reporting requirements.
17
WHAT IS TAXABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY?
18
Real property is specifically defined by the law. Real property, or real estate, is:
19
(a) The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land.
20
21
22
(b) All mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber whether or
not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining
thereto.
23
(c) Improvements. 3
24
25
Personal property, on the other hand, is defined by exception; personal property is all property
except real estate. 4 Tangible personal property is defined as all "property that may be seen,
2
The county assessor is responsible for the assessment of most property. However, the California Constitution
(article XIII, section 19) requires the Board of Equalization to assess property (except franchises) owned or used by
regulated railway, telegraph or telephone companies, car companies operating on railways in the state, and
companies transmitting or selling gas or electricity. The California Constitution also requires the Board to assess
pipelines, flumes, canals, ditches, and aqueducts lying within two or more counties. The assessed values as
determined by the Board (except for the railway car companies) are allocated to the counties and other local tax
jurisdictions.
3
Revenue and Taxation Code section 104. (All section references in this section of the Assessors' Handbook refer to
Revenue and Taxation Code sections unless otherwise noted.)
AH 504
1
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
weighed, measured, felt or touched, or which is in any manner perceptible to the senses" except
real property as defined above. 5
3
4
5
6
7
Not all property defined as personal property is taxable. Unlike real property, personal property
may, in whole or in part, be exempted by the Legislature. Examples of current exemptions
provided by legislative statute include: business inventories, personal household furnishings
(including household furnishings owned by a homeowners' association), 6 personal effects, and
pets. But, in general, personal property remains taxable. 7
8
9
10
11
12
Assessment of taxable personal property relies on the same basic value concepts applicable to
real property, and both are taxed at the same maximum percentage (1 percent) of full cash value
(or market value). 8 However, personal property is treated differently in many other respects.
Some of the most notable differences, also identified in Assessors' Handbook Section 501
(AH 501), Basic Appraisal, 9 are:
13

Special assessments are levied on real property only. 10
14
15

The Legislature has wide authority pursuant to article XIII, section 2, of the Constitution
concerning the taxation and/or exemption of personal property.
16
17

Personal property cannot be assessed to insurance companies or banks; 11 fixtures are
assessable, however.
18
19

Real property is governed by article XIII A (and assigned a base year value), while personal
property is appraised at market value annually. 12
4
Section 106.
Property Tax Rule 123 of Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations. (All rule references to Rules refer to the
Property Tax Rules in Title 18, Public Revenues, of the California Code of Regulations.)
6
Personal property owned by a homeowners' association for use by its members, who were homeowners in a
planned residential community, used in connection with a common clubhouse, are exempt from taxation. See Lake
Forest Community Assn. v. County of Orange (1978) 86 Cal.App.3d 39. Personal effects and household furnishing
owned by a licensee of a residential care facility are exempt, but personal property used solely in connection with
the care of the residents are taxable as property used in connection with a trade, profession or business.
Additionally, household furnishings used in a summer rental home are taxable, and furnishings used on a television
"reality show" filmed in a private residence are also taxable because the property is used in connection with a trade,
profession or business.
7
Regarding the treatment of intangible assets and rights, see the discussion in Assessors' Handbook Section 502
(AH 502), Advanced Appraisal, commencing at page 150.
8
California Constitution, article XIII, section 1 and article XIII A, section 1. The Article XIII A, section 1(b)
1 percent limitation does not apply to bonded indebtedness.
9
All references to Assessors' Handbook sections refer to handbooks published and produced by the California State
Board of Equalization. Publication dates will vary and will be noted, with page numbers, if specific to the
discussion.
10
Section 3972 defines special assessment to mean "any assessment levied pursuant to any of the improvement acts
of the State of California, whether or not represented by a bond, and which are liens upon a specific parcel of real
property."
11
California Constitution, article XIII, sections 27 and 28 and Revenue and Taxation Code section 23182.
12
Manufactured homes and floating homes, although classified as personal property, are assessed in the same
manner as real property. See section 229 and sections 5802 et seq.
5
AH 504
2
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2

There is no taxable possessory interest in personal property, except as provided for in
section 201.5.
3
4

Before declines in value can be recognized, machinery and equipment classified as
improvements must be separated from other improvements. 13
5
6
7
8
9
An appraiser or auditor-appraiser assessing personal property should be familiar with the
differences listed herein, as well as other basic appraisal concepts as discussed in AH 501, Basic
Appraisal, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This handbook section builds
on that basic understanding with a focus on guidelines for the appraisal and assessment of
personal property, as it differs from real property, and fixtures.
10
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE SEVEN FACTORS OF AN ASSESSMENT
11
12
13
14
15
The making of an assessment requires the determination of seven factors for that assessment to
be proper and complete. These seven factors are especially important regarding personal
property and fixtures because they can be difficult to determine and they often tend to change.
The seven factors are Assessability, Assessee, Situs, Description, Classification, Security, and
Value.
16
17
18
19
A brief description of each of the factors is included here as a foundation for additional
information presented in the text. A more thorough study of Situs, Classification, and Value is
necessary to make an accurate assessment of personal property and fixtures; these factors are
each discussed in detail in separate chapters of this manual.
20
ASSESSABILITY OF PROPERTY
21
Taxable Property v. Versus Exempt Property
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
In the making of an assessment, the first determination is whether the property is taxable (or
assessable) 14 or exempt. As previously noted, article XIII, section 1 of the California
Constitution states that, unless otherwise exempt as provided by the State Constitution or the
laws of the United States, all property is taxable. While real property may be exempt specifically
by the State or U.S. Constitution only, the Legislature has been granted general power to exempt
personal property in whole or in part. Article XIII, section 2 of the California Constitution states,
in part:
29
30
31
32
33
The Legislature may provide for property taxation of all forms of tangible
personal property, shares of capital stock, evidences of indebtedness, and any
legal or equitable interest therein not exempt under any other provision of this
article. The Legislature, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring,
may classify such personal property for differential taxation or for exemption.
13
Section 51(d), Rule 461(e).
For purposes of property tax assessment and this text, "taxable" and "assessable" are used almost synonymously.
"Assessable" has the same meaning as "taxable" as used earlier in this chapter and in AH 501.
14
AH 504
3
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
Personal property is and can be exempt by reason of its ownership, use, and/or type. For
example, personal property owned by banks, financial corporations, and insurance companies is
exempt by ownership 15 while property used by free public libraries is exempt by use. 16 Business
inventories and household personal property are exempt by type. 17 Property may be exempt by
one or more of these reasons. For instance, section 241 exempts from property taxation the first
$50,000 of employee-owned hand tools. 18 This is an exemption by ownership and use.
7
8
9
10
11
12
Certain exemptions exist under the State or U.S. Constitution, apart from Legislative enactment,
due to a lack of tax assessment jurisdiction. For example, personal property on certain military
reservations (federal enclaves) and Indian reservations is immune from taxation due to lack of
jurisdiction. This may include movable personal property that is used or leased off the
reservation if the principal place of business is on the reservation. In other words, situs of the
movable property is the reservation. 19
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Article XIII, section 3 and the 200 and 900 sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code identify
real and personal property exemptions as granted by the California Constitution and the
Legislature, respectively. It is important for an appraiser to be aware of exemptions in general in
order to determine the assessability of the property being appraised. It is also important to note
that not all exemptions are automatic. Some are allowed only if appropriate forms are filed
timely. 20 In these cases, the property remains assessable unless an exemption claim is filed and
approved.
20
Statute of Limitations
21
22
23
24
25
26
Sections 51.5 and 532 establish Statutes of Limitations on the assessor, which affect the
assessability of property. Although a property itself is not exempt, an assessment must be made
timely to be valid. Unless the assessee intentionally evades taxation, as discussed in sections 502,
503, and subdivision (c) of 51.5, an assessment must normally be made within four years of the
assessment period in which the property escaped assessment or was underassessed. (This topic is
discussed further in Chapter 89, Roll Procedures.)
15
California Constitution, article XIII, section 28 prohibits taxation of personal property to insurance companies.
California Constitution, article XIII, section 27 and Revenue and Taxation Code section 23182 provides for
exemption of personal property owned by banks and financial corporations; this exemption does not apply to
personal property owned by federal credit unions.
16
California Constitution, article XIII, section 3, subdivision (d).
17
Section 219 and section 224, respectively.
18
Section 241. was amended to increase the exemption allowed from $20,000 to $50,000, beginning with the
January 1, 2002 lien date.
19
See Chapter 3 and Rule 205 for information on determination of situs of movable property.
20
Contact the county assessor and/or see Assessors' Handbook Section 222 (AH 222), Standard Form List, Section
267 (AH 267), Welfare, Church, and Religious Exemptions, and Section 265 (AH 265), Cemetery Exemption, for
information regarding exemptions and requirements necessary to qualify and receive an exemption.
AH 504
4
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
Lien Date
2
3
Sections 2192 and 722 identify the lien date as January 1. 21 Personal property is assessable only
if taxable on this date.
4
5
Following is an example of how the lien date affects the assessment as determined by the
assessor:
EXAMPLE 1.1
LIEN DATE
On the lien date, January 1, 20029, a boat owned by owner A is located in Sacramento. The assessee
(owner A) sells the vessel to a boat dealer (owner B) on January 15, 20029. It becomes inventory to
owner B on that date.
Owner A receives a tax bill for the fiscal year July 1, 20029, through June 30, 200310, for the
assessment of the vessel. The assessee does not own the boat during the fiscal year the bill covers,
but the bill is valid based on ownership on the lien date (owner A was the owner on the lien date,
January 1, 20029). Taxes on unsecured property are due on the lien date.
If the sale were reversed, and the dealer sold the boat to owner A after the lien date, the boat would
be exempt as inventory even though owner A owned the boat from January 15 through
June 30, 20029. Generally, ownership on the lien date determines the taxability, situs, and assessee
of the property.
6
ASSESSEE OF PROPERTY
7
8
9
10
In determining the assessee, the assessor is not limited to only the fee owners of the property.
Sections 405, 610, and 611 authorize the assessor to assess the owners, persons in possession or
control of the property, persons claiming to own the property, joint assessees, and/or unknown
owners of any property.
11
Owner—One Who is in Possession or Control
12
13
14
15
Section 405 identifies the assessee as the "persons owning, claiming, possessing, or controlling it
on the lien date." Under most circumstances, this will be the owner. However, the assessee may
be one who is simply in possession or control although not the legal owner. This is often the case
with leased equipment and improvements related to business property.
16
17
18
It is important that the assessee's name is accurately spelled or abbreviated. A person must be
able to reasonably ascertain that he or she is the assessee. "A mistake in the name of an owner or
supposed owner of property on the unsecured roll which does not prevent the person from
21
Effective January 1, 1997, the lien date for locally assessed property was changed from 12:01 a.m. March 1, to
12:01 a.m. January 1.
AH 504
5
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
reasonably ascertaining that he or she is the assessee does not render invalid an assessment or
any tax sale." 22
3
Assessee of Leased Equipment
4
With regard to leased equipment, either the lessor or the lessee may be the assessee. Typically:
5

If the lease is a true lease, the lessor is considered the owner.
6
7

If the lease is a finance lease or conditional sales contract, the lessee is technically the owner,
and may be the assessee.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
However, in practice, leasing transactions can be complicated and the determination of the
assessee may not be straightforward. For example, if the lessor is unknown (in either case listed
above), the lessee may be assessed. If the lessor is a bank or financial institution (financial
corporation) which is exempt from personal property taxes, section 235 provides that the lessee
is the owner (and therefore the assessee) for assessment purposes. Communication with the two
parties to the lease and/or review of the lease or financing agreement helps to alleviate problems.
(See also discussion of leased equipment in Chapter 4 and Chapter 6).
15
Assessee of Improvements
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Improvements can also cause similar problems in identifying the assessee. Improvements
installed by tenants may be assessed to either the landlord (the lessor) or the tenant (the lessee).
Nevertheless, improvements that are considered an integral part of the landlord's structure are
generally assessed to the landlord on the secured roll. Fixtures owned by the tenant, which are
improvements by definition (section 105), and tenant-owned fixed machinery and equipment are
assessed to the tenant on the unsecured roll. However, as with leased equipment, the assessee
should be determined according to facts specific to each case.
23
24
25
26
27
Again, communication with the two (probable) assessees is helpful, but the appraiser's and
auditor-appraiser's cooperation also assists in resolving problems and clarifying factual
questions. As will be discussed later in the manual, Chapter 2, Classification, and Chapter 5,
Assessment of Improvements Related to Business Property, the two appraisers should review the
lease agreement and coordinate their fact-gathering efforts where ambiguity exists.
28
Joint Assessees
29
30
31
In every situation an effort should be made to determine the appropriate assessee. It is preferable
to assess only one party to avoid administrative difficulties, but the assessor has the authority to
assess taxable property to the lessor, the lessee, or both parties. 23
32
33
34
When both parties are assessed, tax bills are required to be sent to both parties. This requirement
presents a difficulty in that dual tax bills may result in dual payments. The assessor cannot
indicate primary and secondary liabilities; the property tax statutes do not recognize such
22
23
Section 613.
Section 405(b).
AH 504
6
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
3
differences. Should both persons pay the tax, the tax collector must accept the first payment and
return the second. Therefore, the assessor should confine the joint assessment procedure to those
cases in which a collection problem is anticipated.
4
Unknown Owner
5
6
7
In contrast to section 405, section 611 requires the assessor to assess property to unknown
owners if the owner of the property is not known. If the property is assessed to unknown owners,
the property may be seized and sold in order to pay property taxes. 24
8
SITUS OF PROPERTY
9
10
11
Pursuant to the California Constitution, article XIII, section 14, all property taxed by local
government shall be assessed in the county, city, and district in which it is situated. Thus, situs
determination is important.
12
13
14
15
16
Situs is seldom a problem with property that remains in one location, as in the case of real
property, but many problems are encountered when determining the situs of movable property
such as personal property. Rules 201 through 206 were adopted to deal with situs problems
involving movable property. A complete discussion of these rules and situs in general is included
in Chapter 3 of this manual.
17
DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY
18
19
20
21
An accurate assessment requires a description of the property assessed. Personal property, as
required by section 445, must be described in the detail requested on the property statement. The
description includes the cost of the property if the information is within the knowledge of the
assessee or is available to him/her from his/her own or other records.25
22
23
24
25
26
27
The property statement, mandated by section 441, is a vital link in the communication system
between the property owner and the assessor. It requests a variety of information regarding
taxable property needed by the appraiser and/or auditor-appraiser for making an annual review
and accurate assessment of the property. A detailed discussion of property statements, the nature
of the reporting process, and variations of property statements related to different types of
property is found in Chapter 7 of this manual.
28
CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY
29
30
31
32
33
In accordance with the California Constitution and related statutes, all property on the roll must
be classified as land, improvements, or personal property. 26 Rules 121 through 124 identify the
proper classification. Classification is one of the more complex and important of the seven
factors of a legal assessment. It is covered in detail in a separate chapter (Chapter 2) of this
manual.
24
Weyse v. Crawford (1890) 85 Cal. 196.
Section 445.
26
California Constitution, article XIII, section 13 and sections 602 and 607 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
25
AH 504
7
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
SECURITY OF PROPERTY
2
3
4
5
An assessment roll, as defined in section 109, is the entire listing of all taxable property within
the county. 27 (The assessor actually prepares two separate rolls each year: the regular assessment
roll and the supplemental assessment roll.) The assessment roll consists of two parts—secured
and unsecured.
6
Secured Property Defined
7
8
9
The "secured roll" is that part of the roll containing state-assessed property and property the taxes
on which are a lien on real property sufficient, in the opinion of the assessor, to secure payment
of the taxes. 28 The taxes on the secured roll are a lien on the real property.
10
Unsecured Property Defined
11
12
The remainder of the roll is the "unsecured roll." 29 The taxes on the unsecured roll are a personal
liability of the assessee.
13
14
15
16
17
18
Assessments on the two parts of the roll have different due dates, delinquency dates, and tax
collection procedures. In addition, in any given year, the tax rates between the secured and
unsecured rolls may be different; the tax rate on the unsecured roll is the rate "for the preceding
tax year upon property of the same kind where the taxes were a lien upon land sufficient in value
to secure their payment." 30 Therefore, it is necessary to determine whether each assessment will
be listed on the secured or the unsecured roll.
19
Securing Personal Property
20
21
22
23
Most personal property has a degree of mobility; it can be moved from location to location or out
of the taxing jurisdiction in which it had situs on the lien date. This can create difficulties in tax
collection. It is therefore desirable to secure personal property to real property, which has a fixed
situs, to facilitate payment of the taxes.
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
In determining whether personal property may be placed on the secured roll, the assessor is
guided by sections 2189 et seq. and by Assessors' Handbook Section 201 (AH 201), Assessment
Roll Procedures. Under section 2189, personal property may be placed on the secured roll when
the property is physically located on the real property on the lien date and is assessed to the
person or entity which owned the real property. Upon assessee request, personal property at a
different location may also be secured to real property under section 2189.3; this is known as
cross-securing. When personal property is cross-secured, the assessor will determine whether or
not the real property is sufficient to secure the payment of the taxes. If so, a Certificate of
Security for taxes on personal property will be issued which must be recorded with the county
recorder on or before the lien date.
27
The entire assessment roll includes the "local roll" which is the county assessor's duty to assess, and the "Board
roll," which is part of the secured roll, containing state-assessed property.
28
Section 109.
29
Section 109.
30
California Constitution, article XIII, section 12.
AH 504
8
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
When personal property is secured to real property and the real property (but not the personal
property) is sold after the lien date but before the assessment is made, administrative difficulties
may occur. The new owner of the realty may be assessed for personalty that he or she never
owned or possessed. In this case, even though the initial assessment was valid due to the
conditions on the lien date, the assessor is required to transfer the personal property assessment
to the unsecured roll. 31
7
VALUE OF PROPERTY
8
9
10
11
12
Value, for property tax purposes, is market value. This is the price (the amount of money) that a
property will bring when it is sold in an open market. It is a dollar amount determined by the
utility of the property, as manifested through the purchasing power of those who are interested in
acquiring it, the relative scarcity of the commodity, and the difficulty involved in overcoming
this scarcity. In other words, value (market value) is determined by supply and demand. 32
13
14
The California Supreme Court, in a benchmark decision, defined the term market value as used
in the context of property tax assessment.
15
16
17
18
19
It provides, in other words, for an assessment at the price that property would
bring to its owner if it were offered for sale on an open market under conditions in
which neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other.
It is a measure of desirability translated into money amounts…and might be
called the market value of property for use in its present condition. 33
20
Similarly, the Legislature has defined the term in sections 110 and 110.1. Section 110(a) states:
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
Except as is otherwise provided in Section 110.1, "full cash value" or "fair market
value" means the amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if
exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor
seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and
the seller have knowledge of all of the uses and purposes to which the property is
adapted and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable
restrictions upon those uses and purposes.
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
Of the seven factors in an assessment, value is consistently the most difficult. AH 501, Basic
Appraisal, includes a comprehensive study of the value concept in general and an in-depth
discussion of value as applied to real property. 34 In many respects, the same basic principles
discussed in that section apply to personal property. However, unlike most real property,
personal property is assessed at market value every year; it is not governed by the value
limitations under Proposition 13 (California Constitution, article XIII A). Except for
manufactured homes and floating homes, there is no base year value for personal property and
31
Section 2189.
Supply and demand are the market effects of scarcity and utility.
33
De Luz Homes Inc. v. County of San Diego (1955) 45 Cal.2d 546, 561-562.
34
Valuation of personal property is also discussed briefly in AH 501, Chapter 7.
32
AH 504
9
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 1
1
2
3
4
the appraisal date is always the lien date, January 1. Further discussion of value, specific to
personal property and fixtures, is a major portion of this section of the Assessors' Handbook. It is
included in Chapter 4, Valuation of Personal Property, Chapter 5, Assessment of Improvements
Related to Business Property, and Chapter 6, Special Issues.
AH 504
10
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
CHAPTER 2: CLASSIFICATION
2
IMPORTANCE OF CLASSIFICATION
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Classification is an important and required factor of the (local) assessment function for several
reasons. 35 Principally, it is important because property tax law requires that land, improvements
(including fixtures), possessory interests, personal property, and other classes of property (as
defined by the Board) must have separately assessed values shown on the roll. 36 It is also
significant because of the assessment differences between real property and personal property,
which include the following: (1) special assessments are levied only on real property; (2) the tax
rate on personal property on the unsecured roll is the rate of tax on personal property on the prior
year's secured roll; 37 (3) personal property is appraised annually at market value and not
governed by article XIII A of the California Constitution; and (4) fixtures are a separate appraisal
unit when measuring declines in value.
13
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION TYPES AS REQUIRED BY LAW
14
Section 602 provides, in part, that the local roll shall show:
15
(e) The assessed value of real estate, except improvements.
16
(f) The assessed value of improvements on the real estate.
17
18
(g) The assessed value of improvements assessed to any person other than the
owner of the land.
19
(h) The assessed value of possessory interests.
20
(i) The assessed value of personal property, other than intangible.
21
…(l) Any other things required by the board. 38
22
23
24
This means that all property listed on the roll must be classified as (1) land, which is all real
property except improvements, (2) improvements, (3) possessory interests, (4) personal property,
or any other things required by the Board.38
35
Classification does not apply to state assessed properties. "The Board may use the principle of unit valuation in
valuing properties of an assessee that are operated as a unit in a primary function of the assessee. In valuing such
properties, the Board must appraise [them] at their full value[s] when put to [their] beneficial and productive
use[s]…Unit taxation prevents real but intangible value from escaping assessment and taxation by treating public
utility property as a whole, undifferentiated into separate assets ([such as] land or buildings, vehicles, etc) or even
separate kinds of assets [such as] realty or personalty." GTE Sprint Communications Corp. v. Alameda County
(1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 992.
36
Rule 252, and sections 602 and 607.
37
California State Constitution, article XIII, section 12.
38
Section 602(1). Per section 20, the word "Board" means the State Board of Equalization.
AH 504
11
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
Each class of separately enrolled property is defined in the Revenue and Taxation code (sections
103, 104, 105, 106, and 107) and by Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations (Rules 121,
122, 122.5, 123, 124, and 131). Some of the definitions are summarized here for ease of use and
reference.
5
LAND
6
7
Land is identified by section 602(e) as real estate, or real property, except improvements. It
includes:
8
(a) The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land.
9
10
11
(b) All mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber whether or
not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining
thereto. 39
12
IMPROVEMENTS
13
Section 105 defines improvements as:
14
(a) All buildings, structures, fixtures, and fences erected on or affixed to the land.
15
16
(b) All fruit, nut bearing, or ornamental trees and vines, not of natural growth, and
not exempt from taxation, except date palms under eight years of age.
17
18
Examples of property generally classified as improvements are listed in Rule 124(b). The listing
is a guide to classification of those named and similar items.
19
20
21
For valuation purposes, all improvements should be subclassified as structure items or fixtures.
This separation and distinction is extremely important and encompasses a large portion of the
discussion in the remainder of the chapter.
22
PERSONAL PROPERTY
23
24
25
Personal property includes all property except real estate. 40 It is property that may be exempted,
in whole or in part, by the Legislature. A discussion of personal property categories (taxable and
exempt) is included in a later portion of this chapter.
26
CLASSIFICATION FOR VALUATION PURPOSES
27
28
29
30
As required by law for enrollment purposes, property must be classified as land, improvements,
or personal property—pursuant to the definitions provided in the previous section. For valuation
purposes, however, property is categorized as land, structure items (improvements), fixtures
(improvements), and or personal property.
39
40
Section 104(a) and (b). See also Rule 121.
Section 106.
AH 504
12
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
IMPROVEMENTS (STRUCTURE V. VERSUS FIXTURE)
2
3
4
Both structure items and fixtures are improvements; they are not taxed separately. However, they
are treated differently and separately for valuation purposes. It is therefore important to discuss
and understand the terms in order to classify the improvements properly.
5
Structure Item
6
7
8
A structure item (or improvement) is "an edifice or building; an improvement." 41 It is an item
commonly referred to as an improvement. The business property statement defines structure as
an improvement whose:
9
10
11
…primary use or purpose is for housing or accommodation of personnel,
personalty, or fixtures and has no direct application to the process or function of
the industry, trade, or profession. 42
12
Fixture
13
14
15
16
In contrast to structure, fixture is a somewhat vague term in that it has different meanings to
different people. For example, certain items (such as bathroom "fixtures") may be denoted as
"fixtures" by a business owner or an accountant, even though the property tax appraiser classifies
them as structure improvements (rather than fixture improvements) for assessment purposes.
17
For assessment purposes, pursuant to Rule 122.5, a fixture 43 is:
18
19
20
21
…an item of tangible property, the nature of which was originally personalty, but
which is classified as realty for property tax purposes because it is physically or
constructively annexed to realty with the intent that it remain annexed
indefinitely.
22
23
24
25
26
In discussions with taxpayers and accountants, the auditor-appraiser should keep in mind that the
concept of fixtures for assessment purposes is not necessarily the same concept used by
taxpayers. Where there is a contradiction between the assessee's or accountant's concept of
classification and the express language of statutory and rule provisions, the statutes and rules are
controlling for assessment purposes.
27
Three Tests for Determining Whether an Article is a Fixture
28
29
In determining whether an article is a fixture, the application of the three tests set forth in Rule
122.5 must be applied to the evidence available. The three tests are:
30

Physical Annexation (manner of annexation),
31

Constructive Annexation (adaptability), and
41
Appraisal Institute, The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, s.v. "structure."
Form BOE-57l-l, Business Property Statement.
43
For property tax assessment purposes, fixtures include trade fixtures and fixed equipment. See also Chapter 5,
Assessment of Improvements Related to Business Property.
42
AH 504
13
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1

2
Physical Annexation (Test)
3
4
The term "affixed to land" is the key to the physical annexation test. Section 660 of the Civil
Code includes a definition of the term, which reads in part as follows:
5
6
7
8
9
A thing is deemed to be affixed to land when it is attached to it by roots, as in the
case of trees, vines, or shrubs; or imbedded in it, as in the case of walls; or
permanently resting upon it, as in the case of buildings; or permanently attached
to what is thus permanent, as by means of cement, plaster, nails, bolts, or
screws….
Intent
10
Thus, the test for physical annexation under Rule 122.5(b)(1) may be summarized as follows:
11
12
13

If the property being classified cannot be removed without substantially damaging it or the
real property with which it is being used, it is considered physically annexed. It is classified
as a fixture.
14
15
16

If the property can be removed without material damage but is actually attached, it is
classified as a fixture, unless there is an intent manifested by outward appearance or historic
usage, that the item is to be moved and used at other locations.
17
18
19

Property may be considered physically annexed if the weight, the size, or both are such that
relocation or removal of the property would be so difficult that the item appears to be
intended to remain in place indefinitely.
20
21

Property shall not be considered physically annexed to realty solely because of attachment to
the realty by "quick disconnect" attachments, such as simple wiring and conduit connections.
22
Constructive Annexation (Test)
23
24
25
An item may be classified as a fixture even if it is not physically fastened to a building or other
structure. This is the concept of constructive annexation, the second test. Constructive
annexation per Rule 122.5(c)(1) may be summarized as follows:
26
27
If the property is not physically annexed to realty, but is a necessary, integral, or working
part of the realty, it is constructively annexed.
28
29
30
Factors to be considered are: (1) is the nonattached item designed and/or committed for use with
specific realty, and/or (2) whether the realty can perform its desired function without the
nonattached item.
31
32
33
34
35
Constructive annexation, as well as physical annexation, is "installation specific." As such, visual
inspection of the actual annexation or relationship of the item to the real property or
improvements may be necessary. If the installation and/or removal aspects of the item remain
unclear even after visual inspection, further information should be requested from the assessee.
For instance, the assessee may be requested to provide the detailed procedures involved in the
AH 504
14
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
installation or removal of the item and an accounting of all costs before a final determination can
be made.
3
4
5
6
Following is a list of items, which were formerly personal property, that are classified as
improvements due to constructive annexation based on decisions of the court (and information
specific to each case). The list should serve as a guideline for determining whether an item is
classified as an improvement using the test of constructive annexation.
EXAMPLE 2.1
PROPERTY CLASSIFIED AS FIXTURES (IMPROVEMENTS) DUE TO CONSTRUCTIVE ANNEXATION

A ship anchored at a specially constructed pier. The support lines for water, sewage, air conditioning,
heating, etc., were of a type used for permanent rather than temporary installation; motive power for
the ship was partly removed and the rest permanently disabled; the ship could be moved only at great
expense and could not be moved beyond the harbor; and extensive land-based facilities including
roads, bridges, and a parking lot were constructed especially for the visitors to the ship. Specialty
Restaurants, Corp. v. Los Angeles County (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 607 (Queen Mary case).

Cranes mounted on specially installed rails at a wharf area. The area of the wharf containing the rails
was extensively reinforced to accommodate the great weight of the cranes. Without the cranes, the
facility could not function in consonance with its purpose and design. Seatrain Terminals of
California, Inc. v. County of Alameda (1978) 83 Cal.App.3d 69.

Movable structures anchored to realty by the force of gravity. Rinaldi v. Goller (1957) 48 Cal.2d 276.

Portable buildings, platforms, tracks, machinery and shipyard equipment owned by the government
and located on private property. The government's contractual right to remove its buildings and fixed
equipment did not affect classification of the items as improvements for property tax purposes. Kaiser
Co. v. Reid (1947) 30 Cal.2d 610.

Pumps Certain pumps, when of such a size they are not easily moved and from outward appearances,
to third parties, appear to be permanent. Bell v. Bank of Perris (1942) 52 Cal.App.2d 66.

Vault doors, although removable without damage to the vault, are functionally and physically
integrated with the vault itself. Vaults alone without doors would not be useful as vaults and would
fail in their intended purpose. San Diego Trust & Savings Bank v. County of San Diego (1940)
16 Cal.2d 142.

Head sets and stools specially designed for use with affixed central telephone office equipment.
Southern California Telephone Co.mpany v. State Board of Equalization (1938) 12 Cal.2d 127.
7
Intent (Test)
8
9
Intent is the most important of the three tests and may be the deciding factor regarding
classification of property. Rule 122.5 (d)(1) states:
10
11
Intent is the primary test of classification. Intent is measured with—not separately
from—the method of attachment or annexation. If the appearance of the item
AH 504
15
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
indicates that it is intended to remain annexed indefinitely, the item is a fixture for
property tax purposes. Intent must be inferred from what is reasonably manifested
by outward appearance. An oral or written agreement between parties, such as a
contract between lessor and lessee, is not binding for purposes of determining
intent. [Italics added.]
6
7
8
9
10
11
Intent must be determined by physical facts, and is the means of applying the physical and
constructive annexation tests. For instance, great expense or difficulty in removal is indicative of
intended permanence. 44 Intent cannot be a hidden matter, but is "reasonably manifested by
outward appearances." 45 If an item appears physically attached to real property, an appraiser can
assume that the intent of the annexation is that the item will remain attached unless there is other
evidence that indicates the attachment is only temporary.
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
The guiding precedent for determining intent is the California Supreme Court case, Crocker
National Bank v. City & County of San Francisco (1989) 49 Cal.3d 881. Here the Court found
that computer equipment is personalty even when a newly constructed building includes a data
processing center. The inclusion of safety, security, cooling, power, and fire suppression systems
designed into the building specifically for the computer center did not change the classification
of the equipment from personalty to a fixture. Excerpts from the decision provide instruction on
the importance of intent:
19
20
21
22
23
24
…in determining whether an item constitutes a fixture, three criteria must be
taken into consideration: (1) the manner of its annexation to the realty; (2) its
adaptability to the use and purpose for which the realty is used; and (3) the
intention with which the annexation is made. It is also settled that for tax
purposes, the "intention" must be determined by the physical facts or reasonably
manifested outward appearances.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
…In resolving whether an item placed on the premises constitutes a fixture or
personal property, the aforelisted three elements do not play equal parts. In
making the determination in a particular case, the element of intent is regarded as
a crucial and overriding factor, with the other two criteria being considered only
as subsidiary ingredients relevant to the determination of intent…Because the
legal problem here is taxability…and because the "intent" here is constructive and
not actual, the test reduces itself to whether a reasonable person would consider
the item to be a permanent part of the property, taking into account annexation,
adaptation, and other objective manifestations of permanence….
34
35
Finally, there are no other objective manifestations of permanence that are
sufficient to outweigh the manifestations revealed by the evidence bearing on
44
Morse Signal Devices v. County of Los Angeles (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 570; Allstate Insurance Co. v. County of
Los Angeles (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 877; Security Pacific National Bank v. Los Angeles County (1984) 161
Cal.App.3d 877; Crocker National Bank v. City and County of San Francisco (1989) 49 Cal.3d 881.
45
Trabue Pittman Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1946) 29 Cal.2d 385, 397.
AH 504
16
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
annexation and adaptation – viz., that the [computer] equipment did not constitute
a permanent part of the building…Accordingly, we conclude that a reasonable
person, taking into account annexation, adaptation, and other objective
manifestations of permanence, would not consider the equipment at issue to
constitute a permanent part of the building. [Emphasis added.]
6
Importance of Classification as Structure Versus Fixture
7
8
9
As mentioned earlier, it is important to sub-classify improvements as structure items or fixtures
because they are treated differently for valuation and assessment purposes. 46 Structure items and
fixtures are treated differently in that:
10

Fixtures are a separate "appraisal unit" when measuring declines in value (Rule 461(e)). 47
11
12

Fixtures are treated differently than other real property (i.e., structure items) for supplemental
roll purposes.
13
14
15

Fixtures and personal property values are components in the value criterion for determination
of a mandatory audit identifying the pool of taxpayers with the largest assessments for audit
purposes.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Thus, care must be taken to properly classify improvements as structure items or fixtures. The
danger with respect to improper classification of an item is that it could become subject to
double assessment or may escape assessment. If an item such as a compressor, for example, is
included in the real property appraisal of the building in which it is located (per Rule 124(b)),
and the assessee lists the compressor on the business property statement as a fixture used in the
trade or industry, it may also be included in the appraisal of the business property, subjecting it
to a double assessment. While this problem is addressed in detail in Chapter 5, and Appendices
A and B, it bears repeating that much caution must be exercised in compiling and comparing
appraisal data and making accurate classifications in order to avoid escapes and duplicate
assessments.
26
Classification Guidelines
27
28
29
30
31
An appraiser should consider all three tests when classifying property: physical annexation,
constructive annexation, and intent. Each test affects the final classification of the property based
upon the evidence available. However, intent, as the courts have stated, is the most important and
must be measured with—not separately from—the method of physical attachment or
constructive annexation.
32
33
34
35
36
Although the three tests (physical annexation, constructive annexation, and intent) for
determining whether or not an item is classified as a fixture have been provided by the code and
by the courts, lack of detailed statutory definitions has led to some confusion when attempting
classification regarding improvements, structure versus fixture. Rule 463(c) defines a fixture in
general ("an improvement whose use or purpose directly applies to or augments the process or
46
47
See Chapter 5, Assessment of Improvements Related to Business Property.
Rule 461(e).
AH 504
17
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
function of a trade, industry, or profession"), but no specific examples are given in the statutes.
Assessors' Handbook Section 581 (AH 581), Equipment Index and Percent Good Factors,
provides some clarification by listing improvements by type; that is, when an improvement
relates primarily to the structure (structure), and when an improvement relates mainly to the
function of a trade, industry, or profession (fixture). This list is included in Appendix A for
review and ease of use. Each example in this list is classified only on the limited description
offered. In practice, classification of a property should be based on all relevant facts concerning
that property. For example, dual purpose improvements should be classified as to their primary
purpose.
10
Special Classification Issues
11
12
13
14
Certain types of property consistently create classification problems: automatic teller machines
(ATMs), billboards, telephone systems, partitions, service station fixtures, liquefied petroleum
gas tanks (propane tanks), and wind machines. These categories of property and the
classification issues involved with each are discussed below.
15
Classification of ATMs
16
17
18
19
20
ATMs may be classified as personal property or fixtures. The determination must be made on a
case-by-case method. Most ATMs are owned by banks and financial institutions which by law
are exempt from personal property tax (and are subject to an in-lieu franchise tax). 48 Therefore,
classification of ATMs may determine taxability. Using the three tests of a fixture (physical
annexation, constructive annexation, and intent) will aid an appraiser in the proper classification.
21
22
23
24
25
26
Rule 122.5(e)(9) classifies ATMs that are installed as free standing or counter-top units within a
building (such as a bank, supermarket, or other retail establishment) as personal property. An
ATM installed in a structure that was built primarily for the purpose of housing the ATM is a
fixture, because the realty cannot perform its main function without the ATM. Similarly, an
ATM installed through the wall of a building is a fixture because that portion of the realty was
designed or modified for the specific purpose of housing the ATM.
27
Classification of Billboards
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
Billboards (off-premise outdoor advertising signs) are properly classified as fixtures under Rule
122.5(a)(1). They are generally affixed to the ground, moved infrequently, and intended to
remain annexed until the usual leasehold interest in the land terminates. The billboard appraisal
unit consists of the billboard improvement (sign and foundation), the use permit allowing
construction and operation of the billboard, and the leasehold interest in the land held by the
billboard owner (lessee). The land lessor's interest in the billboard site is a separate appraisal
unit.
48
Exempt banks and financial institutions do not include federally chartered credit unions. Personal property and
real property owned by federally chartered credit unions are not exempt from property taxes.
AH 504
18
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
Classification of Telephone Systems
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Telephone systems (not including state-assessed telephone companies) often pose problems
because there may be many different components making up the system as a whole and each
component must be analyzed and classified separately. The components integrated into the
structure are physically annexed, generally having permanence (intended to be annexed
indefinitely), and are therefore structure items. However, components that plug into the wiring
system are not physically annexed to the structure. These components are necessary in order for
the operation of the system (constructively annexed), but they are portable and can be used in
other structures. Use of these components is not limited to only one system. The intent of the
property owner is that these components be movable (i.e., when the realty is sold, the portable
telephone components are not sold with it). This part of the telephone system is personal
property.
13
Classification of Service Station Improvements
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Service station improvements may also be made up of many components. Each component
should be identified, tested, and classified individually consistent with existing statutory law,
property tax rules, and standard appraisal principles. In general, fixtures include items such as
signs, hoists, and tanks if they directly augment the function of the service station trade.
Structure items include other improvements such as buildings, curbing, and landscaping; their
primary use and purpose is for housing or accommodation of personnel, personalty, or fixtures.
Items that have a dual purpose will be classified according to their primary purpose.
21
22
23
24
Following (Table 2A2.2) is a generalized listing of property typically found in connection with
service stations and their appropriate classification as proposed by industry. 49 As technological
advancements are made and other changes occur in this industry, these general categorizations
may need to be modified.
TABLE 2A2.2
CLASSIFICATION OF SERVICE STATION IMPROVEMENTS
Structures
Fixtures
Island Curbing
Signs
Hoists
Compressors
Air & Water Wells
Dispensers/Pumps
Tanks & Related Equipment
Buildings
Curbing
Paving
Restrooms
Walls
Fencing
Yard Lighting
Landscaping
Island Canopy
49
Classification recommendation supplied by the Western States Petroleum Association Marketing Property Task
Force.
AH 504
19
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
Classification of Partitions
2
3
Partitions may be classified as either personal property, structure items, or fixtures. Each
partition must be classified based on the physical characteristics of the item.
4
5
6
Most partitions currently used in office buildings are not permanently attached or built into the
structure. The partitions are designed to be rearranged easily to accommodate the current needs
of the business. These types of partitions are properly classified as personal property.
7
8
9
10
11
12
Partitions built into the structure or designed to function only in a specific structure are
improvements. They are physically annexed and can be classified as fixtures or structures as
appropriate. Partitions that are floor-to-ceiling height, and for the most part constructed at the
time the building is constructed, are structure improvements. Partitions in an office space that are
less-than-ceiling height, attached to the floor, and constructed with studs and sheetrock or
masonry materials are fixtures. In either case, the partitions may remain indefinitely.
13
Classification of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Tanks
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Liquefied petroleum gas tanks, commonly referred to as propane tanks, may be classified as
personal property or fixtures. The determination must be made on a case-by-case basis
depending upon the facts available. The three tests for determining whether an article is a fixture
(i.e., physical annexation, constructive annexation, and intent), as discussed earlier in this
chapter, should be considered and applied by the appraiser in order to make this determination.
Rule 124 recognizes that propane tanks "which remain in place" are categorized as
improvements.
21
22
23
24
25
26
For example, if the tank and related equipment cannot be removed without material damage to
real property and the intent "manifested by outward appearances" or historic usage indicates that
the property will remain indefinitely, the property should be classified as a fixture. If, on the
other hand, the intent of the owner is to move the property and use it at other locations, the
property should be classified as personal property. Again, the determination must be made based
on the facts available in each individual situation.
27
Classification of Wind Machines
28
29
30
31
Wind machines may be classified as fixtures or personal property. Wind machines are used in the
agricultural industry to protect crops, trees, and vines from adverse weather conditions. These
machines consist of a large fan mounted on a tower, a motor to drive a fan, a fuel tank or
electrical hookup, and other related equipment necessary for operation.
32
33
34
A wind machine that is physically annexed to realty with the intent that it remains annexed
indefinitely is a fixture. Rule 122.5(e), Example (10), specifically states that wind machines
annexed to realty are not considered a building, structure, or a fence. For property tax assessment
AH 504
20
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
purposes, they are fixtures. On the other hand, wind machines attached to or resting on a truck or
other type of moveable movable equipment are properly classified as personal property. 50
3
TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY (GENERAL CATEGORIES)
4
Tangible personal property is defined in Rule 123 as:
5
6
7
All property that may be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched, or which is in
any other manner perceptible to the senses, except land and improvements, is
tangible personal property.
8
9
10
11
12
In general, personal property is sub-classified according to type as provided on property
statements: equipment, supplies, vessels, aircraft, and manufactured homes. Each of these
general categories is discussed below. Since not all personal property is assessable, it is
important to sub-classify this property further (e.g., business inventory, licensed vehicles, etc.).
In some cases, classification affects not only valuation but it affects taxability as well.
13
Equipment
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
The term equipment is a general term. The business property statement subdivides equipment
into the following five primary categories: (1) machinery and equipment, (2) office furniture and
equipment, (3) other equipment, (4) tools, molds, dies, and jigs, and (5) computer equipment.
Machinery and equipment includes equipment that is directly related to a particular industry
(including equipment that is driven and controlled by a computer that is an integral part of the
production equipment). For example, washers and dryers are types of equipment that owners of
laundromats would include in this category. The category titled tools, molds, dies, and jigs is
limited to manufacturing industries; generally, it is self-explanatory to those industries. Other
categories on the property statement, office equipment and computer equipment, on the property
statement represent equipment used by most types of businesses. Items such as desks, tables,
chairs, and filing cabinets are included in office equipment. The column entitled computer
equipment columns entitled Personal Computers and Local Area Network (LAN) Equipment and
Mainframes represents represent not only non-production computer components but also related
equipment. 51
28
Supplies
29
30
31
32
33
Supplies are items that are used in the normal operation of the business and are not intended for
sale or lease on the lien date. They are assessable as personal property at their current
replacement cost, or market value. Assessable supplies do not, however, include any items that
become a component part of a product that is manufactured or sold in addition to items that are
sold with the product. Examples of supply items that are exempt inventory when they are sold
50
Rule 122.5, Fixtures, was amended to include an example of wind machines, effective February 6, 2002. Please
refer to the rule for future guidance on the proper classification of wind machines.
51
The Business Property Statement requests computer equipment (and related equipment) be reported separately
based on cost of the computer system business property statement requires personal computers and local area
network equipment and mainframes be reported separately.
AH 504
21
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
with the product include packaging boxes, pallets, price tags, and cash register tapes. These items
are inventory and are exempt. 52 Examples of assessable supplies (items that do not become part
of the product) include stationery and office supplies, chemicals, and precious metals used to
produce a chemical or physical reaction, janitorial and lavatory supplies, fuel, and sandpaper.
Medical, 53 legal, or accounting supplies held by a person in connection with a profession that is
primarily a service activity may also be reportable as supplies. Items that are to be delivered to a
customer as part of a nonprofessional service, such as chemicals added to a customer's pool by a
swimming pool maintenance company, are inventory.
9
Business Inventory Exemption
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
It is important to distinguish supplies, which are assessable, from inventory items, which are
exempt. Rule 133(a) identifies business inventory. 54 In short, business inventory includes all
items of personalty that become part of or are themselves a product that is held for sale or lease
in the ordinary course of business. The key phrases ordinary course of business and goods
intended for sale or lease must apply for the property to qualify for the business inventory
exemption. For example, a retailer in the business of selling shoes is also requesting a business
inventory exemption on a vessel he/she is trying to sell on the lien date. Since the sale of vessels
is not part of his/her ordinary course of business, the vessel would not qualify for the inventory
exemption. If a copier leasing company holding machines for lease uses one of the machines
prior to the lien date or intends to use the copier after the lien date, that copier is no longer part of
the goods intended for sale or lease and would not qualify for the business inventory exemption
even if it is held for lease on the lien date.
22
In general, basic provisions under Rule 133(a) are:
23
24

Personal property (including animals, crops, and feed) sold in the ordinary course of business
is exempt business inventory.
25
26

Items incorporated into a product and held for sale in the ordinary course of business are
exempt business inventory.
27
28

Goods transferred incidental to the rendition of a professional service are not eligible for the
business inventory exemption. (Examples are given later in this chapter.)
29
30

Goods transferred in the rendition of a nonprofessional service are eligible for the business
inventory exemption. (Examples are given later in this chapter.)
31

Animals used in the production of food or fiber are exempt business inventories.
32
33

Property held for lease in the normal course of business on the lien date is exempt business
inventory.
34
35

Tangible personal property that is owned or used rather than intended for sale or lease does
not qualify for the business inventory exemption. Such equipment is assessable.
52
Sections 129 and 219; Rule 133.
Some medical supplies are considered inventory.
54
Rule 133(b) describes property not eligible (exclusions) for the business inventory exemption.
53
AH 504
22
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
Questions and Answers Regarding Classification of Supplies Versus Inventory
2
3
4
Following are some common questions and answers regarding the business inventory exemption.
The questions are grouped into five categories: manufacturing, retailing, professional and service
enterprises, agricultural enterprises, and property held for lease.
5
Manufacturing
6
7
QUESTION 1: DO
EXEMPTION?
MANUFACTURING SUPPLIES QUALIFY FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY
8
9
Yes. Manufacturing supplies, that will be incorporated in a product that is to be sold, such
as welding rods, nuts, bolts, and screws, are eligible.
10
11
12
13
No. Supplies such as oxygen and acetylene for welding, drill bits, and similar items that
are consumed in the manufacturing process but that are not physically incorporated into
the product are not eligible. Also not eligible are catalysts used to accelerate chemical or
physical reaction but which are not intentionally incorporated into the product.
14
15
QUESTION 2: ARE
OAK BARRELS USED IN THE MANUFACTURING OF WINE
(OR
BRANDY)
ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Yes, if used to impart flavor or aroma. Particles of chemical components of oak barrels
transfer to wine (or brandy) during the aging process, adding flavor, aroma, and color.
This enhancement process is the primary purpose for aging wine (or brandy) in oak
barrels instead of other containers. During the time oak wine barrels are used or held to
be used as a raw material to impart the flavor and aroma-enhancing chemical compounds
of the oak into wine (or brandy), such property is business inventory. (See Rule
133(a)(2)(B).)
23
24
25
26
27
No, if used solely for storage. An oak barrel used in the manufacturing process is not
eligible for the business inventory exemption when it is not, or is no longer, used to
impart the flavor and aroma of the oak into the wine (or brandy). Such an oak barrel is
used merely for the storage of wine and subject to assessment as property used in the
"ordinary course of business." (See Rule 133(a)(2)(B).)
28
29
QUESTION 3: ARE TOMATO PASTE BINS AND DRUMS ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY
EXEMPTION?
30
31
32
33
34
Yes, if the bins or drums qualify as containers of the tomato paste and title to them passes
to the purchaser of the tomato paste. These bins or drums appear to qualify as containers
because they enclose the foil bags of tomato paste and are not safely removed until the
purchaser is ready to consume or use the product. The bins or drums provide support and
protection for the product that is sold, rather than simply transportation of the product.
35
36
Title to the bins or drums can be determined to pass to the purchaser if six indicia can be
identified: title transfer provisions of the purchase contract; the amount of the container
AH 504
23
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
deposit required; the inclusion of sales tax; distinctive container markings or
construction; the seller's method of accounting for the containers; container return policy;
and actual business practices relative to the containers.
QUESTION 4: DO
TOOLS, MOLDS, DIES, OR JIGS HELD FOR USE QUALIFY FOR THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
6
7
No. Tools, molds, dies, or jigs are assessable property when used or intended to be used
in the ordinary course of business.
8
9
QUESTION 5:ARE PARTS HELD BY MANUFACTURERS TO PERFORM WARRANTY SERVICE OR ON
PRODUCTS THEY SELL ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
10
11
12
Yes. Although the parts are not sold outright, they are held for repair (replacement of
defective parts) of products that are sold. The selling prices of the products will include
amounts to cover normal warranty repairs.
13
14
15
16
17
18
Probably not. In a precedential court decision, a spare computer parts pool, used as a
source of replacement parts under extended service contracts and for diagnosis of
problems with particular computer equipment, did not qualify as business inventory. The
assessee treated the spare parts as fixed assets rather than as inventory; customers were
not charged for the replacement parts; and the spare parts pool was not reduced when a
good part was swapped for a defective one. 55
19
20
QUESTION 6: IS SAND AND GRAVEL HELD BY A LICENSED CONTRACTOR FOR INCORPORATION
INTO A BRIDGE OR ROADBED ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
21
22
23
Yes. Business inventories include all materials held by a licensed contractor which will
be incorporated into real property, except those to be incorporated into real property
which the contractor is constructing for his/her own use.
24
25
QUESTION 7: IF IS
FACTORY BUILT HOUSING HELD FOR SALE BY THE MANUFACTURER
ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
26
27
28
Yes. If held for sale as individual sections of a building, they would be eligible. They
would also be eligible where the manufacturer is also a licensed contractor and assembles
the sections at a building site, then sells the buildings.
29
30
31
QUESTION 8: IS A MANUFACTURED HOME, LOCATED IN A DEALER-OWNED MOBILEHOME PARK
AND HELD FOR SALE OR LEASE BY THE DEALER, ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY
EXEMPTION?
32
33
34
Yes. Pursuant to section 5801(b)(2), a manufactured home is personal property unless
affixed to a permanent foundation as provided in Health and Safety Code Section
18551(a). If the manufactured home either was installed on a conventional
55
Amdahl v. County of Santa Clara (2004) 116 Cal.App. 4th 604.
AH 504
24
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
(non-engineered) system of piers and blocks, or was installed on a permanent foundation
but the appropriate documents were not recorded as specified in section 18551(a), the
manufactured home would be classified as personal property and therefore eligible for the
business inventory exemption under the specified circumstances.
5
Retailing
6
7
8
QUESTION 9: IS
FARM OR CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY USED BY A
FARMER OR CONTRACTOR, ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION ONCE IT IS
CONSIGNED TO AN AUCTIONEER FOR SALE?
9
10
Yes, the equipment is held for sale by the auctioneer whose normal business is selling
such goods.
11
12
13
QUESTION 10: FARM OR CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IS HELD AND ADVERTISED BY A FARMER
OR CONTRACTOR FOR SALE AS A MEANS OF DISPOSING OF OLD OR EXCESS EQUIPMENT. IS SUCH
EQUIPMENT ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
14
15
No. It is not held for sale in the normal course of business. His or her business is farming
or contracting, not selling used equipment.
16
QUESTION 11: ARE DISPLAY ITEMS ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
17
18
19
20
Yes, unless they have been altered to the point where it is unlikely they will be sold. An
example of a display that is not eligible is a cut-away of a tire showing the interior
construction. Such an item would not be sold by the retailer; thus, it is not eligible for the
exemption.
21
22
QUESTION 12: ARE SALESPERSON'S SAMPLES AND DEMONSTRATION EQUIPMENT ELIGIBLE FOR
THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
23
24
Yes, if items are sold from the samples and/or demonstration equipment or if the samples
and/or demonstration equipment are periodically rotated and returned to stock for sale.
25
26
27
28
29
QUESTION 13: A
EQUIPMENT IS USED FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THEN RETURNED TO INVENTORY FOR SALE. IS THE
30
31
32
33
No. The equipment is in use at the consumer level and is not being displayed or otherwise
offered for sale. Property which has been used by the holder prior to the lien date is NOT
eligible for the inventory exemption, even though held for lease on the lien date (see Rule
133(b)(4)).
RETAILER SELLING OFFICE MACHINES AND EQUIPMENT PERIODICALLY
REMOVES EQUIPMENT FROM INVENTORY FOR USE AS HIS/HER OFFICE EQUIPMENT.
THE
EQUIPMENT BEING USED AS OFFICE EQUIPMENT BY THE RETAILER ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
AH 504
25
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
QUESTION 14: ARE MEDICAL AND AMBULATORY EQUIPMENT THAT IS LEASED TO INDIVIDUALS
FOR HOME USE ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
No. The business is the owner/lessor of medical and ambulatory equipment that is used in
its leasing business for the production of income. The property owned is not eligible for
the household furnishings exemption because the medical and ambulatory equipment is
owned by it and used in connection with its business for the production of income.
Property held or used in any way in connection with a trade, profession, or business
and/or for the production of income by the owner/lessor or by the lessee is not eligible for
exemption.
10
11
QUESTION 15: ARE
LIQUIDATED MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Machinery and equipment that is sold as part of the liquidation of a plant may not qualify
for the business inventory exemption unless it can be shown that, pursuant to an offer for
sale, title to the equipment was transferred to the purchasing entity's parent company,
subsidiary, or a broker that was regularly engaged in the business of selling or leasing
equipment. Sales of such equipment, purchased from competing entities, that are
conducted in order to eliminate competition and increase market share for the purchasing
company, are not sales "within the ordinary course of business."
19
Professional and Service Enterprises
20
21
22
23
QUESTION 16: GOODS TRANSFERRED IN THE RENDITION OF A "PROFESSIONAL SERVICE" ARE
NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION, WHILE GOODS TRANSFERRED IN
THE RENDITION OF A "NONPROFESSIONAL SERVICE" ARE ELIGIBLE. WHAT CRITERION
CRITERIA DETERMINES WHETHER A SERVICE IS PROFESSIONAL OR NONPROFESSIONAL?
24
25
26
27
A "profession" is a vocation where the labor and skill is predominantly mental or
intellectual, rather than physical or manual. A "professional" requires knowledge of an
advanced type in a given field of science or learning gained by a prolonged course of
specialized instruction and study.
28
29
30
A "nonprofessional service" is generally defined as a vocation requiring skill of a manual
or mechanical nature. Courts tend to classify a "nonprofessional service" as a business as
opposed to a profession. Examples may include barbers, carpenters, and plumbers.
31
32
33
34
Rule 133(c) gives examples of medicine, law, architecture, or accountancy as
"professional services." It lists dry cleaners, beauty shop operators, and swimming pool
service companies as examples of "nonprofessional services." There are, of course, many
services in between that are more difficult to assign to one group or the other.
AH 504
26
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
QUESTION 17: ARE
SERVICE?
4
5
EMBALMING FLUIDS OF A MORTUARY ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION AS GOODS TRANSFERRED IN THE RENDITION OF A NON-PROFESSIONAL
Yes. The skills required of an embalmer are of a manual or mechanical nature.
QUESTION 18: ARE MEDICINES THAT A DOCTOR KEEPS ON HAND BUSINESS INVENTORIES?
6
7
No, because they are typically transferred to patients incidental to the rendition of the
professional service.
8
9
QUESTION 19: ARE MEDICINES HELD BY A HOSPITAL PHARMACY ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
10
11
12
Yes, if the hospital pharmacy holds medicines dedicated for sale to the general public
(out-patients and/or walk-in customers), that portion held for resale is eligible for the
business inventory exemption.
13
14
No, medicines held by the hospital pharmacy for issue to in-patients as part of a service
are not eligible for the business inventory exemption.
15
16
QUESTION 20: IS THE FOOD HELD FOR SERVING TO HOSPITAL PATIENTS AS PART OF THE DAILY
HOSPITAL SERVICE ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
17
18
19
20
21
No. The meals are incidental to the rendition of the professional service. However, food
held for sale in the hospital cafeteria is eligible.
QUESTION 21: AN
ACCOUNTANT MAINTAINS A STOCK OF ACCOUNTING BOOKS WHICH HE OR
SHE PASSES ON TO HIS/HER CLIENTS AS A PART OF HIS SERVICE.
HE/SHE
HAS A RETAILER'S
PERMIT. DO THE BOOKS QUALIFY AS BUSINESS INVENTORIES?
22
23
No. However, if the accountant regularly bills clients for the books as a separate item in
addition to his services, the books would qualify for the exemption.
24
25
QUESTION 22: ARE CLOTHES HANGERS AND PLASTIC BAGS HELD BY DRY CLEANERS SUBJECT
TO THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
26
27
Yes, because they are delivered to customers regularly as part of the non-professional
service performed.
28
29
QUESTION 23: ARE
CHLORINE TABLETS HELD IN STORAGE BY A SWIMMING POOL SERVICE
COMPANY BUSINESS INVENTORIES?
30
31
Yes, because they are delivered to customers as an item regularly included in the nonprofessional service.
AH 504
27
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
Agricultural Enterprises
2
3
QUESTION 24: ARE INSECTICIDES, FUEL, AND FERTILIZER HELD BY A FARMER SUBJECT TO THE
BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
4
5
6
No, because these items are held for use rather than for sale.
QUESTION 25: IS FEED THAT IS HELD BY A FARMER FOR FEEDING TO ANIMALS THAT ARE USED
IN THE PRODUCTION OF FOOD OR FIBER ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
7
Yes. See Rule 133 (a)(2)(D).
8
9
QUESTION 26: ARE FARM ANIMALS HELD FOR BREEDING PURPOSES SUBJECT TO THE BUSINESS
INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
10
11
Yes, if their offspring are normally used as food for human consumption or for the
production of fiber useful to man.
12
13
14
QUESTION 27: ARE
STALLIONS AND MARES HELD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF OFFSPRING
ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION AS
"ANIMALS HELD FOR THE BREEDING
OF LIVESTOCK?"
15
16
17
No. Those qualifying for exemption as "animals held for the breeding of livestock" are
animals that produce offspring that will be used for food or fiber for human use or
consumption.
18
Property Held for Lease
19
20
QUESTION 28: ARE PACK ANIMALS USED BY A GUIDE TO PACK CAMPERS INTO THE MOUNTAINS
ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
21
22
No. However, if the pack animals are held for lease to campers, are directly under the
campers' control, and are not otherwise used by their owner, they would be eligible.
23
24
QUESTION 29: ARE
EXEMPTION?
25
26
27
28
29
30
GOODS HELD FOR LEASE ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY
Yes. "Held for lease" means that the property is not actually out on lease on the lien date
and is not used by or intended to be used by the lessor for some purpose other than the
prospective sale or lease of that property. Also, the property while on lease must be
placed under the control of the lessee.
QUESTION 30: ARE VENDING MACHINES HELD IN THE OWNER'S HANDS THAT ARE NORMALLY
PLACED ON SITE TO DISPENSE FOOD ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
31
32
33
No, unless the machines are held for rent. Placing them on site does not constitute a
rental. Sharing of the receipts with the site owner constitutes payment for use of the site.
(Note: The food in the vending machines is exempt.)
AH 504
28
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
QUESTION 31: ARE ITEMS ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION IF HELD FOR
LEASE BY A PERSON WHO LEASED THE ITEMS FROM SOMEONE ELSE?
3
4
Yes. The determining factor is the status of the items on the lien date; i.e., they are held
for lease in the normal course of business.
5
6
7
INVENTORY EXEMPTION IF, ON THE LIEN DATE, THE RENTAL OPERATION IS CLOSED FOR THE
8
9
10
11
12
13
Yes. When boats are rented, and control of the property transfers to the lessee during the
rental term, the rental of this property qualifies as a lease for assessment purposes.
Property leased or held for lease in the ordinary course of business is eligible for the
business inventory exemption. Even though the boats are not "held for rent" on the lien
date due to the operation being closed for the winter, they are still eligible for the
exemption since they are held for rent in the normal course of business.
14
15
QUESTION 32: ARE
BOATS HELD FOR RENTAL PURPOSES ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS
WINTER?
QUESTION 33: ARE
GOLF CARTS AVAILABLE FOR USE (RENTAL) ONLY ON A SPECIFIC GOLF
COURSE ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
16
17
18
19
No. Assuming that the golf carts are only available for use on a golf course, the golf carts
would not be eligible for the exemption. They are personal property, used in the ordinary
course of business, assessable to the owner. To qualify as a lease, the property must be
under the control of the lessee during the lease term.
20
21
22
QUESTION 34: ARE THE SUPPLIES OF MOTOR FUELS HELD BY A RENTAL OPERATION ELIGIBLE
FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION WHERE THE FUELS WILL BE PROVIDED TO A
23
24
Yes. The fuel supplies are eligible whether billed separately or included in the rental
charge.
25
26
CUSTOMER WITH THE RENTAL OF A MACHINE?
QUESTION 35: ARE
27
28
29
LINEN SUPPLIES THAT ARE LEASED OR RENTED TO CUSTOMERS ELIGIBLE
FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
No, not if on lease, or committed to lease, or rented on the lien date.
QUESTION 36: ARE
MUSIC COMPILATION CDS THAT ARE LEASED OR RENTED TO CUSTOMERS
ELIGIBLE FOR THE BUSINESS INVENTORY EXEMPTION?
Yes, music compilations on compact discs that are leased by the manufacturer/distributor
under a licensing agreement for a specified term of possession with stated monthly
payments, and that remain the property of the manufacturer/distributor, are tangible
personal property eligible for the inventory exemption. Those CDs in the hands of clients
on the lien date, however, are ineligible for the business inventory exemption and are
subject to property taxation.
30
31
32
33
34
35
AH 504
29
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
Vehicles, Vessels, Aircraft, and Manufactured Homes
2
3
4
5
Vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and manufactured homes not on permanent foundations are also
classified as personal property. They are assessable personal property to the owner, whether the
owner is an individual, a business, or otherwise. To be assessable, there is no requirement that
they be used for business purposes as required for other types of personal property.
6
Vehicles 56
7
8
Vehicles are broadly defined by both the statutes and case law. Section 670 of the Vehicle Code
defines a vehicle as:
9
10
11
A "vehicle" is a device by which any person or property may be propelled,
moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by
human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
12
13
14
15
16
Motor Owners of motor vehicles (including trailers and recreational vehicles), that are "of a type
subject to registration under the Vehicle Code," pay licensing fees to the Department of Motor
Vehicles (DMV) which are in lieu of payment of property tax. 57 However, vehicles exempt from
DMV registration requirements, per Vehicle Code Section 4000-4020, are assessable personal
property. 58
17
18
19
20
Based on the Vehicle Code and court decisions, a device could be illegal to operate on the
highway and exempt from vehicle registration but may still be a vehicle. Thus, the court held that
a forklift met the definition of a vehicle in Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Colonial Ins. Co. (1966)
242 Cal.App.2d 227.
21
22
23
24
25
Transport argues that a forklift is neither designed nor used to haul persons or
property on a public highway; that the forklift here involved was not so used; and
that the Vehicle Code provisions exempting forklifts from registration show a
legislative intention not to include them in the definition of "motor vehicle." We
disagree.
26
27
28
29
Accordingly, tractors, backhoes, forklifts, crawler loaders, golf carts, riding lawnmowers,
unlicensed racecars, and any other type of equipment that is self-propelled or is designed to be
moved by something other than "exclusively human power" may qualify as vehicles. These
items, therefore, do not qualify for the exemption provided by section 224.
30
31
Vehicles such as golf carts and riding lawn mowers are not exempt either as personal effects or
as vehicles which where the owners of such items pay in lieu fees to the Department of Motor
56
See also Chapter 6.
Section 10758. Section 225 specifically exempts from personal property taxation a trailer, semitrailer, logging
dolly, pole or pipe dolly, or trailer bus, that have valid identification plates issued pursuant to section 5014.1 of the
Vehicle Code, or any auxiliary dolly or tow dolly. However, this exemption does not apply to a logging dolly that is
used exclusively off-highway. This exemption also applies to commercial trailers licensed or registered in other
states.
58
Vehicle Code sections 4000 through 4020.
57
AH 504
30
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 2
1
2
3
4
5
Vehicles. Section 155.20 authorizes the county board of supervisors to provide for a low-value
exemption ordinance of up to $5,000. Such an exemption, if implemented in a county, will
eliminate assessment of most household vehicles. However, no exemption would be available for
vehicles such as tractors or backhoes with a market value greater than a county's low-value
exemption. Accordingly, Such such vehicles are not exempt as household personal property.
6
Vessels, Aircraft, and Manufactured Homes
7
8
9
10
11
12
Assessment of vessels, aircraft, and manufactured homes are discussed in separate handbooks to
give each subject the attention required. Vessels are discussed in Assessors' Handbook Section
576 (AH 576), Assessment of Vessels. Aircraft are discussed in Assessors' Handbook Section 570
(AH 570), Assessment of Commercial Aircraft, and Section 577 (AH 577), Assessment of
General Aircraft. Manufactured homes are discussed in Assessors' Handbook Section 511
(AH 511), Assessment of Manufactured Homes and Parks.
AH 504
31
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
CHAPTER 3: SITUS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
2
3
4
5
6
7
"All property taxed by local government shall be assessed in the county, city, and district in
which it is situated." 59 Situs, the place where property is legally situated, is therefore one of the
essential factors of a valid assessment. For real property, situs usually needs to be determined
only once. It will always be the same. Personal property, however, is mobile property with no
fixed situs. Situs may always be the same or it may be different year to year, month to month, or
day to day.
8
9
10
11
12
A property tax appraiser or auditor-appraiser is concerned with the property's tax situs on the
January 1 lien date. 60 On the lien date, property with a tax situs in California is assessable in
California; property with a tax situs outside of California, almost without exception, is not
assessable here. Similarly, property with a tax situs in the jurisdiction of a taxing agency is
assessable by that agency.
13
WHAT IS TAX SITUS: PERMANENT VERSUS TEMPORARY SITUS
14
15
16
17
18
Article XIII, section 14 of the California Constitution, provides that a property's tax situs is the
location where the property is "situated." "Situated" connotes a more or less permanent location,
or situs. Thus, taxation of property in the state must be based on the fact that it is to some extent
kept or maintained in California rather than here casually or in transit. 61 The statute does not
refer to the temporary location of property, but to its permanent situs. 62
19
20
21
22
23
24
If property stays in one place, as does real property, this location is the permanent and tax situs.
However, when property is moved periodically, a tax situs is established at a given location on
the lien date. For example, property which is normally located in a taxing jurisdiction, moved on
the lien date, and then immediately moved back, does not avoid taxation at this situs. Although
gone on the lien date, the property has not established permanent situs elsewhere. Therefore, its
permanent situs, and thus taxable situs, remains at the original location.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Since there is no requirement to keep one's property in a specific jurisdiction where it is subject
to taxation, an assessee may move property in an attempt to avoid taxation. In doing so, the
property must attain situs elsewhere. A degree of permanency must attach to that situs before that
can happen. 63 Again, the word "situated" connotes a more or less permanent location or situs.
Property may be removed to avoid the imposition of taxes if the removal is permanent. "If the
removal is intended to be temporary, only for tax reduction purposes or otherwise, the property
remains taxable at its permanent situs." 64
59
California Constitution, article XIII, section 14.
Prior to 1997, the lien date was on March 1. In 1997, the lien date was changed to January 1.
61
People v. Niles (1868) 35 Cal. 282.
62
Rosasco v. County of Tuolumne (1904) 143 Cal. 430.
63
Brock & Co. v. Board of Supervisors (1937) 8 Cal.2d 286.
64
Ibid. Brock & Co. v. Board of Supervisors (1937) 8 Cal.2d 286.
60
AH 504
32
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
On the other hand, property that is in California temporarily but has a permanent tax situs outside
of California is not assessable in California. The California constitutional requirement (article
XIII, section 1) that all property be taxed in proportion to its full value does not require or allow
assessment of all property temporarily in this state. Property is assessable only in the county,
city, and district in which it is situation or has situs. 65 At all times there is property that is being
transported across this state, from one foreign state to another, that no one would claim should be
assessed in California. 66
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
In summary, permanent versus temporary situs must be considered when determining tax situs
for property tax purposes. This principle was upheld in the case of Seegmiller v. County of
Nevada (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1397. An assessee moved his business property from a permanent
location in California to a permanent location in the State of Nevada during August of the fiscal
tax year. There was no dispute that the location of the equipment on the March 1 lien date was
Nevada County, California, but the assessee sued for a prorated assessment to avoid possible
duplicate assessment of the property at the new location. The court found Nevada County's entire
assessment valid based on permanent situs of the property (in that county) on the March 1 lien
date. A permanent situs on the lien date is the basis for the assessable situs.
17
DETERMINING SITUS OF MOVABLE PROPERTY
18
19
Property which is frequently moved, such as transportation equipment and construction
equipment, is defined as movable property under Rule 205.
20
21
Movable property is all property which is intended to be, and is, moved from time
to time from one location to another.
22
23
24
The situs of such movable property should be governed by the duration of its stay at any location
as discussed generally in Rule 205, Movable Property, and referenced further in Rule 204,
Leased Equipment, and Rule 203, Property in Transit. These rules are discussed below.
25
GENERAL SITUS RULES (RULE 205)
26
Over Six Months Prior to the Lien Date
27
28
29
30
31
Movable property has situs where located on the lien date if (1) it has been in the county for
more than 6 of the 12 months immediately preceding the lien date; and (2) the objective facts
indicate it will remain in or return to the county for any substantial period during the 12 months
immediately succeeding the lien date. (Rule 205 does not apply to vessels, certificated aircraft,
and racehorses. Situs for each of these exceptions is discussed later in this chapter.)
65
66
California Constitution, article XIII, section 14.
City and County of San Francisco v. Talbot (1883) 63 Cal. 485.
AH 504
33
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
Less Than Six Months Prior to the Lien Date
2
3
4
5
Movable property which has been in the county for less than 6 of the 12 months immediately
preceding the lien date, but which is committed to use in the county for an indeterminate period
or for more than 6 months, has situs there regardless of whether the use extends through or
commences with the lien date. 67 (Rule 205.)
6
7
If the property does not meet the qualifications for situs as discussed above, the situs of the
property is the location where it normally returns between uses.
8
Movable Property In-Transit
9
10
11
12
Movable property may be in-transit on the lien date, and this may affect the property's assessable
situs. As explained later in this chapter, situs and even assessability may be based on the
destination of the property (whether in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce) and the terms
of transit.
13
Situs Other Than at Location
14
15
16
Movable property that does not have permanent situs where it is located on the lien date has
assessable situs at the location where it is normally returned between uses. If there is no such
location, the situs is the principal place of business of the owner. 68 (Rule 205.)
17
Habitual Presence of Substantial Average Rule
18
19
20
21
22
23
In cases where property does not remain in one location long enough to establish a permanent
location or situs, and does not have a location to which it normally returns to, its assessable situs
is the place where it is frequently present or habitually located. 69 Instruments of commerce
(commercial aircraft, railroad cars, barges, etc.), linen supplies, and returnable containers are
common examples of property that attain assessment situs because there is a substantial average
or habitual presence at a specific location.
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Special rules have evolved for assessing and determining situs for most types of instruments of
commerce. Where such statutes or rules do not exist, the courts have traditionally supported any
reasonable method of apportionment. In Sea-Land Services, Inc. v. County of Alameda 70 the
court found that an assessment of cargo containers based on an "average presence" was proper.
In another case involving cargo containers, the United States Supreme Court also approved the
concept of a property tax assessment based on average presence. 71 The assessment in this case
was voided by the Court, however, because the cargo containers were foreign-owned
instrumentalities of international commerce and a state may not tax such property. 72
67
Rule 205.
Rule 205.
69
GeoMetrics v. County of Santa Clara (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 940.
70
(1974) 12 Cal.3d 772.
71
Japan Line, Ltd. v. County of Los Angeles (1979) 441 U.S. 434.
72
All ocean-going cargo containers of 1,000 cubic feet or more are now exempt under section 232. This exemption
does not affect the principle of tax situs due to habitual or average presence however.
68
AH 504
34
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
Habitual Situs at More Than One Location in California
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
The habitual presence rule is applicable only to property which is (1) used in California and in
other states or foreign nations and (2) not assessable under other regulatory formulas. Property
that has tax situs in California on the lien date is assessable at only one location, based on its
value as of that date, even though the property may have substantial presence at more than one
location. 73 Thus, if a property is in county "A" for seven months and County "B" for five
months, County "A" will assess the entire property and County "B" will not assess the property
at all. No apportionment of the assessment is required.
9
Habitual Situs Both in California and in Another State or Nation
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
The rules of situs are often affected by the requirements of apportionment where the property has
a substantial presence in more than one state. Apportionment is a process used to allocate or
eliminate, based on the time of presence, the assessments or the taxes for time spent out of the
state based on the time of presence. Apportionment is allowed under current law and is expressed
in relatively recent court decisions which are discussed below. First, however, Following is a
brief discussion of federal law versus a state's power to tax state law and when it is appropriate
for a state to tax.
Federal Law Versus State Law
18
19
20
Federal and state law must both be observed when determining situs and assessability of items
which concern or that have a tax situs in states other than California because in several matters
the federal government regulates interstate commerce. For example:
21
22

The "commerce clause" (United States Constitution, article I, section 8, clause 3) grants to
Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce;
23
24
25

The "import-export clause" (United States Constitution, article I, section 10, clause 2)
prohibits states from levying taxes on imports or exports without the consent of Congress;
and
26
27
28

The President of the United States (United States Constitution, article II, section 2, clause 2)
has the power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties with foreign
nations.
29
30
31
32
While federal statutes do not limit ad valorem taxation by the states74 and federal courts are
prohibited from taking jurisdiction in tax assessment cases (unless it can be proved that a plain,
speedy, and efficient remedy does not exist under state law), 75 related federal law does take
precedence if a controversy arises.
73
An exception to this rule is certificated aircraft, scheduled air taxis, and inter-county ferryboats. See Other Special
Situs Situations later in this chapter.
74
With the exemption of railroads under the 4-R Act (section 306 of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory
Reform Act of 1976) which prohibits discriminatory taxation against railroad cars traveling interstate.
75
28 U.S.C. section 1341.
AH 504
35
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
It is clear that neither federal law nor the courts prohibit taxation of property that has presence in
more than one state. However, apportionment may be required. Although there have been many
state and federal court cases that deal with apportionment of taxes on instruments of interstate
commerce, 76 neither the courts nor the Congress has ever specified any particular method of
allocation or taxation. Several courts have commented that a slight overlapping of taxes (which
occurs accidentally because different states have different rules regarding situs) is permissible. 77
In general, the courts have only said that the state's tax system must provide for fair
apportionment, not discriminate against interstate commerce, and be fairly related to the services
provided by the state.
10
Apportionment Between States and/or Foreign Nations
11
12
13
14
15
16
As a result of Ice Capades, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles, 78 it became necessary to apportion
taxes on property that has established tax situs (1) in California and (2) in another state. The
court's ruling in this case (resulting in the Ice Capades Rule) made it clear that where multiple
tax situs between states exists, taxes must be apportioned. This apportionment should be based
on the time of the property's presence, regardless of whether or not the other state(s) are actually
assessing the property.
17
18
19
Ice Capades, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles involved a touring ice show that owned and operated
facilities in both California and New Jersey. The California Appellate Court held, among other
things, that:
20

Apportionment applies only where property has a tax situs in more than one state;
21
22

An assessee contending that some portion of property is not taxable by the state of domicile
has the burden of proving by sufficient evidence that situs has been established elsewhere;
23
24

In a borderline situation, it is reasonable to apportion the tax if the other jurisdiction actually
levied a tax;
25
26

Transitory contact with other states does not establish tax situs even though the visits were
annual; and
27
28
29

The transitory contact of certain types of property with various states is different than
"habitual presence" of other types of property (instruments of commerce) typically present at
a given location.
30
31
32
33
34
35
When property has situs in California but has its permanent or primary situs in another state or
country, it is taxable here only to the extent of time spent here. When property is here on a
transitory basis this rule does not apply; the property is not assessable here. Apportionment
should be calculated based on the time that property had tax situs in California versus total time
(for example, 60 days in California divided by 365 days) when a sufficient quantum of contact
has established (assessable) situs here and in another state. When the multiple situs' are verified,
76
See Assessors' Handbook Section 570, Assessment of Commercial Aircraft, for discussion of several cases
involving allocation of instruments of interstate commerce.
77
Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board No. 2 167 Cal.App.4th 1415; TWC Aviation, Inc.
78
(1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 745.
AH 504
36
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
apportionment may be appropriate. A tax bill from another state, for example, is one method of
verifying a situs out of state. It may be relevant evidence in determining multiple tax situs,
although the dollar amount of the other state's tax bill is irrelevant.
4
5
6
7
8
9
Consistent with Ice Capades, if a California property has a substantial presence in another
nation, the California assessment should be apportioned to eliminate that time the property has
established situs outside the state, whether or not the foreign nation actually taxed the property. 79
However, the assessee must provide that such substantial presence exists. Transitory contact,
such as may occur when a vessel or aircraft makes a round-the-world voyage, does not establish
substantial presence. Tax situs of the property would remain in California.
10
Example: Situs of Movable Property
11
12
13
Following is an example of situs determination using movable property owned by an assessee
whose primary business location is outside of California. General rules of situs were employed to
make the determination.
79
GeoMetrics v. County of Santa Clara (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 940. (This case involved aircraft which were not
"instruments of commerce." They were involved in airborne geophysical surveys. The assessor was required to
apportion the value of aircraft physically abroad for all or substantial parts of the year, though domiciled in
California.
AH 504
37
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
EXAMPLE 3.1
OUT-OF-STATE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
An out of state construction company worked on a two-year gas pipeline project in California.

The equipment did not leave California during the project.

The equipment used on the project moved into ABC County in December 20018.

The equipment used on the project moved out of ABC County in March 20029.

It was typical that the equipment moved in and out of a county in less than six months.
DID THE PROPERTY ESTABLISH SITUS IN CALIFORNIA FOR THE 2009 LIEN DATE, JANUARY 1?
Since the property was not in transit, Rule 203 does not apply. Nor does Rule 205 specifically cover
this sequence of uses. However, the uninterrupted two-year presence of the equipment in California
establishes its situs in this state under article XIII, section 14 of the California Constitution. Further, the
equipment's presence in ABC County on the lien date, coupled with the likelihood that the equipment's
future short uses in other counties will not establish its situs in another county, warrants its assessment
by the ABC County Assessor.
A federal court decision addressed a similar situation. When property is moved from the state of the
owner's domicile to another state with the intention that it remain there for an indefinite period or for a
relatively long time, then the place where the property is physically located is its tax situs. 80
DID THE PROPERTY ESTABLISH SITUS IN ABC COUNTY ON THE 2002 LIEN DATE, JANUARY 1?
Under Rule 205, the property established a tax situs in California but did not establish a tax situs in a
specific county. (The property was not in transit; therefore Rule 203 does not apply.) The equipment
moved frequently, but remained in California on the lien date and for a time period both before and
after, although the equipment did not remain in any county long enough to meet the six month test
required in Rule 205.
Situs in the appropriate county becomes dependent on article XIII, section 14 of the California
Constitution; property is taxable in the county, city, and district in which it is situated or has situs.
Thus, the property established a tax situs in ABC County, California on the 2002 lien date.
1
SITUS OF LEASED OR RENTED PROPERTY (RULE 204)
2
3
4
Situs of leased equipment is determined not only on the basis of physical location of the
property, but also on the intent of the owner. Determination of situs regarding this type of
property is governed by Rule 204, Leased Property, which provides in part:
80
Minnesota v. Blasius (1933) 290 U.S. 1.
AH 504
38
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
(a) Property leased or rented on a daily, weekly or other short-term basis has situs
at the place where the lessor normally keeps the property. Temporary absences
from that location do not change the situs of the property.
4
5
6
(b) The situs of property leased or rented for an extended, but unspecified, period
or leased for a term of more than six months shall be determined on the basis of
the lessee's use….
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
The intent of the lessor and the lessee as demonstrated by objective facts is the determining
factor in ascertaining the situs of leased or rented property. For example, property leased to a
contractor for a period of one month has situs at the lessor's location. It is clearly the intent of
both parties that the property returns to this original location; this is its permanent and tax situs.
However, where the contractor has leased the equipment for an unspecified period which would
appear to extend beyond six months, the equipment is taxable at its actual location on the lien
date.
14
Single Assessment for Leased Personal Property
15
16
17
18
When a property owner has multiple taxable items leased throughout a county, precise situs of
each lease becomes less important. Section 623 provides a definition for situs by allowing allows
assessors to combine the multiple assessments for leased equipment personal property located in
the county and, owned by the same lessor, into one assessment. Section 623 states:
19
20
21
22
23
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.
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
A "primary place of business" is the taxpayer's headquarters, office, or facility within the county.
If the company has more than one facility within the county, the facility with the largest
equipment value is the situs that should be used for all leased equipment. In the absence of a
"primary place of business within the county," the location having the greatest value of a
company's leased equipment should be considered that company's primary place of business
within the county. On the other hand, if a company has an office, warehouse, or other "primary
place of business within the county," but has nearly all of its leased equipment located at a single
site in a different tax rate area, the situs where the majority of the equipment is located should be
used for all of the company's leased equipment in the county.
33
34
35
Section 623 only applies to leased personal property assessed to the same assessee. It does not
affect apply to personal property that is not leased, and combining assessments in the manner
authorized by section 623 is strictly an option for assessors to use, not a requirement.
AH 504
39
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
SITUS OF PROPERTY IN-TRANSIT (RULE 203)
2
3
4
5
Although property is normally taxable at the location where it has established permanent situs on
the lien date, what is the situs of property in transit on the lien date? The answer is determined by
the destination of the property, the legal owner of the property on the lien date, and the
application of Rule 203, Property in Transit.
6
Property Moving in Interstate or Foreign Commerce
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Property in transit on the lien date, to or from interstate or foreign destinations, is exempt from
taxation. However, it is important that the property actually be in transit to be exempt. Property
that is otherwise taxable remains taxable until transit has commenced and may become taxable
once again when transit has ended. For example, property being held or stored in railroad cars for
the convenience of the owner is not in interstate transit even though it remains in the shipping
cars. Property is not in interstate transit if the holding by the carrier is not incidental to its
transportation.
14
15
16
17
18
Note that the exemption of property in interstate or foreign transit does not include instruments
of commerce or property that has a permanent situs but is leaving or entering the state on a
temporary basis as of the lien date. This exemption applies to property that is being moved from
one established situs to another, such as equipment being shipped from a distribution warehouse
to a retail store or otherwise being relocated from one factory to another.
19
Commencement of Transit
20
21
22
23
Transit commences when property has either started moving on its interstate or foreign journey
or has been committed to a common carrier for that purpose. However, property deposited at the
point of shipment in interstate commerce but not committed to a carrier is still subject to
taxation. 81
24
Termination of Transit
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
In general, transit has terminated when the property reaches the hands of the owner at the
destination point. Property brought into the state is taxable at the point transit ends. For property
tax purposes, "reaching the hand of the owner" does not, however, always mean physically. For
example, when the carrier becomes entitled to make storage, demurrage, or other charges for
keeping the property or when the carrier acts as a warehouse by operation of law, the property is
considered to have reached the owner. Likewise, when the owner is notified that property is
available for unloading, it has reached the hands of the owner. If the holding of the property by
the carrier is not merely incidental to its transportation, then the transit has most likely
terminated.
34
Interruption of Transit
35
36
If the temporary suspension of the movement of the property is required in order to facilitate its
transportation, to prevent its destruction, or to change the method of its carriage, it is still
81
Coe v. Errol (1885) 116 U.S. 517.
AH 504
40
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
considered in transit and remains exempt. Property may be subject to taxation when the
interruption in transit is for purposes unconnected with its transportation. Otherwise, it remains
exempt. The courts have distinguished between suspension and termination of transit, stating:
4
5
6
7
Where property has come to rest within a state, being held there at the pleasure of
the owner, for disposal or use, so that he may dispose of it either within the state,
or for shipment elsewhere, as his interest dictates, it is deemed to be a part of the
general mass of property within the state and is thus subject to its taxing power. 82
8
Property Moving in Intrastate Commerce
9
10
11
Unlike property in interstate or foreign commerce, property remains taxable while in transit
within California (in intrastate commerce). Tax situs of this property among counties therefore
becomes the issue.
12
Situs of Property Being Transported by an Owner
13
14
15
If an owner of property is transporting his or her own property on the lien date, the property has
situs at the point of origin of the shipment regardless of the mode of transportation or the
ownership of the means of conveyance. 83
16
Situs of Property Being Transported to a Buyer
17
18
19
Property being transported to a buyer has its situs at the point of destination unless the buyer
demonstrates that the seller had title until delivery, in which case it has situs at the point of
origin.
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Title transfer is normally an agreed upon item in the purchase agreement; property will be
purchased and shipped "F.O.B. shipping point" or "F.O.B. destination." F.O.B. (free on board)
designates whether the seller or the purchaser will pay freight or transportation charges and
determines when title transfers. "F.O.B. shipping point" means the purchaser is responsible for
the property, and title transfers, at the point of origin (at the shipping point). "F.O.B. destination"
means that title remains with the seller, and he/she bears the cost of transportation, until the
property reaches its destination. The Uniform Commercial Code provides that the free on board
(F.O.B.) designation, unless otherwise agreed between a seller and buyer, constitutes a term of
delivery. Title to property remains with a seller until he or she has completed delivery by making
the property available for disposition by the buyer at the F.O.B. point. Retention of a security
interest by a seller must be disregarded for purposes of determining situs. 84 If questions arise
regarding situs or assessee, a buyer should provide the purchase agreement and/or shipping
agreement in order to demonstrate the timing of the title transfer.
82
Minnesota v. Blasius (1933) 290 U.S. 1.
Rule 203(a)(1).
84
Rule 203(a)(2).
83
AH 504
41
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
Interruption of Transportation
2
3
4
5
As previously discussed, the interruption of transportation for purposes incidental to
transportation does not remove property from its "in-transit status." Interruption of transportation
for business purposes or profit of the property owner terminates the transportation and generally
creates a situs for taxation at the place where the property is situated on the lien date. 85
6
OTHER SPECIAL SITUS SITUATIONS
7
AIRCRAFT
8
9
10
The guidelines for situs of aircraft depend on aircraft type. For assessment purposes, aircraft are
typed or classified as general aircraft, certificated aircraft, or air taxis. Each is briefly defined
below in order to properly discuss situs in relation to this property.86
11
Definitions
12
General Aircraft
13
14
15
General aircraft is "any contrivance used or designed for the navigation of or for flight in the air
which has been flown at least once…. 87 It is not a parachute or similar emergency safety device,
a rocket or missile, or a certificated aircraft or scheduled air taxi as defined below.
16
Certificated Aircraft
17
18
19
20
21
Certificated aircraft is "aircraft operated by an air carrier or foreign air carrier engaged in air
transportation… while there is in force a certificate or permit issued by the Civil Aeronautics
Board of the United States, or its successor [Federal Aviation Administration], or a certificate
issued by the California Public Utilities Commission, or its successor, authorizing such air
carrier to engage in such transportation." 88
22
Air Taxi
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Air taxi means aircraft used by an air carrier which (1) does not utilize aircraft having a
maximum passenger capacity of more than 30 seats, (2) does not have a maximum payload
capacity of more than 7,500 pounds in air transportation, and (3) does not hold a certificate of
public convenience and necessity or other economic authority issued by the Civil Aeronautics
Board of the United States, or its successor, or by the California Public Utilities Commission, or
its successor. 89 This definition can be further broken down to scheduled and unscheduled air
taxis. Scheduled air taxis are treated similar to certificated aircraft and unscheduled air taxis are
treated similar to general aircraft.
85
Rule 203(a)(2).
For a complete in-depth discussion and definition of aircraft types, see AH 570, Assessment of Commercial
Aircraft and AH 577, Assessment of General Aircraft.
87
Section 5303.
88
Section 1150.
89
Section 1154.
86
AH 504
42
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
Situs of Aircraft
2
General Aircraft and Unscheduled Air Taxis
3
4
5
6
7
General rules of situs apply to general aircraft and unscheduled air taxis similar to the rules that
apply as they do to other personal property. 90 Situs is the location where the aircraft is habitually
kept or to which it returns, when not in service. 91 When an aircraft substantially divides its time
between two or more airports in California, situs becomes determinable based on a time test but
no apportionment is necessary. Rule 205(b) states:
8
9
10
… An aircraft that spends a substantial amount of ground time at each of two or
more airports has its tax situs at the airport where it spends the greatest amount of
ground time.
11
12
13
If an aircraft establishes tax situs both in California and outside California, apportionment may
be necessary and the rules established in Ice Capades, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles and
GeoMetrics v. County of Santa Clara apply.
14
15
16
17

For California aircraft, the assessment must be apportioned to eliminate the time the aircraft
has established tax situs outside California. All the remaining time—whether or not in
California—is allocated to the California airport where it spends the greatest amount of
ground time.
18
19
20
21

For an aircraft that has a primary situs outside of California, but has established some situs in
this state, the California assessment is based on the time actually in this state—at the airport
where it spends the greatest amount of ground time—and all other time is allocable
elsewhere.
22
Certificated Aircraft and Scheduled Air Taxis
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Certificated aircraft and scheduled air taxis using airports within this state while engaged in
interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce are taxable for an apportioned value of the aircraft
based on time in this state when tax situs has been established in California. 92 Specific statutes,
sections 1150 through 1156, govern the method of apportionment when tax situs is established
here. To establish tax situs within California, intentional physical contact involving actual
embarking or disembarking of crew, passengers, or freight must be made. Emergency contact
does not, in and of itself, establish situs any more than does flying over the state without
landing. 93 The apportioned value is justified, even though an instrument of commerce, by the
fact that the taxing jurisdiction extends opportunities, benefits, and protection to the property (the
90
One exception is found in section 220, Aircraft Being Repaired. Out-of-state aircraft in California solely to
undergo repairs are exempt from property taxation under this section even though they may be in California on the
lien date.
91
Rule 205(b).
92
Flying Tiger Line, Inc. v. County Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 314.
93
Rule 202(b).
AH 504
43
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
aircraft) engaged in interstate or foreign commerce during the pro rata time that the property is
physically present within that jurisdiction. 94
3
4
5
However, where an aircraft is foreign-owned, based, registered, and serving California airports
exclusively in foreign commerce, the state is precluded from taxation. No permanent, tax situs
has been established here and thus it is not taxable. 95
6
Aircraft Repair and Replacement Parts
7
8
9
Aircraft parts have situs where habitually located pursuant to Rule 201, in most circumstances,
but aircraft components may occasionally acquire situs elsewhere. The following example
identifies one of these situations.
EXAMPLE 3.2
SITUS OF AIRCRAFT REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PARTS
An air carrier at all times rotates eight engines between storage repair and installation. Two engines are
normally found at the place of storage, two at another location for repair, and four are installed in
operating aircraft at any one time. The number of engines normally located at each location has situs and
is assessable there.
10
VESSELS
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Vessels are classified as personal property for property tax purposes. Similar to other property,
vessels may be assessed the ad valorem tax or qualify for full or partial exemptions depending
upon their value, ownership, use, and/or type. Similar to many other types of personal property,
identifying a vessel's property taxing authority is a central issue many assessors contend with –
that is, determining the tax situs for this type of transitory property. Therefore, a brief discussion
of vessel types and situs related to various vessels follows. See AH 576, Assessment of Vessels
for more information and for a discussion on vessels qualifying for exemptions.
18
Definition of Documented and Nondocumented Vessels
19
20
21
22
The Revenue and Taxation Code Section 130(a) defines vessels as "every description of
watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, but does not
include aircraft." 96 Vessels are sub-defined as documented vessels and nondocumented vessels
for assessment purposes.
23
A documented vessel is defined by section 130 as:
… any vessel which is required to have and does have a valid marine document
issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States or any federal agency
24
25
94
See Rule 202(c) Allocation Formula and AH 570, Assessment of Commercial Aircraft, for discussion of allocation
formulas for various types of aircraft.
95
Scandinavian Airlines Systems, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles (1961) 56 Cal.2d 11.
96
Section 130(a).
AH 504
44
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
successor thereto, except documented yachts of the United States, or is registered
with, or licensed by, the Department of Motor Vehicles….
3
4
A nondocumented vessel is defined by exception in section 1141 as any vessel not required to be
documented.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
It is important to understand the meaning of both terms for the purposes of applying vessel situs
statutes. The term documented vessel has a different meaning to non-property tax agencies. To
the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the term documented refers
only to a vessel that is required to and does have a valid marine document issued by the U.S.
Coast Guard and not to vessels licensed by DMV. 97 For property tax assessment purposes,
however, the definition of documented vessels in section 130 includes all vessels required to be
registered with DMV, as well as those documented with the U.S. Coast Guard. Therefore, to the
property tax appraiser, both U.S. Coast Guard registered vessels and DMV licensed vessels are
documented vessels and are within the provisions of sections 130, 1139, and 1140. Although
documented by the Coast Guard, vessels of more than 50 tons net burden and engaged in the
transportation of freight or passengers are not subject to the statutes set forth for other
documented vessels, as such vessels are wholly exempt from taxation. 98
17
Situs of Documented Vessels
18
19
20
21
22
A vessel, although transitory in nature, is assessable in California if the vessel has established
situs here. Thus, the determination of where a vessel is legally situated has an effect on whether
or not a vessel is assessable by a California county. As with aircraft, situs may depend on vessel
type. A documented vessel shall be assessed at the place of documentation unless the place of
documentation does not represent the situs of the vessel. 99 Such cases may occur when:
23
24
25

A vessel owner has permanently removed the vessel from its original designated situs to
another location where the vessel has become habitually moored and the owner has so
informed the property assessor in writing. 100
26
27
28

An assessor can show, despite the place of documentation, original situs designation, or a
notice that a vessel has been removed, that the vessel is permanently located in his/her
county, provided the original county indicated that the vessel is not assessed there.101
29
30
31
32

Coast Guard documentation of a new vessel occurred after 1995. Since that time, all
documentation occurs at the National Vessel Documentation Center in West Virginia rather
than in regional centers in this state. For these vessels, the place of documentation does not
represent the situs of a vessel. For example:
97
Vehicle Code section 9840 sets forth a list of all types of vessels and prescribes which ones must be registered
with DMV (and are thereby documented as defined by the assessor).
98
California Constitution, article XIII, section 3, subdivision (l).
99
Sections 1137-1141.
100
Section 1139.
101
Article XIII, section 14 of the California Constitution ("… in the county … in which it is situated") takes
precedence over provisions of sections 1139 and 1140 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
AH 504
45
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2

A vessel shall be assessed in this state if it is documented outside of the state, but travels
regularly in California waters, and the owners reside in this state.102
3
4
5
6
7

A vessel shall be assessed in this state if it that is documented in this state or when the
vessel's owner is domiciled in California, but the vessel may, by being indefinitely and
exclusively employed within the waters of another state, has acquired an actual situs in
that other state, and that other state there that will permits the vessel to be taxed in that
state.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
The county where the DMV registers a vessel, the place of documentation, is typically the
county where the vessel is located and assessed. The address indicated on the registration
certificate is the mailing address of the registered owner but it does not indicate where the vessel
is habitually moored, which may be different from the owner's mailing address. The DMV stores
the situs information in its computer system and passes the information along to the assessors in
their reports. To facilitate the tracking of vessel owners and vessel locations, many assessors
have also established an on-line communication link with the DMV to access its database.
15
Situs of Nondocumented Vessels
16
17
18
19
20
Nondocumented vessels, those not required to be documented by the DMV or by the U.S. Coast
Guard, establish situs in the county where they are habitually moored when not in service. 103
Smaller boats that are not habitually kept at a mooring but are lifted from the water and kept in a
boathouse or transported by trailers to the owner's residence or another location are taxed at the
location where the boat is habitually kept.
21
Situs of Intercounty Ferryboats
22
23
24
25
The tax situs of intercounty ferryboats is regulated by statute. When a ferry connects ports in
more than one county, it is assessed in equal proportions in each of the counties. The wharves,
storehouses, and stationary property ancillary to the ferryboat operation are assessed in the
county or counties where they are located. 104
26
Situs of Seagoing Vessels / Home Port Doctrine
27
28
29
30
Vessels plying the high seas may constantly move between ports throughout the year. Such
vessels are generally bound by the "home port" doctrine that permits only the taxing authority of
a home port to impose a tax. No other jurisdiction, including those ports visited by the vessel
during its voyages, has the power to tax it. 105
31
32
33
34
The "home port" doctrine, established under common law, is a doctrine which permits vessels
engaged in foreign or interstate commerce to be taxed at the domicile of the owner or at the port
of registration regardless of where the vessel actually happens to be located on the lien date. This
doctrine has limited application in modern times, as both the United States Supreme Court, in
102
Section 1138.
Section 1141.
104
Section 1137.
105
Hays v. Pacific Mail S.S. Co. (1855) 17 How (58 U.S.) 596.
103
AH 504
46
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
4
5
Japan Line, Ltd. v. County of Los Angeles, 106 and the California Supreme Court, in Sea-Land
Service, Inc. v. County of Alameda, 107 have described the home port doctrine as anachronistic;108
however, the home port doctrine may be applied to seagoing vessels when no permanent situs
has otherwise been established for a vessel. Prior to 1995, owners typically documented these
vessels at the port nearest to their place of domicile, which was considered the vessel's tax situs.
6
7
8
9
Annual renewal of a Certificate of Documentation for vessels documented prior to 1995 will
continue to show the original port of documentation on the certificate. Since 1995, a "hailing
port," as opposed to a "home port," is now used on the Certificate of Documentation. As a result,
the tax situs for seagoing vessels put into service since 1995 is the domicile of the owner.
10
11
12
13
14
15
The home port doctrine was developed for and applied to the taxation of vessels, as distinguished
from the apportionment rule that has been applied to railroad rolling stock and aircraft. The
United States Supreme Court granted the domiciliary state the power to tax in full and denied the
power to tax to all other jurisdictions, regardless of where the vessel happened to be actually
located on the lien date. 109 This ruling has been consistently applied to vessels by California
courts.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Despite the home port designated by an owner, a vessel's home port should be determined by a
ship's actual operations and not by the fictitious home port created solely by registry. A home
port is to be distinguished from a "port of convenience." A port of convenience has no taxing
authority as it is a port where a vessel primarily at sea enters temporarily between ocean voyages
to deliver goods, obtain provisions, and make repairs. 110 If a seagoing vessel is inactive and not
engaged in any kind of commerce for a period of time that cannot be considered temporary,
however, it acquires a tax situs where it is anchored or moored, irrespective of any so-called
home port. 111
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Due to the nature of interstate or foreign commerce and travel, the physical presence of a vessel
may not establish permanent situs. A vessel may establish a habitual or significant presence at
one or more locations. However, unlike some other types of personal property, vessels (other
than intercounty ferries) are not subject to apportionment. When sites are temporary, even when
a habitual or significant presence is established, tax situs is not acquired for property tax
purposes. The tax situs of a vessel is not determined by an owner's designation of a home port
but depends upon the existence of sufficient contacts, such as the use and employment of a
vessel within the jurisdiction and the opportunities, benefits, or protection afforded a vessel by
the jurisdiction, to satisfy due process. 112
106
(1979) 441 U.S. 434, 443 (1979).
(1974) 12 Cal.3d 772, 786-787 (1974).
108
Both the Japan Line, Ltd. and Sea-Land Service, Inc. cases addressed the taxability of cargo containers.
109
Hays v. Pacific Mail S.S. Co., supra, 58 U.S. 596
110
Martinac v. County of San Diego (1967) 255 Cal.App.2d 175.
111
Continental Dredging Co. v. County of Los Angeles (C.D.Cal. 1973) 366 F.Supp. 1133.
112
County of San Diego v. Lafayette Steel Company (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 690.
107
AH 504
47
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
A sea-going vessel, therefore, regardless of whether the vessel has a "home port" or a "hailing
port" designation, can acquire a new tax situs, if the vessel becomes habitually moored at a new
location.
4
Application of Situs Determination
5
6
7
The following is an example of making a determination of tax situs for a vessel using the
sections and rules described above. The conclusion regarding situs is specific to the information
given.
EXAMPLE 3.3
SITUS OF VESSEL
An assessee/vessel owner purchased a boat December 1, 20018, and registered it with the California
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using a mailing address in XYZ County. On February 1, 20029,
the assessee filed a vessel property statement with XYZ County using the same address for purposes of
registration as the assessee's mailing address and habitual place of mooring. However, on the back of the
form, he noted that the boat was now moored in Mexico.
To determine situs and taxability, the assessor contacted the assessee and gathered the following
information:
 The boat was purchased in San Jose, California on December 1, 20018.
 The boat was registered January 1, 20029, and the registration address (in XYZ County) shown
was the domicile of the owner's son.
 The assessee claims (without documentation) that the boat is now habitually moored in Baja,
Mexico, but is unable or unwilling to verify the date or permanent address (situs) of the new
habitual mooring location. The situs address on the DMV registration certificate in XYZ County
remains unchanged.
 Assessee claims permanent domicile in the State of Washington.
 The State of Washington will not register vessels without a physical inspection.
BASED ON THE FACTS PROVIDED, THE TAX SITUS OF THIS VESSEL ON LIEN DATE JANUARY 1, 20029 IS
XYZ COUNTY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS (IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE):

Application for a CF number and registration with the DMV establishes situs for vessels; thus, the tax
situs is XYZ County, since the assessee indicated an XYZ County address as both his mailing address
and the place of habitual mooring on the registration for his vessel (section1139). Under California
law: "Every undocumented vessel using the waters or on the waters of this state shall be currently
numbered." (Vehicle Code section 9850). The assessee's intention was to use the boat in the waters of
this state.

The assessee stated on the property statement that the boat was located in XYZ County. This
statement was signed under penalty of perjury. (The remarks on the back of the form are not
sufficient documentation verifying a different situs for the vessel.)

If a vessel is (permanently) moved from the registered situs, an owner is required to notify the DMV
by changing the address on the registration certificate or by filing another property statement or other
documentation notifying the assessor pursuant to section 1139. Since this did not occur, the situs of
the vessel for property tax purposes is XYZ County.
AH 504
48
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
SITUS OF LINEN SUPPLY
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Towels, uniforms, and other laundered linen are items normally supplied by linen supply
companies. 113 For a monthly rental fee, the company supplies linen with the understanding that
the items will be replaced periodically with a fresh supply. Soiled linen is taken back to the
owner's business location for cleaning and redistribution. In general, these linens are exempt
business inventory items when no committed to lease on the lien date. 114 Linens that are
committed to lease; i.e., the lessee has a contractual right to a specific quantity of linens or
specific linens (company uniforms, towels, etc.), and under the contract has a right to control the
use of the linens, the specific linens are not eligible for the inventory exemption.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Tax situs of linens must be determined based on the type and length of the lease involved
pursuant to Rules 204 and 205. According to these rules, if the linens are rented on a short-term
basis (six months or less or substantially shorter than the life of the property), they are to be
assessed at the location where they are returned for cleaning. On the other hand, if the linens are
rented on a long-term basis (more than six months, or for a major portion of the expected life),
they attain a situs at the lessee's location. For example, laundries often lease readily identifiable
industrial garments to service stations on a continuous basis. Often, these garments are
temporarily taken to the laundry for normal maintenance and cleaning, but they are returned to
the same user (lessee) where they are used until worn out. As such, these items are retained by
the lessee for the major portion of their lives and attain a situs at the service station where they
are used. Trade level per Rule 10 and the provisions of section 623 concerning a single
assessment of leased property should be considered.
22
SITUS OF VENDING EQUIPMENT/GAMES
23
24
25
26
27
Vending machines (such as coin-operated pinball machines, food and drink vending machines,
and music machines) are typically placed at various locations for extended periods of time and
are only returned to the owner's business location for repair or for storage prior to disposition.
Since these machines are more or less permanently situated at various locations, they have situs
where located on the lien date.
28
SITUS OF CONTAINERS
29
SITUS OF RETURNABLE CONTAINERS
30
31
32
33
34
Cylinders, beer barrels, and steel drums are types of returnable containers. 115 Typically,
returnable containers require a deposit as they are not intended for sale. The sole purpose of such
containers is to provide a moveable movable vessel to hold for their contents that have been sold,
such as compressed gas, beer, or and solvents. The situs of such containers is the location to
which they are returned for reprocessing or refilling (i.e., the owner's business location).
113
Similarly, linen supply hardware such as towel cabinets, soap dispensers, and soiled rag containers are supplied
to remain at the customers' locations for the duration of the contract. Situs of these items is typically the lessee
location based on general situs rules.
114
Rule 133.
115
It should be noted that containers held for sale or lease are exempt from property taxation under the business
inventory exemption. See section 129 and Rule 133.
AH 504
49
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
2
3
Returnable containers for soft drink beverages, pursuant to section 996 116 , "shall be assessed
only to the person in possession thereof on the lien date." Therefore, situs of this type of
returnable container is the place of possession.
4
5
6
Where returnable containers originate from out-of-state and are returned to the out-of-state
location for refilling, the "average presence" rule set forth in Sea-Land Service, Inc. v. County of
Alameda 117 is applicable in determining tax situs.
7
SITUS OF SEMI-PERMANENT CONTAINERS
8
9
10
11
There are various containers that are more or less permanently located at a particular site.
Examples are butane or propane tanks used for fuel storage. These tanks are refilled at the
respective locations and remain there for considerable periods of time. Situs for assessment
purposes is the place where they are located on the lien date.
12
SITUS OF ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES
13
14
15
16
17
"An artificial satellite permanently located in outer space does not have a tax situs in this
state." 118 Satellites are launched into outer space and guided to their FCC approved orbital
assignment where they remain until they are no longer operative. After satellites are launched,
they never return to earth. Satellites no longer operative are moved to a location known as a
"space graveyard."
18
SITUS OF RACEHORSES
19
20
21
22
23
24
Section 5720.6 states that the tax situs of racehorses, subject to in-lieu taxation, is the home
ranch of the owner or other place where the racehorses are quartered or domiciled and to which
they normally return when not racing or in training at a race track. If the racehorses are not
quartered at a home ranch or other location when not racing or in training to race, the situs is the
residence of the owner. This determination is made at 12:01 a.m., on the lien date January 1,
each year.
116
This is true unless that person has a legally enforceable duty to return the containers for reuse. A person,
however, is not under a legally enforceable duty to return returnable containers for reuse merely because such
person has the right to return such containers at his or her election for a sum of money equal to the deposit or similar
charge paid upon acquisition of the containers. See section 996(a).
117
(1974) 12 Cal.3d 772.
118
Rule 206, Assessment of Artificial Satellites, effective January 1, 2002.
AH 504
50
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 3
1
SITUS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY OWNED BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES
2
3
4
5
6
7
The Soldiers' and Sailors' Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides that non-business personal
property owned by active duty service personnel and their spouses has a tax situs in the state of
the owner's legal residence. 119 Under this act, a property's physical location may be in California,
but its tax situs may be in New York if the owner's legal residence is in that state. The personal
property of a service member or spouse who files a statement with the assessor declaring his or
her legal residence to be in another state is therefore exempt from taxation in this state.
119
Title 50 United States Code Annotated, section 574. 50 U.S.C. Appen. § 571(d)
AH 504
51
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
CHAPTER 4: VALUATION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
2
3
4
5
AH 501, Basic Appraisal, includes a personal property chapter that gives a basic overview of the
appraisal of personal property for property tax assessment purposes. Generally, as indicated in
that chapter, basic appraisal principles apply to both real property and personal property.
However, there are differences between the two.
6
7
8
This chapter focuses on basic and advanced valuation issues as related to personal property
specifically. In order to discuss the topics in a complete manner, some review of information
previously covered in other Assessors' Handbook sections is necessary.
9
REVIEW OF THE VALUE CONCEPT
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Value is defined as the present worth of anticipated future benefits, or the monetary worth of a
property at a given time. It is one of the most important and complex appraisal concepts. AH 501
includes a comprehensive discussion of the topic. This chapter discusses value as it applies
specifically to personal property. Although the approaches to value are similar, real property and
personal property differ significantly in that auditor-appraisers must estimate the market value of
personal property on the lien date every year. Annually, it must be taxed in proportion to its
value as defined in section 110(a):
17
18
19
20
21
22
… the amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed for
sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor seller could
take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and the seller
have knowledge of all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted
and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable restrictions upon
those uses and purposes. 120
23
24
25
Unlike real property, personal property (with the exception of manufactured homes and floating
homes) is not governed by the base year value limitations of article XIII A of the California
Constitution (Proposition 13).
26
27
28
29
30
The annual lien date value of personal property, which must reflect market value, is unrelated to
net book value (capitalized cost less depreciation) reflected on an assessee's books. Fair market
value as defined in appraisal terms and net book value as defined in accounting terms are
separate concepts. Any similarity is merely coincidental. It is important to recognize the
differences. The California Supreme Court has said:,
31
32
33
The accountant deals with past historical cost to the present owner and by the
process of amortization spreads the cost of property over its useful life. The
unamortized cost reflected on the balance sheet has no relation to the "full cash
120
Section 110(a).
AH 504
52
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
value," i.e., the price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller. (Citations
omitted.) 121
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
As mentioned earlier, an appraiser's concept of value is full cash value, or fair market value, or
simply market value, as of the lien date. In contrast, the accountant's concept of value is normally
the book value of the property, the capitalized asset's acquisition cost less depreciation. This may
or may not be the same as market value, as stated by the court in De Luz Homes, Inc. v. County
of San Diego. In some cases, the "historical" cost basis for property tax purposes is different
from what is recorded as the book cost of the asset. (Costs applicable to valuation for assessment
purposes are discussed later in this chapter.)
10
APPROACHES TO VALUE
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Rule 3, Value Approaches, which applies to both real property and personal property, discusses
five approach to value. The three major appraisal approaches for estimating value (cost,
comparative sales, and income) as discussed regarding real property, are applicable to personal
property as well. Although all three approaches to value should be considered, the use of all three
may not always be appropriate. The nature of the property, its market, and the availability of data
will normally indicate which approach(es) is most applicable. This is supported by Rule 3, which
states, in part:
18
19
20
In estimating value as defined in section 2, the assessor shall consider one or more
of the following [approaches to value], as may be appropriate for the property
being appraised. (Italics added.)
21
22
23
The auditor-appraiser, therefore, should analyze all available information to determine the most
applicable and reliable approach(es). An appraiser should have knowledge of each approach as it
applies to personal property and business fixtures to make this determination.
24
COST APPROACH
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
The cost approach to value estimates the value of an asset or a group of assets as the original or
historical cost of the asset (or group of assets), adjusted to account for changes in value since
purchase and/or installation. It is the method of valuation used most frequently to value personal
property and business fixtures for assessment purposes because it lends itself to mass appraisal 122
and is employed based on information provided on yearly property statements. As stated in
Rule 6(a), the cost approach is particularly appropriate for property that is not over- or underimproved, and is not affected by other forms of depreciation or obsolescence. Use of the cost
approach is preferred if the following conditions exist: (1) no reliable sales data are available, (2)
no reliable income data are available for the property being valued, and (3) the income of the
121
De Luz Homes, Inc. v. County of San Diego (1955) 45 Cal.2d 546, 567, superseded by statute on other grounds as
stated in Oryx Energy Co. v. County of Kern (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 48.
122
Mass appraisal is "the process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date utilizing standard
methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing" according to See the Appraisal Institute.
The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, Third Edition (3d ed 1993) p. 224.
AH 504
53
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
property being valued is not so regulated as to make current replacement costs irrelevant to
value. 123
3
4
5
6
7
8
Rule 6 allows and prescribes more than one type of cost approach that an appraiser may use. The
three two variations of the cost approach provided discussed in this manual are reproduction
cost, and replacement cost, and historical cost. Although an appraiser may not utilize each
variation, general knowledge of the terms and concepts associated with each is important to a
thorough understanding of value in the context of property tax appraisal. Each variation is briefly
described below.
9
Reproduction Cost Approach
10
11
12
13
14
The reproduction cost approach, as a variation of the cost approach, has limited usefulness
because it uses reproduction cost (the cost to replace an existing property with an identical
property, a replica) as a basis for estimating value. It is frequently not possible or desirable to
duplicate an existing property, due either to the lack of certain materials or trade skills or the
functional obsolescence of a property.
15
16
17
18
The difficulty of using reproduction cost increases as a property ages. When a property would
not be exactly duplicated, as is often the case, reproduction cost loses validity as an indicator of
market. This lack of validity can be overcome if depreciation is accurately estimated, but this can
be somewhat difficult to determine for an exact replica.
19
Replacement Cost Approach
20
21
22
Replacement cost is the cost to replace an existing property with a property of equivalent
utility 124 as of a particular date. The replacement cost concept is the most meaningful as far as
the principle of substitution is concerned.
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
In the replacement cost approach, elements of a property that would clearly not be included in a
substitute of equal utility are excluded from the estimated replacement cost. For example, a
buyer may not look for an identical new property to replace an older property. The buyer would
look instead for the best way to perform the same function(s). The best way may be to use the
latest state-of-the-art technology and materials, or may be another used piece of equipment able
to perform to specifications of equivalent utility. In making this decision, a buyer would look at
various aspects of available properties. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the
cost to acquire each property, to age of the properties, the remaining expected lives of the
properties, and the expected cost to operate each in comparison to the property being replaced
and to each other.
123
Rule 6(a).
Rule 6(d) provides that "[t]he "replacement cost of a reproducible property may be estimated … by applying
current prices to the labor and material components of a substitute property capable of yielding the same services
and amenities, with appropriate additions…."
124
AH 504
54
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
Historical Cost Approach
2
3
4
5
Historical cost reflects the level of cost at the time of a property's original construction or
acquisition, and is discussed in Rules 3 and 6 in two contexts: (1) as a method of estimating
reproduction cost or replacement cost and (2) as the historical cost/historical cost less
depreciation approach used in the valuation of rate-regulated properties.
6
7
8
9
10
The replacement or reproduction cost approach is applicable to any property whose earnings or
benefits are not regulated; that is, the assessor may use historical or original cost as a method of
estimating reproduction or replacement cost new using price indexes or data on current prices for
similar property. (The estimate must then be reduced by the amount of estimated depreciation to
arrive at an indicator of fair market value.)
11
12
13
The historical cost/historical cost less depreciation approach referred to in Rule 3(d), is a
variation of the cost approach frequently applied to investor-owned, regulated public utilities.
The approach has little application to the county assessor and is not discussed in this manual.
14
Variations of the Cost Approach
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
The reproduction cost approach and the replacement cost approach, as discussed in Rule 6, are
the variations most commonly used to value personal property and business fixtures at the
county level. In general, these variations of the cost approach use historical or original cost 125
information to estimate a reproduction cost new (current cost new to reproduce an identical
property) or replacement cost new (current cost new to replace a property with a similar property
of the same utility). Then, the reproduction or replacement cost new is adjusted to reflect
depreciation to arrive at an assessable value. 126 AH 582, Explanation of the Derivation of
Equipment Percent Good Factors, and the yearly update of AH 581, Equipment Index and
Percent Good Factors, discuss this procedure in detail and provide suggested index factors and
percent good tables for use by auditor-appraisers. Use of indexes and percent good factors
provided in the AH 581 based on the indicated remaining economic life of the subject property
give an estimate of what the market value should be for a property based on a broad, but similar
"market basket." In most cases it is a practical method to apply for mass appraisal purposes,
although it does not always reflect all types of depreciation for all types of property; additional
adjustments are necessary. Market data may also be used to develop such factors, when data are
available.
31
32
33
34
When using the factors and valuation method contained in the Assessors' Handbook, an appraiser
should not only estimate a full economic cost (replacement cost new or reproduction cost new)
and consider all forms of depreciation that apply to a particular property, but should also be
aware of the limitations inherent to this approach. It is important for an appraiser to recognize the
125
Rule 6 uses the terms historical cost and original cost synonymously, the cost of the property when new. The
term acquisition cost is, in the Rule, used as the cost to the current owner. For purposes of this manual, the terms are
used as defined in Rule 6.
126
Alternatively, one factor may be developed and used to estimate value using one mathematical operation
(original/historical cost x value factor = value estimate as opposed to original/historical cost x index factor x
percent good factor = value estimate).
AH 504
55
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
limitations of the cost approach in regard to a specific property because adjustments may be
needed, or a different approach to value utilized. The annual Bbusiness Pproperty Sstatement
allows property owners to identify all property specific conditions that would warrant adjustment
4
5
6
7
beyond normal appreciation and depreciation guidelines. Supplemental information that may be
presented by the assessee may be valid, whether or not submitted with the business property
statement. Cost components, depreciation, and the limitations of the cost approach are discussed
below.
8
Valid Cost Components
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
A property's recorded purchase price does not necessarily reflect all costs required to estimate
value for assessment purposes, nor does it necessarily exclude costs which that do not contribute
to value. In other words, not all costs contributing to value are booked and not all costs booked
contribute to value. For example, the booked cost may represent acquisition cost as opposed to
historical cost, (acquisition cost being the cost to the current owner, and historical cost being the
original cost when new). If either the historical cost or the cost to the current owner does not
accurately reflect all valid cost components or market value at the time the property was
purchased, 127 the resulting cost approach value estimates may not be good indicators of value. 128
17
18
19
20
21
It is important to be aware of all cost components. Rule 6(b) and Rule 10(b) define these costs
components as including labor, material, entrepreneurial services, interest on borrowed or ownersupplied funds, freight or shipping costs, installation costs, sales or use tax, and "other costs
typically incurred in bringing the property to a finished state (or to a lesser state if unfinished on
the lien date)." 129
22
23
24
25
With regard to freight costs, it should be noted that only those charges necessary to place the
property in service should be capitalized; subsequent transportation costs to return equipment for
repairs should not be included,. Since they these changes are above and beyond what is
necessary to transport the equipment from a warehouse to its ultimate location of use.
26
Direct and Indirect Costs
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
Cost for assessment purposes may be thought of as full economic cost. Full economic cost should
include all market costs, both direct and indirect, necessary to purchase or construct equipment
and make it ready for its intended use. Costs which that add value, direct and indirect, associated
with manufacturing the equipment and/or making it ready for its intended use should be included
in the full economic cost. Not all costs add value, for example, relocation costs are not costs
contributing to the assessable value of the property. Direct costs, or "hard" costs, are
expenditures for the labor, materials, and direct factory overhead required to construct the
property whether purchased in the form of raw materials or a finished product. Indirect costs, or
127
Dennis v. County of Santa Clara (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1019.
Dennis v. County of Santa Clara (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1019.
129
Personal property leased for a period of six months or less (Rule 10(c)) and certain liquefied petroleum gas tanks
as provided by Rule 153 are treated differently. See the discussion of these issues in Chapter 6.
128
AH 504
56
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
"soft" costs, include expenditures other than labor and material necessary to make the equipment
ready for its intended use.
3
4
5
The following listing illustrates typical costs which that should be included in full economic cost,
that is, those costs typically incurred in bringing the property to a finished state. Some of the
more common items are discussed in more detail in the pages following the table.
AH 504
57
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
TABLE 4A
TYPICAL VALID COST COMPONENTS

Purchased Equipment
Indirect Costs
Direct Costs
Purchase price including sales tax, freight,
 Unbooked sales/use tax, 131 freight-in, 132
trade-in allowances, and installation less
installation, etc.
discounts—(with all features &
attachments) 130
Self-Constructed Equipment
Direct Costs
Indirect Costs

Materials

Freight-in

Labor used in construction


Installation (foundations, pilings, utility
connections, trial runs, debugging)
Sub-contractor's fees

Trade-in allowances

Interest on borrowed or owner supplied
funds for construction only (finance charges
for purchased equipment are not components
of cost)

Testing costs, sometimes referred to as
debugging costs (in some instances)

Indirect labor (construction supervision,
engineering fees, administration, etc.)

Legal fees

Indirect overhead

Other costs required to make equipment
ready for its intended use

Charges for equipment or equipment
rentals

Materials storage facilities (on site)

Profit (if appropriate)

Direct overhead

Sales Tax on Materials
1
2
130
Purchase price is the total consideration whether money or otherwise, section 110.
Xerox Corporation v. County of Orange (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 746; County of San Diego v. Assessment Appeals
Bd. No. 2 (1983) 140 Cal.App.3d 52.; but see Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2 (2008)
167 Cal.App.4th 1428, 1444, distinguishing Xerox, holding that: "Sales tax should not be included as an element of
value in the assessment of a common carrier aircraft, exempt from sales or use tax."
132
Xerox Corporation v. County of Orange (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 746; County of San Diego v. Assessment Appeals
Bd. No. 2 (1983) 140 Cal.App.3d 52.
131
AH 504
58
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
Purchase Price
Normally, a recent purchase price is the best evidence of the value of an asset. The Revenue and
Taxation Code permits the assessor to presume fair market value from a property's full purchase
price (less allowable discounts), but does not bind the assessor to rely upon it. 133
5
6
7
8
9
10
Rule 6 contemplates the use of the original cost of the property and adjusted for subsequent price
level changes. However, the Rule 6(c) states: "If the property was not new when acquired by its
present owner and its original cost is unknown, its acquisition cost may be substituted for
original cost in the foregoing calculations" The calculations referenced here is are the ones
involving the application of price index factors to the original cost to determine replacement or
reproduction cost new.
11
12
13
However, the assessor should determine whether the purchase price accurately represents market
value at the time of acquisition. If evidence shows that price is not a good indicator of value, it
should not be used. 134 For example,
14
15
16

if If a seller were in dire straits and was required to sell an asset, the price might be below the
maximum value a "willing" buyer in the market would pay in other circumstances; in other
words, the asset may have been sold for less than "fair market value"; 135
17
18

if If the transaction was between related parties (i.e., not an "arms-length" transaction), the
price might be below the maximum value a "willing" buyer in the open market would pay;
19
20
21

aA total sales price may have been allocated to various property types (e.g., land,
improvements, equipment, and goodwill); the allocation may not be an accurate indication of
market value; or
22
23

if If the sale is of an ongoing business or operation, or includes non-assessable intangible
property, the sales price might be above the value of the assessable property.
24
25
26
Therefore, the circumstances surrounding a sale should be considered: For example: Was the
property or business offered for sale in the open market? Was this an "arms length" transaction,?
wWas the sale between related parties? Was the business in financial distress?
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
If the acquired property includes personalty, and/or business fixtures, the auditor-appraiser must
then estimate the remaining economic life of the acquired property, to determine the fair market
value at valuation dates subsequent to the acquisition date. Acquisitions of entire businesses, or
total assets of an entity, should be given very close scrutiny. Frequently, liabilities are assumed,
intangible property may be present, and the costs recorded on the books for the various acquired
asset categories are merely allocations of the purchase price, and do not reflect the true market
value of the taxable, tangible personal property, business fixtures, and/or leasehold or tenant
improvements.
133
Dennis v. County of Santa Clara, (1989) supra, 215 Cal.App.3d at, 1027-1031.1019.
Section 110(b) discusses use of purchase price in relation to valuation of real property. This section can be
applied to personal property where appropriate.
135
Section 110(b).
134
AH 504
59
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Sales/Use Tax, Freight, and Installation
The general rule in determining market value is that where price is the basis of value, sales/use
tax, freight, and installation costs are elements of that value. 136 These elements should be
included in full economic cost since they are part of value when they are paid. Moreover, if these
costs would have been applicable to a similar consumer using the equipment at a similar trade
level, they these costs may be assessable even when not paid. 137 The costs apply at the same rate
as those that apply to a similar consumer, whether actually paid or not.
8
9
10
11
12
13
However, there are exceptions to the general rule. Equipment rented to federal instrumentalities
and aircraft used by common carriers (neither of which are subject to sales tax), for example, are
valued without sales tax as an element of value. The reason in both cases is that the consumer
(the federal government or the air carrier) is never liable for sales tax on purchases of such
equipment. Consequently, the reproduction or replacement cost of such property should not
include sales tax, unless or until the property is put to private use or rented to a private party. 138
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Other exceptions to the general rule include a partial sales tax exemption on the purchase and
lease of farm equipment and machinery, commercial timber harvesting equipment and
machinery, and racehorse breeding stock. Beginning September 1, 2001, qualified sales and
purchases (including lease payments made after that date) of these types of property are exempt
from the state general fund portion of the sales tax. 139 (The partial exemption also applies to the
repair and replacement parts for these categories of equipment and machinery.) The partial
exemption does not apply to any local, city, county, or district taxes. Local, city, county, and
district portions of the sales tax will continue to be included in the full economic cost of the
property for property tax valuation purposes.
23
24
25
With regard to the exemption allowed on the equipment, the property must be purchased by a
qualified person to be used primarily in the industry identified in the exemption. Qualified
person means any person engaged in the line of business described in each exemption and
136
Xerox Corp. v. Orange County (1977) supra, 66 Cal.App.3d 746; but see Auerbach v. Los Angeles County
Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2, supra, 167 Cal.App.4th at 1444,
137
Property must be valued at the level situated on the lien date. This is the trade level concept. Thorough discussion
of this topic is included later in this chapter.
138
Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2 (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1428, 1444; see also the
Sales and Use Tax Law for more information regarding sales tax requirements.
139
It should be noted that tThere is a difference between the state sales and use tax rate ("state rate") and the state
general fund portion of the sales and use tax rate. For example, as of January 1, 2002, the state rate is 6.00%, while
the state general fund portion of the sales and use tax rate is only 5.00%, as 1.00% of the state rate is directed
towards local revenue funds. The partial exemption discussed above is limited to the state general fund portion of
the sales and use tax rate. Please see the table attached to LTA No. 2002/029 for the appropriate adjustment to a
property's full economic cost, based upon the asset's acquisition date.
AH 504
60
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
primarily means used 50 percent or more of the time for such purposes. Property qualifying for
this partial exemption includes:
3
4

fFarm equipment and machinery purchased to be used by a person engaged in the
agricultural industry and used for producing and harvesting agricultural products. 140
5
6
7

cCommercial timber harvesting equipment and machinery purchased to be used by a
person engaged in the commercial timber harvesting industry and used for harvesting
timber. 141
8
9

rRacehorse breeding stock capable of reproduction and for which the purchaser states that
it is the purchaser's sole intent to use the horse for breeding purposes. 142
10
11
12
13
14
15
For all three partial exemptions, the purchaser must complete a partial exemption certificate (as
described in Sales and Use Tax Rule 1667) in order for the retailer to claim the partial
exemption. Therefore, if the purchaser qualifies for the exemption and completes an exemption
claim, their reported cost should only include a sales tax component for any local, city, county,
or district tax. The reported cost should not include a sales tax component attributed to the state
general fund portion of the sales tax. 143
16
17
18
A similar partial sales tax exemption is also available for diesel fuel used in farming activities or
food processing, 144 This partial exemption also requires that a fuel purchaser supply the retailer
with a certificate authorizing the exemption.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Trade-In Allowances
In some cases, a buyer will pay for property in part or in whole with a trade-in of older property
or equipment. This is a trade-in allowance and an element of value when using the cost
approach. This allowance is part of the price paid for the property, although the price was not
paid in cash. Had the trade-in allowance not been accepted as payment, the cash price would
have been higher. Appraisers must, therefore, add-back any trade-in allowances subtracted from
the purchase price or booked cost.
26
27
28
29
Capitalized Interest (Interest During Construction)
Self-constructed property, property constructed by the user and put to productive use in that
business, has an interest cost associated with it regardless of whether the source of funds is debt
or equity and whether or not the interest is actually incurred. Therefore, an increment of interest
140
Section 6356.5 provides the exemption for farm equipment and machinery; in addition, see Sales and Use Tax
Rule 1533.1.
141
Section 6356.6 provides the exemption for timber harvesting equipment and machinery; in addition see Sales and
Use Tax Rule 1534.
142
Section 6358.5(a)(2), in part, see code section for further information regarding this exemption; in addition, see
Sales and Use Tax Rule 1535.
143
For further guidance on how this sales tax exemption affects the economic cost of property for property tax
purposes, see LTA 2002/029.
144
See Regulation Sales and Use Tax Rule 1533.2 and section 6357.1.
AH 504
61
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
must be identified and included when valuing self-constructed property. 145 This only applies to
financing costs during the construction period. Financing costs, actual or imputed, attributable to
the holding of the property after the completion of construction, including purchase financing,
should not be included in the cost of construction. Care must be taken to include only the interest
attributable to the piece of equipment under construction.
6
When identifying the cost of the capital rate to apply, the following criteria should be considered:
7

The rate derived should be the typical rate for the specific industry of the assessee.
8
9

The rate should be the weighted average cost of capital, taking into consideration the
typical debt-equity ratio for the industry.
10
11

The cost of debt for long-term capital projects in most industries typically relates to
long-term bonds, rather than short-term prime rate borrowing.
12
13

Interest cost is related to, and measured against, the typical pattern for use of funds on
any given project.
EXAMPLE 4.1
COMPUTING CAPITALIZED INTEREST
FACTS:

A candy company constructed candy manufacturing equipment. The construction activity started on
March 1, 20018, and the equipment was ready for use on December 1, 20018 (a nine-month
acquisition period).

On March 1, 20018, at the beginning of construction, the company borrowed $400,000 at 15 percent
for five years to pay for the parts and material acquired for use in construction.
WHAT IS THE INTEREST COST COMPONENT NECESSARY TO INCLUDE WHEN USING THE COST
APPROACH TO VALUE?
Funds Borrowed to Begin Construction x Interest Rate x Time = Interest Cost
$400,000 x 0.15 x 9/12 = $45,000
WHAT IS THE TOTAL ORIGINAL COST OF THE EQUIPMENT (BASED ON THE INFORMATION
PROVIDED)?
Funds Borrowed to Begin Construction + Cost During Construction = Total Cost
$400,000 + 45,000 = $445,000
Note: No interest cost is capitalized after the equipment is placed in use on December 1, even though interest
continues to accrue on the $400,000 loan for the acquisition of parts and material needed for the construction of
the equipment.
145
Rule 6(b).
AH 504
62
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
Testing Costs
Testing costs are those costs incurred during construction or installation of a production line or
equipment. Some of these costs may be assessable.
4
5
6
Machinery testing costs are costs incurred in the process of verifying that the production line is
working correctly. They are part of the installation process and are necessary in bringing the
property to a finished state. Machinery testing costs are assessable as valid cost components.
7
8
9
10
11
12
Product testing costs, on the other hand, are costs incurred in the research and development stage
of a product, rather than during the construction or installation of the equipment. Product testing
costs would be incurred when a product is developed, for example. These costs should not be
included in an appraiser's estimate of the full economic cost of the assessable equipment. These
costs are part of inventory (part of the product) and are unrelated to the matter of bringing the
manufacturing equipment to a finished state.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
FDA Validation Costs
The FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) defines validation as "confirmation by
examination and provision of objective evidence that the particular requirements for a specific
intended use can be consistently fulfilled." 146 It is the responsibility of the user to develop and
conduct such examinations to ensure compliance with FDA guidelines specific to the industry or
to a property. Equipment or processes which that must be validated may include, for example,
processes such as sterilization, molding, and welding. Thus, FDA validation costs are those costs
incurred to establish:
21
22
23
24
… evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will
consistently produce a product meeting its predetermined specifications and
quality characteristics…by objective evidence that a process consistently
produces a result or product meeting its predetermined specifications. 147
25
26
27
28
29
These costs are not assessable attributes of the property to which they are associated. Validation
costs are generally incurred once at the start of a process, as distinguished from verification costs
which may continue periodically over the life of a process. The FDA defines verification as
"confirmation by examination and provision of objective evidence that specified requirements
have been fulfilled (itals. added);" 148 a cost associated with maintaining property.
30
Research and Development Costs
146
21 C.F.R. §820.3(Z); www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=820.3, Dec. 22,
2009 2002.
147
www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/PostmarketRequirements/QualitySystemsRegulatio
ns/MedicalDeviceQualitySystemsManual/ucm122439.htm#return Dec.22, 2009
148
21 C.F.R. § 820.3(aa); www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=820.3, Dec 22,
2009.2002.
AH 504
63
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
Research and development (R&D) costs are appropriately included as elements of full economic
cost only when they relate to machinery or other assessable property. Even then, R&D may be
assessable or non-assessable depending on the specific set of facts involved. For example, R&D
relating to design or development of a tangible product which that the taxpayer intends to sell is
inventory and therefore non-assessable.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
R&D costs may be appropriately included in assessable property when they relate specifically to
the successful development and construction of machinery or other assessable property used to
produce a product. However, the appraiser must carefully scrutinize these R&D costs to
determine the appropriate value added rather than simply including the total cost incurred. R&D
often involves a trial and error process, with success following a number of failed attempts.
Moreover, the appraiser must be careful not to include in the value of assessable tangible
personal property the value of non-assessable property created by the R&D, such as patents,
trade secrets, etc.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Finally, there may be timing and allocation questions to consider. For example, R&D costs may
be incurred to successfully design, develop, construct, and test a piece of equipment to be used in
a manufacturing or testing process. To the extent that R&D is properly includable in the cost of
the tangible personal property, some reasonable method should be used to recognize the
contribution of the includable R&D to the value of the initial and each subsequent machine. It
would be inappropriate to allocate includable R&D costs to the first such self-constructed piece
of equipment where the taxpayer plans to build additional machines of the same or similar type
utilizing such R&D information.
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Discounts/Adjustments
The purchase price of equipment may reflect discounts allowed due to payment within a predetermined period or due to the quantity purchased. For example, a seller may offer a discount
(say, 2 two percent) if the equipment is paid for in-full within a short time (say, 30 days). If the
purchaser takes advantage of this discount and pays timely, the booked value of the asset would
reflect the discount. Likewise, the seller may offer discounts that escalate based on the quantity
purchased, and would exceed that which may be offered on smaller orders.
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Discounts and rebates offered by a seller are a normal part of supply and demand in the process
of setting market value, where the prudent buyer pays as little as reasonably possible and the
seller charges as much as possible. The price paid for the property after recognition of discounts
and rebates represents the amount received by the seller as well as the cost to the buyer.149
(Discounts between related parties may required further examination.) Discounts and rebates are
therefore excluded from the full economic cost of equipment for property tax assessment
purposes.
149
The price paid by the buyer may include a sales tax component and is a valid cost component for valuation
purposes. Sales tax is not part of the compensation retained by the seller.
AH 504
64
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
Income tax credits, by contrast, are simply reductions of federal income tax liability. They are
similar to depreciation or amortization charges against income for income tax purposes. Other
allowances that are treated similarly to income tax credits include energy tax credits and
manufacturers' investment credits. These items are therefore included in the full economic cost of
equipment for property tax assessment purposes.
6
7
The purchase agreement may include a clause that provides liquidated damages in the event of
the untimely delivery of equipment. Liquidated damages means:
8
9
10
11
An amount contractually stipulated as a reasonable estimation of actual damages
to be recovered by one party if the other party breaches. If the parties to a contract
have agreed on liquidated damages, the sum fixed is the measure of damages for a
breach, whether it exceeds or falls short of the actual damages. 150
12
13
14
15
16
In certain situations, timeliness of delivery is a critical component of a transaction. The company
purchasing the property may be in a situation where money may be lost if the equipment is not
delivered by a certain date. Consequently, a clause may be included in the purchase contract that
provides for a stated amount of damages to be recovered by the purchaser if the property is not
delivered by that stated date.
17
18
19
20
21
22
Liquidated damages are not part of the consideration paid for a property. The damages a
company may receive if the property is not delivered timely isare not a valid adjustments to
market value. Liquidated damages are not the same as discounts, which are a normal part of
supply and demand. Discounts, a reduction in the purchase price of equipment, may be due to a
payment received within a pre-determined period or due to the quantity purchased. Liquidated
damages are amounts recovered due to a breach in contract.
23
24
25
26
27
28
Other items are excluded from a property's full economic cost when "other assets" are included
in a purchase contract. Full economic cost does not include extended service plans or extended
warranties, supplies, or other assets or business services that may have been included in a
purchase contract. 151 Adjustments to a purchase price for these items should be made if they
contribute value to the total contract purchase price. In addition, the effect on the purchase price
for any included financing should be considered and an adjustment made, if appropriate.
29
30
The following chart is an outline of types of adjustments discussed above and the proper
treatment for assessment purposes.
150
151
Black's Law Dictionary; Seventh Edition (1999), page 395.
Rule 10(b) and (e).
AH 504
65
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
Description
Quantity discount
TABLE 4B
DISCOUNTS/ADJUSTMENTS
Excluded from
Full Economic Cost
X
Cash discount
X
"Other" assets or business services
included in purchase contract 152
X
Seller rebates
X
Included in
Full Economic Cost
Income tax credits
X
Energy tax credits
X
Manufacturers' investment credit
X
Liquidated damages
X
1
2
3
4
Other Applicable Costs
Other costs, whether booked or otherwise, should be considered on an individual basis in relation
to how they affect a property's market value.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Other costs may include, for example, those incurred in a major overhaul of a piece of
equipment. If an overhaul extends the life of an asset or increases its utility, the value of the asset
may be affected. (This should not be confused with minor repairs, overhauls, and maintenance
required to continue the existing use of a piece of equipment; these costs do not represent
assessable property.) The costs associated with a major overhaul may be expensed or may be
booked as a capitalized asset. In any event, it is important to consider major overhaul costs in the
valuation of equipment if the costs add value.
12
Trade Level
13
14
15
16
Consistent with the definition of full cash value, property must be assessed at the proper level of
trade based on its location and use on the lien date. An appraiser must recognize that property
normally increases in value as it progresses through production and distribution channels, and to
the consumer, whether or not the cost or value added is booked.
17
18
19
20
The trade level concept is applicable when book cost does not provide adequate information for
making a fair market value appraisal. It is a cost component which is most frequently applicable
to leased equipment and self-constructed equipment. Rule 10(a), Trade Level for Tangible
Personal Property, explains the concept of trade level and reads in part:
152
Full economic cost does not include extended service plans or extended warranties, supplies, or other assets or
business services that may have been include din a purchase contract. (Rule 10(b) and (e).)
AH 504
66
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
In appraising tangible personal property, the assessor shall give recognition to the
trade level at which the property is situated and to the principle that property
normally increases in value as it progresses through production and distribution
channels. Such property normally attains its maximum value as it reaches the
consumer level. Accordingly, tangible personal property shall be valued by
procedures that are consistent with the general policies set forth herein.
7
8
9
Under the provisions of the rule, personal property is assessed on the basis of how it is situated
or used on the lien date rather than at the book cost of the owner. In effect, the rule provides for
equal value for properties equally situated. 153
10
This concept is more easily understood using the following example.
EXAMPLE 4.2
TRADE LEVEL
FACTS:

ABC Grading Company purchases a bulldozer for $250,000 and uses it to prepare land for
subdivision development.

At the same time, Dozer Sales, a bulldozer dealer, purchases an identical bulldozer for $200,000
(dealer's cost) and rents it on a one-year lease to JKL Grading Company. JKL uses the bulldozer to
prepare land for subdivision development, in competition with ABC.

Concurrently, the bulldozer manufacturer (GHI) provides an identical bulldozer to its
subsidiary, RST Grading Company (a competitor of ABC and JKL). The manufacturer's cost
is $150,000. RST uses the bulldozer to prepare land for subdivision development, in
competition with ABC and JKL.
Logically, the full economic cost for each piece of equipment should be the same. In each situation, the
bulldozer is used for the same purpose or at the same trade level. If no trade level adjustments were made
and the book costs were used as the sole basis for appraising the equipment, the assessments would not be
the same; they would be substantially different. The trade level principle, per Rule 10, requires the
assessor to estimate fair market value for the three machines and provide uniformity of assessment.
Based on the information above, Dozer and GHI's costs would require two different trade level
adjustments to arrive at the $250,000 (consumer level) value. Dozer's cost ($200,000) is a dealer cost that
would not include retail items such as sales tax and the dealer's profit margin. GHI's cost ($150,000) is the
manufacturer's cost which that does not yet include retail items missing from the dealer cost, plus items
such as profit margin normally added in when the manufacturer sells the product to either the dealer or a
retailer. In this case, the dealer cost is adjusted 125% ($250,000 / $200,000) and the manufacturer's cost is
adjusted 167% ($250,000 / $150,000) to arrive at the proper trade level.
11
12
153
Fixtures, and other real property, should be assessed at the appropriate state of production as discussed in
AH 501, Basic Appraisal (January 2002), page 12.
AH 504
67
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
As illustrated in Example 4.2, the trade level concept requires adjustments based on what a
consumer at that level of consumption would pay. If another consumer of like property at that
level of trade would be subject to a cost (i.e., sales tax), the full economic cost should include
that cost component whether or not the cost was actually incurred. However, quantity discounts,
as discussed on page 66, should be excluded from full economic cost. In Xerox Corp.oration v.
County of Orange, (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 746, 758 154 the California Court of Appeal indicated
that "under the market value concept, where price is the basis of value, the sales tax and freight
charges are elements of value." Consumer trade level includes sales tax, freight and installation
charges and the property is valued in accordance with the comparative sales, cost or income
method. The courts have also supported the trade level concept by allowing inclusion of a
markup in value for interdivisional transfers of manufactured goods for purposes of delivery or
to facilitate marketing. 155
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Internal Revenue Code section 482 states that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may allocate or
apportion income between two andor more organizations, trades, or business (whether or not
incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned
or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests. For example, if a company has a
product manufactured by its related offshore manufacturer, the product's cost to the U.S. entity
for income tax purposes may include the cost to manufacture the equipment plus an additional
element for profit. The standard cost plus intercompany profit is called the transfer price. If the
transfer price is used to determine the book cost of self-manufactured equipment, then the book
cost contains or includes a trade level adjustment. The transfer price may or may not be equal to
purposes. An auditor-appraiser should recognize that a profit element is included in book cost
and relate this cost to market value at the time of transfer to determine the appropriate trade level
adjustment for assessment purposes.
25
The following table simplifies the application of the trade level principle:
154
155
Decision supported in County of San Diego v. Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2 (1983) 140 Cal.App.3d 52, 56.
Beckman Instruments, Inc. v. County of Orange (1975) 53 Cal.App.3d 767.
AH 504
68
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.2 (CONTINUED)
TRADE LEVEL
ABC
Grading
Dozer Sales
GHI
Lease to JKL Manufacturer
Manufacturer's Cost
(Cost incurred to produce equipment, costs incurred to
bring equipment to finished state)
$150,000
+ Value Added as Moved to Next Trade Level
(mark up to include profit to manufacturer)
50,000
Dealer's Cost
$200,000
$200,000
50,000
50,000
$250,000
$250,000
+ Value Added as Moved to Next Trade Level
(mark up to include profit to dealer, sales tax,
freight, installation, and other necessary
charges)
$250,000
Consumer Level Cost / Full Economic Cost
1
2
3
4
5
6
In practice, determination of a trade level adjustment may be more complex because of (1)
uniqueness of the equipment, (2) the infrequency of sales, and (3) the unavailability of facts
necessary to determine its marketability on the lien date. To simplify the process, keep in mind
the examples provided here and first determine how the property is actually held or used on the
lien date.
7
8
9
10
11
In gathering data to determine a proper trade level adjustment, the use of a property prior to and
after the lien date should be considered since it may influence how it is valued on the lien date.
For example, if a lessor of copy machines uses a copier prior to and/or after the lien date but
places the copier in its inventory on the lien date, that copier is properly classified as assessable
equipment at the consumer trade level.
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Include all costs necessary and appropriate for the property's trade level, and make adjustments
for any discounts that may be appropriate. 156 For example, if the consumer is a company that
typically receives quantity discounts due to the amount of equipment purchased, it generally is
appropriate to reflect such a discount in the adjusted cost. 157 (see also Discounts/Adjustments). If
a lessor leases property in quantity to one lessee, it may be appropriate to consider a quantity
discount adjustment that a customer at the lessee's trade level would receive. For example, when
property is leased for a period of more than six months, the property should be valued at the fair
market value price that a customer at the same trade level as the lessee would pay for that
156
157
See Valid Cost Components in this chapter for a discussion on full economic cost.
See Discount/Adjustments in this chapter.
AH 504
69
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
property. Under the concept of full economic cost, as described in Rule 10, subsection (b), such
price would be adjusted for any appropriate quantity discount that a customer at that lessee's
trade level would receive.
4
Following is an example of trade level adjustment incorporating quantity discounts:
EXAMPLE 4.3
TRADE LEVEL WITH QUANTITY DISCOUNT
FACTS:

Alpha Company purchases a computer for $2,500 and uses it in its business.

Beta Company purchases 1,000 identical computers for $2,100 per computer and uses
them in its business. The price difference is from a quantity discount.

At the same time, Comp Sales, a computer dealer, purchases 1,000 identical computers
for $1,700 (dealer's cost with a quantity discount) and rents them on a one-year lease to
Kappa Company. Kappa uses the computers in its business, in competition with Alpha
and Beta.

Concurrently, the computer manufacturer (Sigma) withdraws 2,000 identical computers
from inventory. The manufacturer's cost is $1,500 per unit. Sigma uses the computers in
its business, in competition with Alpha, Beta, and Kappa.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Logically, the cost per unit and the full economic cost of the piece of equipment to Alpha
Company is $2,500 per unit. The cost per unit and the full economic cost for each piece of
equipment to Beta Company is $2,100 per unit. It is important to recognize that trade level does
not extinguish a quantity discount. The full economic cost for each piece of Comp Sales
equipment should be $2,100 per unit, since Beta Company and Comp Sales purchased the same
quantity. The quantity discount allowed for Sigma (manufacturer) needs to be determined by the
auditor-appraiser. The auditor-appraiser needs to examine the greatest quantity discount given by
the manufacturer, and make an appraisal judgment to determine if a greater quantity discount is
justified. The quantity discount allowed the manufacturer, when it is its own largest customer,
should be at least as large as its largest external wholesale or retail customer.
AH 504
70
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.3 (CONTINUED)
TRADE LEVEL WITH QUANTITY DISCOUNT
Alpha
Beta
Comp Sales
Manufacturer's Cost
(Cost incurred to produce equipment,
costs incurred to bring equipment to
finished state)
+ Value Added as Moved to Next Trade
Level (Mark up to include profit to
manufacturer)
Dealer's Cost
+ Value Added as Moved to Next Trade
Level (Mark up to include profit to
dealer, sales tax, freight, installation, and
other necessary charges)
Consumer Level Cost/Full Economic Cost
Sigma
$1,500
200
$2,500
$2,100
$1,700
400
1,700
400
$2,100
$2,100
or some
value
less than
$2,100
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
A unique trade level problem arises when a manufacturer of equipment is also its own largest
consumer, and the manufacturer routinely awards significant purchase discounts to others. In
valuing such equipment used for internal consumption, Rule 10(e) mandates assessment at the
price for which this equipment could be purchased for from an outside supplier. Such purchases
would probably reflect at least the largest purchase discount awarded to any other consumer.
Additional adjustments should be made for differences in the self-constructed equipment and
equipment sold to the manufacturer's customers. Such discounts and/or appropriate retail selling
prices for internally used equipment can be determined through (1) analysis of sales transactions,
which reflect large customer discounts or (2) use of a gross margin mark up method. When
actual sales data are available, the first method is preferred.
12
13
14
15
16
17
Previous examples demonstrate the determination of trade level through analysis of sales
transactions. The second method of determining full ecnonomic cost when a trade level
adjustment is necessary is called the gross profit method. The audit-appraiser may use the
manufacturer's gross margins on United States sales to determine the trade level adjustment. This
method should be used with caution, and only when the manufacturer has actual sales at the
retail level.
18
19
20
AH 504
71
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.4
TRADE LEVEL ADJUSTMENT USING GROSS PROFIT METHOD
Total Sales to End Users Only (Net of value added by retailers and original
equipment manufacturers)
$10,000,000
Cost of Goods Sold (Net of marketing and administrative costs if not included in
book costs)
7,500,000
Gross Profit
2,500,000
Gross Profit Percentage
33.33%
Trade Level Adjustment (1 + Gross Profit Percentage)
1.3333
Full Economic Cost with Added Trade Level ($1,500 x 1.333 = $2,000)
$
2,000
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
To determine appropriate adjustments, information should be gathered from available sources
(which may include review of accounting records to determine normal profit margin added at
each level, review of cost guides, and gathering of information from equipment dealers). This
information should be evaluated and determined to be appropriate prior to use. For example,
when using the gross profit method, total sales should include all sales at the appropriate level;
and the trade level adjustment should result in the property's full economic cost at the user's
level. For any given situation, information gathering relevant to cost and evaluation of this
information is an important part of the process and value estimate.
10
11
12
13
14
Caution must be exercised when the gross margin mark up method is used. The gross margin
should reflect only those sales to end-users. If the manufacturer only sells at the wholesale level
of trade, use of the gross margin method to extract a trade level factor will not bring the costs to
the retail trade level. Further analysis of sales or other data will be required to determine an
appropriate increment to add to achieve the retail, or end user level.
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Sales to value-added retailers (VARs) and to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are not
sales to end-users. Financial data pertaining to the sales to VARS, or OEMs value added retailers
or original equipment manufacturers should be extracted from the "total sales revenue" and the
"cost of goods sold" to isolate those sales at the retail level. Caution should be exercised when
using income statements and annual reports, because they reflect combined sales and cost of
goods sold data, i.e., sales to all customers, both wholesale and retail, are consolidated for
reporting purposes.
22
23
24
25
The auditor-appraiser should analyze the underlying sales records to isolate revenue, discounts,
and cost of goods sold data to end users only. Sales journals of actual invoices and purchase
contracts will provide relevant information concerning the appropriate quantity discounts to be
reflected in the final trade level factor.
26
AH 504
72
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
The auditor-appraiser's analysis should include an analysis of the booked costs of the selfmanufactured assets, as well as the components of the cost of goods sold. These costs should
include comparable components of cost if the gross profit method is being used. If they are not
comparable the trade level factor applied will not reflect the retail level. For example, booked
costs may include material, labor, and some overhead costs, while "cost of goods sold" usually
includes material, labor, overhead, marketing and administrative costs. The "cost of goods sold"
amount in the financial statements must be adjusted to remove marketing and administrative
costs prior to calculation of the trade level factor.
9
10
11
12
During the analysis of the booked costs of the self-manufactured assets, the auditor-appraiser
should review these costs for the inclusion of sales tax on materials. Some manufacturers pay the
sales tax on materials and include them it in the standard, or booked costs. An adjustment should
be made to recognize this these added costs in the final calculation of a trade level factor.
13
14
15
Only sales within the United States should be considered when calculating a trade level factor
from the assessee's financial records. The mark-up on exported products may vary considerably
from the mark up on the sale of domestic products.
16
17
18
If the manufacturer is diversified and sells a wide range of products and services, caution should
be exercised to isolate revenue and costs from the sale of products that are comparable to the
self-manufactured assets that are being appraised.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
While the trade level principle is most frequently relevant when assessing leased and selfconstructed equipment, it is also important regarding other property where book cost is not
indicative of costs generally incurred by the market, considering the location and use of the
property. However, caution must be exercised when applying the trade level principle. Consider
the rental of the bulldozer by Dozer Sales to JKL Grading Company in Example 4.2. If the rental
had been for less than six months (short-term lease) instead of the one-year lease specified in the
example, Rule 10(c) directs that the bulldozer shall be assessed at Dozer's acquisition value
($200,000 dealer cost with sales tax added) instead of the $250,000 consumer-level cost. The
lessor would then be considered the consumer pursuant to subdivision (c) of Rule 10.
28
29
30
31
Trade level is an important concept in the assessment valuation process. The Business Property
Statement requires that assessees report costs at the proper trade level. 158 During the course of an
audit the auditor-appraiser should verify that the assessee compiled and reported at the proper
trade level, and that all necessary and appropriate adjustments have been made.
32
Depreciation of Machinery & Equipment
33
34
35
36
Depreciation, for appraisal purposes, is a loss in value from any cause. It is the difference
between the value of a hypothetical new, similar property and the current value of the subject
property; the total measure of the reduced value at a particular point in time. In other words, it is
a by-product of the value estimate.
158
Rule 10.
AH 504
73
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
For appraisal purposes, depreciation occurs in two different ways. First, and probably most
important, the remaining economic life of a property may decline. Instead of yielding benefits for
ten years as when new, a property may now have only eight years remaining service. Second,
there may be a reduction in net benefits from the property. Fewer benefits may be provided, or
the same benefits are provided at a higher cost (thus, fewer net benefits are provided). Thus, a
decline in the remaining life or the efficiency of property causes depreciation.
7
8
9
10
11
The appraiser's definition and use of depreciation isare fundamentally different from the
accountant's definition and use of depreciation, as discussed earlier regarding value. The
accountant uses depreciation to amortize a property's cost over the life of the property. Each year
the accountant estimates depreciation, based on a preselected life, to recover the cost of the
equipment in the most beneficial legal manner for GAAP and/or income tax purposes.
12
These definitional differences are represented mathematically below:
Replacement Cost New - Depreciation = Current Market Value (Appraiser)
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
The appraiser should recognize that depreciation from reproduction cost new is different from
depreciation from replacement cost new when these costs are different. In situations where
equipment has undergone minimal changes in technology, reproduction cost and replacement
cost are likely to be similar. The appraiser cannot use the accountant's depreciation estimate
when valuing an asset because he or she must determine an estimate of depreciation which that
directly relates to the actual loss in value the property has incurred. Accountants are not
concerned with representing market value at any point in time, but are concerned only with
writing off the cost incurred to purchase the asset. If book value (capitalized cost – depreciation
= book value) has any relation to market value, it is only coincidental. Rather than using
depreciation computed for accounting purposes as an estimate, appraisers should use methods of
estimating depreciation that represent the loss in value a property has suffered.
30
31
32
33
34
Although depreciation may be, and most often is, estimated in a lump sum, it is important to be
aware of each type of depreciation in order to determine (1) if all necessary adjustments have
been made and (2) that there are no duplicate allowances for any one type. Each type of
depreciation: physical deterioration, functional obsolescence, and external obsolescence, is
defined and discussed below.
35
Types of Depreciation Defined
36
37
38
39
A property may suffer from one or more forms of depreciation. That is, a single piece of
equipment may contain elements of physical deterioration as well as both functional and external
obsolescence. In some cases, calculation methodologies may be used to separately estimate the
amount of depreciation attributable to each cause. In many situations, however, it may be
Reproduction Cost New - Depreciation = Current Market Value (Appraiser)
Capitalized Cost - Depreciation = Book Value (Accountant)
AH 504
74
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
impossible to categorize the amount of depreciation attributable to each cause. Regardless of
whether total depreciation is calculated as a whole or as a sum of parts, recognizing and
identifying the types of depreciation applicable to a property may aid in estimating total
depreciation to arrive at value.
5
Physical Deterioration
6
7
8
9
10
Physical deterioration is the loss in value which may be the result of wear and tear either from
use or exposure to various elements. This type of depreciation is expected on most equipment.
Virtually all properties deteriorate as they age, and it is not abnormal unless equipment is put to
excessive use or misused. Good maintenance will slow the process, while lack of maintenance
and overuse will increase physical deterioration.
11
12
13
14
15
16
Most physical deterioration can be corrected. However, the relationship between the costs
involved and the economic benefit derived determines whether it is economically feasible to
correct or repair physical deterioration. An element of physical deterioration is considered
curable when the cost to correct the deficiency is less than the economic benefit resulting
therefrom. When the cost to correct the deficiency is greater than the resulting economic benefit,
the element of physical deterioration is considered incurable.
17
Functional Obsolescence
18
19
20
21
22
Functional obsolescence is the loss of value in a property caused by the design of the property
itself. When the capacity of a property to perform the function for which it was intended
declines, functional obsolescence is present. Functional obsolescence may include such things as
changes in taste in the marketplace, changes in equipment design, materials, or process, or poor
initial design.
23
24
25
26
27
28
Changing technology commonly creates functional obsolescence for machinery and equipment,
and some functional obsolescence can be or should be considered normal to varying degrees
(depending upon the industry and equipment type). Older machines and sometimes newer
machines or entire lines of equipment, even though still in use, may be made obsolete by new
technologies and manufacturing processes and the market value may be reduced because of
functional obsolescence.
29
30
31
32
33
Functional obsolescence may be less tangible or visible than physical deterioration, but it may be
more significant. However, it may be curable. An element of functional obsolescence is
considered curable when the cost to correct the deficiency is less than the resulting economic
benefit. When the cost to correct the deficiency is greater than the resulting economic benefit, the
element of functional obsolescence is considered incurable.
34
External Obsolescence
35
36
37
38
External obsolescence, also known as economic obsolescence, is a loss in value resulting from
adverse factors external to the property that decrease the desirability of the property. This type of
depreciation may include the loss of value due to: inflation, high interest rates, legislation,
environmental factors, reduced demand for the product, increased competition, changes in raw
AH 504
75
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
material supplies, and increasing costs of raw material, labor or utilities without a corresponding
price increase of the product.
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Loss in value attributable to external obsolescence is usually beyond the owner's control and is
mostly atypical depreciation. It can, however, be normal in industries where markets have shown
long-term, sustained, and predictable shifts, such as the market for semiconductor and other
high-technology equipment. It can be identified by studying the overall market conditions for a
property. For example, if the output of a machine is superseded in the marketplace by output of a
different material (i.e., fiberglass for metal or plastic for wood), and the market no longer
absorbs the superseded output, then the machinery has suffered external obsolescence.
10
Methods of Estimating Depreciation and Value
11
12
13
14
15
16
There are several methods of estimating depreciation and value for appraisal and assessment
purposes. Appraisers may need to use one or more of these methods while determining
depreciation from all causes. Again, the appraiser's methods are not the same as the accountant's
methods because an accountant uses depreciation to recover cost over a preselected useful life of
the property as determined by GAAP and/or federal and state income tax laws while an appraiser
uses depreciation to estimate market value. 159
17
Market Method
18
19
20
21
22
23
The Market Method of calculating value factors (and/or developing depreciation tables) relies on
market data with adjustments made for relevant property characteristics incorporated (see
Appendix C H). It is a method of estimating a property's total depreciation directly without
utilizing indirect engineering economics calculations. The Market Method is the preferred
method when reliable data 160 are available because it captures all forms of depreciation,
including both external and functional obsolescence.
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Using a variation of this methodology, an analyst and/or appraiser may gather market data for
identical or similar property to compare the used price of an asset to the original new price of
that same asset. The difference is the analyst and/or appraiser's estimate of percent good (used
price / new price = percent good factor or value factor) 161 at the age it was at the time of sale.
The estimates are reduced to a table of value factors (similar to a depreciation table and/or the
percent good tables published by the Board) and arrayed on a scattergram. A best-fit curve,
passing through the entire mass of points, estimates average value factors at each age and the
average decline in value per year. (It is usually set to 100 percent at age 0 in order to correspond
with the assumption that a new asset is purchased at its market value when new.)
159
Assessors tend to utilize equipment index factors and percent good factors published by the Board for the
majority of appraisals concerning machinery and equipment, and fixtures. However, different methods of estimating
depreciation and value may be appropriate.
160
See AH 501, Basic Appraisal, Chapter 6, under the discussion of the cost approach for information regarding
data collection and analysis.
161
Using the market method, a combined factor may be estimated similar to the result of multiplying the index
factor and the percent good factor used from AH 581 tables discussed in this chapter.
AH 504
76
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
The Board used a similar market methodology to calculate the computer valuation schedules
from market data. (These tables are provided in the annual update of AH 581, Equipment Index
and Percent Good Factors.) The Board also recommends this method in AH 501, Basic
Appraisal, as applied to real property. 162 When reliable, accurate, and representative data are
available regarding machinery and equipment, and fixtures, use of this approach (or a modified
version) is the preferred method.
7
Equipment Index Factors and Percent Good Factors
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
The valuation of personal property and business fixtures for assessment purposes most often
involves the use of a mass appraisal method. The property statement is organized to facilitate the
use of such a method, specifically equipment index and percent good factors. Property (normally
equipment) is valued based on information reported on property statements. Each piece of
equipment is not identified and valued separately, but rather, the equipment is valued as a group
based on the type of business and the classification of the property. 163 The first step in the
calculation process is to "trend" the historical cost of the property to an estimated reproduction or
replacement cost new (cost x index factor). This trending is accomplished using an equipment
index factor. The next step is to multiply the trended historical/original cost by a percent good
factor to estimate the market value of the property, reproduction or replacement cost new less
normal depreciation.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
As explained in AH 581, Equipment and Fixtures Index, and Percent Good and Valuation
Factors, and AH 582, Explanation of the Derivation of Equipment Percent Good Factors,
equipment index factors and percent good factors are computed and published by the Board
annually for use in estimating reproduction cost new and equipment value, respectively. The
tables provided in AH 581 are based upon data for different types of property. Percent good
factors in AH 581 use the present worth relationship principle. These factors also assume a
constant rate of net income decline. If a rate of income decline different from that assumed in the
tables occurs and can be demonstrated, a recomputation should be made by adjusting the income
adjustment factor. This in turn will alter the percent good factors to be used. A discussion of the
factors, the equipment index factor and the percent good factor, is included here in a general
context. This discussion is not meant to represent a study of the topic, but rather an overview to
facilitate the application of the factors. For more information, refer to AH 581 and AH 582.
31
Equipment Index Factors
32
33
34
35
36
37
Equipment index factors are developed for use in mass appraisals and are generally reliable and
practical for converting historical or original cost to estimates of reproduction cost new or
replacement cost new for mass appraisal purposes. Index factors are used to adjust a property's
original cost for price level changes since the property was acquired. The index factors
recommended by the Board, updated and distributed annually, include three separate index factor
tables: Table 1, Commercial Equipment, Table 2, Industrial Equipment, and Table 3,
162
AH 501, Chapter 6, under the heading "Measurement of Accrued Depreciation."
An exception is Form AH 571-F (Agricultural Property Statement). Each piece is listed separately on this form.
See Chapter 7 for a complete discussion of property statements.
163
AH 504
77
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
Agricultural and Construction Equipment. The tables rely on indexes published by the U.S.
Government Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and on information published by Marshall &
Swift Publication Company.
4
5
6
7
8
The indexes published by the BLS and Marshall & Swift are intended to track price changes for
an identical product sold under identical terms over time, such that the indexes approximate an
estimate of reproduction cost new. Thus, when the original cost of property is multiplied by the
Board's index factor for the year of acquisition, the product typically approximates current
reproduction cost new.
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Reproduction cost is the cost to replace an existing property with an identical property, a replica.
Replacement cost is the cost to replace an existing property with a property of equivalent utility.
The significance of the difference between these two types of the cost approach arises when
property has experienced significant functional obsolescence. Functional obsolescence is the loss
of value in a property caused by the design of the property itself. In cases where the property has
experienced significant functional obsolescence, the original piece of equipment would not be
replaced by an identical substitute. The buyer would instead look for the best way to perform the
same functions. In either case, replacement cost or reproduction cost, the cost of equipment
should be adjusted for depreciation to arrive at an estimate of market value.
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
As indicated earlier, the index factors provided by the Board include three separate index factor
tables – commercial equipment index factors, industrial machinery and equipment index factors,
and agricultural and construction equipment index factors. Prior to 2002, the commercial
equipment index factors (Table 1) were presented in AH 581 as 12 separate classes of equipment
and the industrial equipment index factors (Table 2) were presented as 6 six separate groups of
industries. Beginning with the January 1, 2002 lien date, the commercial equipment index factors
were averaged into one table and the industrial equipment index factors were averaged into one
table. Averaging of the multiple categories of equipment index factors continues to produce
results within an acceptable band of value. In addition, the averaging provides administrative
benefits to assessors when assessing business property. The index factors in AH 581 are intended
to be used to provide a time-efficient method of making reasonable estimates of reproduction
cost for typical properties; the factors are a tool for estimating fair market value.
30
Price Changes
31
32
33
34
35
Price changes are usually an increasing factor (inflation). During those periods of time when the
cost of raw material and/or labor actually declines, however, price changes may be a decreasing
factor (deflation). Price changes are measured from a base year, in which a beginning index
number is typically set at 100. If raw materials, labor and other costs rise, the index will probably
increase. In a period when the costs of the factors of production decline, the index may decrease.
36
Effects of Technological Progress
37
38
If technological progress has occurred since the acquisition date of an asset, the cost of
producing a functionally superior but physically similar asset may now be lower. Consequently,
AH 504
78
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
the current replacement cost new of previously existing assets will probably decline. High
technology equipment, for example, typically suffers greater than normal functional
obsolescence due to technological progress.
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
In situations where equipment has undergone minimal changes in technology, reproduction cost
and replacement cost are likely to be similar. In industries where equipment is undergoing rapid
changes in technology, further adjustments are likely to be needed. Board staff has identified a
few industries where equipment has experienced rapid changes in technology. AH 581 includes
separate tables for theof valuation of nonproduction computers and related equipment, semiconductor semiconductor manufacturing equipment and fixtures, and biopharmaceutical industry
equipment and fixtures. factors for specific types of equipment.164 Indications of changes in
technology may include increased capacity of new equipment, changes in equipment design,
material, or process, or lower costs for new equipment. The effects of technological advance may
include the increased capacity of new equipment, changes in equipment design, materials and
processes, and lower costs for new equipment. Forces that may cause obsolescence include
changes in taste in the marketplace and regulatory requirements.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Assessees may present evidence to the assessor to support their estimation of market value when
they believe that application of the index factors does not produce results within an acceptable
band of value. Evidence presented to the assessor should be reviewed and considered. (Evidence
presented to the assessor at the time that the business property statement is filed allows the
assessor time to review and consider the evidence prior to the closing of the assessment roll).
The evidence may be presented in the form of an independent appraisal, a market study, price
lists for new equipment, and/or data from used equipment price guides.
23
24
25
26
27
28
An independent appraisal is an appraisal conducted by an unrelated firm that specializes in the
valuation of personal property and fixtures. The appraisal typically includes a listing of all of the
property included in the valuation. The appraisal may include itemized valuations of each piece
of equipment or a total value estimate. The format presented must clearly identify the appraisal
approach and may vary depending on the appraisal approach (i.e., cost, comparative sales, and
income) utilized by the appraiser.
29
30
31
The evidence may also be presented in the format of a market study. An example of a market
study is described as the Market Method presented earlier in this chapter and in Appendix C H.
The Market Method is any method of calculating value factors (and/or developing depreciation
164
In years 1997, 1998, and 1999 valuation tables for computer related and semi-conductor manufacturing
equipment were distributed via Letters To Assessors. Beginning in year 2000, the valuation tables were included in
AH 581. The "interim" biopharmaceutical industry valuation table, effective January 1, 1999, was distributed via
LTA No. 99/54; this table is now also included in AH 581. Index factors for state assessed properties are available
upon request.The valuation factors resulted from valuation factor studies chapter 5 of AH 581 provides an overview
of the valuation factor study process.as provided in section 401.20. The nonproduction computer valuation factors
table was approved by the Board in April 2009 and is effective as of the January 1, 2010 lien date. The
semiconductor manufacturing equipment and fixtures table was approved by the Board in October 2008 and became
effective on January 1, 2009. The biopharmaceutical industry equipment and fixtures valuation factors table was
approved by the Board in July 2008 and became effective on January 1, 2009.
AH 504
79
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
tables), which relies on market data, with adjustments made for relevant property characteristics
incorporated in the data. Data used for the market study should include recent market sales that
meet all conditions of an arms-length transaction. Data from bankruptcy and/or liquidation sales
would not provide indications of market value.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Price lists for new equipment and price guides for used equipment are other sources that may be
used to value personal property. When reliable evidence of current replacement costs is available
in a viable format, it is more appropriate to use market-indicated costs rather than trended
historical costs. Price lists and used equipment price guides provide market-indicated costs. If
price lists for new equipment are utilized, adjustments may be necessary if the equipment being
valued is no longer available in the market. In addition, depending on the technological advances
in some industries, the price lists for new equipment may not provide any benefit. With regard to
used equipment price guides, if no market exists for used equipment in a particular industry, such
guides may not be a useful alternative.
14
15
16
17
The methods mentioned above are provided as examples of methods that may be utilized to
determine fair market value when it is necessary to test whether the application of index factors
and percent good factors in AH 581 provide an acceptable value indicator. Other methods may
be presented depending on the type of data available.
18
19
Some areas questions the assessor should consider when reviewing evidence presented include
the following:
20

Are causes of rapid change of technology apparent in the industry?
21
22

Does the appraisal utilized by the assessee to estimate fair market value include appropriate
adjustments?
23

Are the data provided by the property owner verifiable?
24

Were Did the assessee apply or interpret the data applied/interpreted correctly?
25
Percent Good Factors
26
27
28
29
30
31
In a mass appraisal program, percent good factors are frequently used in estimating depreciation.
Percent good, as a percentage, is the complement of depreciation. For example, if total
depreciation is 20 percent, then percent good is 80 percent. The percent good concept is used in
the appraisal process for two reasons: (1) it focuses the appraisal on the benefits remaining or the
economic life remaining in the property rather than the benefits used; and (2) it saves one
arithmetical operation when estimating market value.
32
33
34
Percent good factors are provided by the Board in AH 581, Equipment Index and Percent Good
Factors, 165 for use in valuing personal property and fixtures. In general, an average service
life 166 estimate is needed in order to utilize the table. In mass appraisal situations, estimating life
165
166
AH 582 discusses derivation of the percent good factors included in AH 581.
The average life term of a group of items
AH 504
80
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
for each piece of equipment is not practical; therefore, service life is not generally estimated on
an individual basis. (It may occur in practice, however, when the assessee files an appeal, when
an audit is conducted, or when equipment is self-constructed.) Average service life can be
estimated by an appraiser based on a mortality study of individual acquisitions and retirements
(see Appendix D I), historical usage of property, useful life expectancy as reflected by the
applicable industry, or other information as available. When an item is not new, the tables may
be applicable based on the item's remaining economic life 167 since the remaining economic life is
usually greater than the original average service life minus age. This occurs because in any group
of equipment, some items "die" prematurely, so the life of the remaining items would generally
exceed the average service life.
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Any percent good table or depreciation schedule, including those published by the Board, should
be used only as a guide in the estimation of value. They may reflect more or less depreciation
than the actual market indicates. If equipment has experienced abnormal, excessive, or even lessthan-expected depreciation, the percent good factors may not be reliable. In this case, a percent
good factor could be used in combination with another method of depreciation calculation, or it
may be necessary to use another approach to value altogether. This is also true if the equipment
is unique, if limited cost information is available, or if age or expected life estimates cannot be
accurately determined. There may be instances when an appraiser should verify reproduction or
replacement cost new less depreciation by other approaches before accepting a mass-appraisal
indicator such as the indicator developed from an AH 581 table as the best indicator.
21
22
23
24
25
26
The Board publishes separate percent good factors in AH 581 for equipment acquired new or
used for agricultural mobile and construction mobile equipment. The assessor should not average
these separate factors unless it cannot be determined from taxpayer-supplied information
whether the equipment was acquired new or used. Further, if the assessor sets a minimum
percent good for equipment depreciation tables, there the assessor must be able to provide
supportable evidence for the use of the minimum percent good. 168
27
Sampling
28
29
30
Indexes published in AH 581 are based on government price indexes derived by market
sampling. When necessary, and resources are available, the assessor may conduct similar such
studies to derive his or her own indexes.
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
In order to promote uniformity in appraisal practices and values throughout the state, the Board
issues information and data relating to commercial and industrial property. This information
includes, but is not limited to, appropriate index factors and percent good factors. Most counties
do not have the staff to conduct independent and statistically sound sampling procedures to
develop their own valuation factors. Moreover, when counties develop and use different
valuation factors for property, value inequities may result between counties for the same type of
property.
167
168
The expected remaining life of the property on the appraisal date.
Section 401.16.
AH 504
81
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Most notably, where the equipment index and percent good factors provided by the Board and
other approaches to value and methods of estimating depreciation are not good indicators of
value, an assessor may wish to use some type of sampling methodology to develop his or her
own factors. To use sampling, assessors and auditors must develop and use recognized methods
that will be accepted with confidence by the Board and assessees. In developing a sample plan,
technique, and program, an interested reader should consult a textbook on statistics for
information on the theory and application of sampling. For an example, see the Board's Sales and
Use Tax Audit Manual, Chapter 13: Statistical Sampling.
9
Straight-Line or Age-Life Method
10
11
12
13
14
Under this approach the straight-line or age-life method, depreciation is estimated by dividing
the actual or effective age of the property by the estimated economic life. The straight-line or
age-life method is based on the relationship between physical age and estimated economic life.
Physical life, or age, is the time the equipment has existed. Economic life of a property
represents the period of time during which the property has value.
15
16
17
18
19
20
Although straight-line depreciation may have little or no bearing on market value, effective age
should be recognized whenever data reasonably indicates that effective age is different than
actual age. Effective age is the "age indicated by the condition and utility of a structure" 169 (or
property). Because there may be a large variation in the condition of property having the same
age, the effective age (as opposed to the actual age) is the best indicator of the market's
perception of age.
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
This approach does not reflect the relationship between the present worth of the future earnings
of the property versus the present worth of future earnings of a new replacement property. It
ignores the principle that money has a time value (income earned in the near future has a greater
value than the same amount of income to be earned in the distant future). Thus it tends to
understate the economic value of older property that is producing a current income comparable
to the current income that would be produced by a new replacement. Conversely, this method
does not reflect additional depreciation that should be recognized if the existing property benefits
are less than the benefits that would be earned by a new replacement.
29
Cost to Cure Technique
30
31
32
33
This technique may be used to measure physical deterioration and curable functional
obsolescence. It requires the appraiser to estimate the cost to cure items of physical deterioration
and functional obsolescence that are in fact curable. However the cost to cure technique cannot
measure incurable functional obsolescence or external obsolescence.
34
Production Output or Service Hours Method
35
36
37
The Production Output Method is based on the assumption that an asset is acquired for
production, and it depreciates in relation to the number of units produced. To use this method of
calculation, an estimate of total ultimate output is required. (The estimate can be in production
169
Appraisal Institute, The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, s.v. "effective age."
AH 504
82
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
units or service hours.) Full economic cost divided by the estimate of total ultimate output gives
the depreciation charge for each unit of output. Like the straight-line method, this method
ignores the economic value of future earnings and thus understates the value of a property if net
operating income is comparable to a new replacement property, and overstates the value to the
extent net operating income is less than a new replacement property.
6
Utilization Adjustment
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
A utilization adjustment to a Replacement Cost Less Normal Depreciation (RCLND) estimate
may be appropriate when equipment is significantly underutilized, that is, it may be appropriate
when property is not used at design or expected capacity. This condition of underutilization may
exist because of functional obsolescence, external obsolescence, or a combination of both, but
usually originates with from external forces. These external forces diminish the demand for use
of the property which results in the existence of property with capacity that would not be
replaced. The condition may also occur due to errors in initial planning. The adjustment is
analogous to an abnormally high vacancy factor used to calculate net operating income for use in
the capitalized income approach to value.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
Utilization adjustments may be made when there is excess capacity that is beyond the control of
a prudent operator that is recognized by the market. Generally, the amount of obsolescence is a
function of the difference between the replacement cost new of the existing property versus the
replacement cost new of a property with a capacity that is adequate for the foreseen
requirements. However, operation at below design capacity will not always translate to an
equivalent percentage amount of obsolescence (i.e., operating at 75 percent of design capacity
may only equate to a 10 percent increase in obsolescence). An explanation of this seeming
incongruity is demonstrated in pipeline valuation. Much of the cost of constructing a pipeline is
the same regardless of the design capacity because installation charges do not vary
proportionally to the diameter of the pipe. Cost is much the same regardless of the design
capacity. Consequently, a pipeline with a physical utilization of 90 percent of design capacity is
considered to be at 100 percent of economic utilization because the replacement cost new of a
pipeline with the lower design capacity would cost essentially the same as the replacement cost
new of the existing capacity.
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
To make a utilization adjustment when appropriate, for excess capacity affecting value,
information should be gathered and an appropriate means for estimating the adjustment should
be determined. The Board's Valuation State-Assessed Properties Division, for example, has a
formula for reducing the RCLND of pipelines that are clearly oversized for the foreseeable
future. The calculation begins with knowledge of the level of the foreseeable physical utilization
of a pipeline segment (the "load" factor) which is expressed as a percentage amount. This "load"
factor is converted to a "utility" factor which is also expressed as a percentage amount; this
calculation is non-linear. The utility factor represents the ratio of needed capacity to design
capacity and it is applied to an RCLND estimate to reach an estimate of Replacement Cost Less
Depreciation (RCLD). In similar fashion, the American Society of Appraisers utilizes a
AH 504
83
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
calculation which captures loss in value due to underutilization. The appraiser must use care in
applying this methodology. 170
3
4
5
6
7
8
As mentioned above, this type of adjustment is not appropriate for all or even most types of
properties (or equipment). Even when a property operates significantly below design capacity,
there may be no under-utilization and a utilization adjustment would not be appropriate.
However, when evidence reasonably demonstrates that replacement property would have a lower
capacity, a utilization adjustment may be appropriate. A study of the facts pertaining to that
particular property is necessary to determine how to arrive at any appropriate adjustment.
9
10
Following are some suggested items, but not a complete list, to consider if there is a question of
excess capacity.
11
 Is full capacity ever needed or expected?
12
13
 Does the definition of capacity take into consideration down time for repairs and
14
15
16
 Does the capacity reflect intended product mix? (Different product mixes may create
17
18
19
 What is the normal utilization for users of similar equipment? (What utilization do
20
21
 How does the current and future expected utilization compare with the utilization when
22
23
 What is the cause of the excess capacity? (External obsolescence is a valid reason;
24
25
 Could a larger capacity machine have been installed to take advantage of off-peak utility
26
27
28
 Is the problem industry-wide or is it the individual owner? (An industry-wide excess
29
30
 Is there evidence that the equipment would be replaced with substitute equipment of
maintenance?
different capacities. A finer product may take longer to mill than a coarser product, for
example.)
purchasers of new similar equipment anticipate,? What is the property owner's definition
of capacity)?
new?
normal seasonal or even daily variations do not constitute excess capacity.)
rates?
capacity is indicative of external obsolescence; individual excess capacity may be a
business enterprise problem that should not be reflected in the value of the property.)
lower capacity?
31
Limitations of the Cost Approach
32
33
An appraiser cannot assume that the cost approach, or any approach, automatically provides the
best indicator of value. All available information must be analyzed to determine the best
170
American Society of Appraisers, Appraising Machinery and Equipment, McGraw-Hill (1989) p. 104-105.
AH 504
84
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
indicator of value. When available or possible, it is best to compare the estimated value to actual
market value of similar property to verify accuracy of results.
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
The cost approach, like other approaches to value, is not valid unless it is made as of a specific
date. The fluctuating purchasing power of money, together with changes in the efficiency of
labor and changing techniques of production, and other economic factors cause costs and
depreciation to vary over time. It is therefore essential to specify that costs are as of a certain
date (i.e., the appraisal date) in order for the principle of substitution to be meaningful. The more
current the costs, the newer the property, the more reliable and valid the cost approach to value
will be.
10
11
12
The cost approach is also limited by the accuracy of the information used. If the cost and
depreciation estimates are skewed or otherwise unrepresentative of the property, the resulting
value will not be an appropriate representation of the property's market value.
13
Summary of the Cost Approach: Example
14
15
16
17
18
19
The following example illustrates the valuation of a piece of equipment using the cost approach
method of valuation. Keep in mind, however, when the cost approach is applied to personal
property and fixtures it is normally applied to groups of equipment and fixtures (rather than on a
piece by piece basis) and such detailed information may not be available. The example illustrates
an application of the approach and is used to summarize the discussion in the text. It is not
controlling in all situations.
AH 504
85
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.5
USE OF THE COST APPROACH
Company C acquired a bookbinding machine in 20006. Details of the acquisition are as follows:







Invoice cost (including sales tax) $40,000.
A 1 percent discount was allowed because payment was made in cash within 30 days.
Company C's transportation cost of $1,200 was paid to deliver the machine to the factory.
Cost of installation was $2,430. This included labor, materials, including a raised flooring to
accommodate the new machine.
The engineer spent 2/3 of her time during July on trial runs of the new machine. Her monthly
salary is $9,000 per month.
An allowance of $5,500 was granted by the supplier because the machine proved to be of less
than standard performance.
One year extended service warranty included in purchase cost, retail value $500. One-year
supplies (exempt as inventory) included in purchase cost, retail value $500.
NO MAJOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THIS TYPE OF PROPERTY SINCE
ACQUISITION. WHAT IS THE MACHINE'S ASSESSABLE VALUE ON THE 20029 LIEN DATE?
A. Computation of Full Economic Cost:
Invoice Cost
Less: Discount
Rebate/Allowance
Non-property items (warranty/supplies)
Add: Transportation Cost
Installation Costs
Machinery Testing Cost ($9,000 salary x 2/3)
Full Economic Cost
$40,000
( 400)
( 5,500)
( 1,000)
1,200
2,430
6,000
$42,730
B. Computation of Value
Using the Board's index factors and percent good factors, the auditor-appraiser determined that the
equipment falls into Table 2: Industrial Machinery and Equipment Index Factors with an estimated
economic life of 15 years. From the tables, the index factor is 1.018 and the percent good factor is
.9086. Using this information, the full cash value (assessable value) is estimated:
$432,730 x 1.018 x .9086 =
$39,68875
0
C. Computation of value using known current Replacement Cost New
If the current replacement cost new of a comparable machine (including sales tax, freight,
installation, etc.) is known, that RCN should be used rather than the index factored original cost in
the calculation of value.
1
AH 504
86
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
COMPARATIVE SALES APPROACH
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
The comparative sales approach may be defined as any approach that uses direct evidence of the
market's opinion of value of a property. It is based upon the principle of substitution, that is, the
fair market value of an item is closely and directly related to sales price (under the conditions of
fair market value) of comparable, competitive properties. Thus, this method presumes that the
value of a property will approximate the selling prices, listings, offers, the opinions of owners
and appraisers, and appraisals of competitive substitutes. Ideally, however, value is estimated
based not only on an opinion of value (such as list price), but measured by actual purchases of
comparable properties.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Sale prices of comparable properties provide an indication of what the market is willing to pay
for that type of property at that time. For personal property, value guides and price schedules
which reflect the going market price for comparable equipment and which estimate the current
value of specific types of equipment can be used as the basis for determining market value of
similar equipment. Adjustments should be made when the condition of the subject property is
above or below average. Additional elements of value seldom reflected in sales comparison
value guides are sales tax, freight, discounts, and other costs unique to specific equipment. These
costs must be added to (or subtracted from) the sales price of equipment where appropriate to
arrive at full cash value for property tax purposes. 171
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
The comparative sales approach is limited in its application to personal property and business
fixtures, and is used less often than is the cost approach to value, because (1) most types of
personal property and business fixtures are resold infrequently (limited sales data are available),
(2) sales data, when available, are generally limited by comparability, and (3) in many cases,
personal property and business fixtures are not sold without affecting other property (whether
real or personal property). This approach is, however, applicable to personal property and
business fixtures that are frequently exchanged in the market when their exchange does not affect
other items, such as agricultural and construction equipment, boats, and airplanes. Sales
comparables would usually not be good indicators of value for other types of property that
require extensive testing or considerable installation costs.
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
Sources of Information
The appraiser may utilize valuation guides in making the appraisal estimate when sufficient
information regarding the make, model, etc., of the equipment is reported on the property
statement, or otherwise available (such as through audit), and when such guides are available.
When using the comparative sales approach to value real property, numerous sources of data are
available. When valuing personal property and/or fixtures, this is not always the case. The
following table AH 581 includes a short list of valuation guides available for use in valuing
personal property. Other available publications, which may be helpful, are listed in Appraising
Machinery and Equipment. 172
171
172
Xerox Corp. v Orange County (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 746.
American Society of Appraisers, Appraising Machinery and Equipment, pages 53-57.
AH 504
87
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
TABLE 4C
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
1
2
3
4
Phone
Equipment Type
Name of Publication
Number
Agricultural Equipment National Farm Tractor and Implement Blue Book
800-654-6776
Agricultural Equipment Official Guide - Tractors and Farm Equipment
707-678-8859
Construction Equipment Green Guide for Construction Equipment
800-669-3282
Vessels
800-327-6929
BUC Used Boat Price Guide
Vessels
800-966-6232
N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides
Vessels
National Boat Book Official Used Marine Valuation 800-654-6776
Aircraft
800-654-6776
Aircraft Bluebook Price Digest
Aircraft
800-773-8733
Vref Aircraft Value Reference
When reliable comparables are available, whether from sales in the market, value guides, or
other sources, the comparative sales approach may be preferable to other value approaches.
Following is an example where such sales are available and value is determined using the
comparative sales approach as discussed in this section.
AH 504
88
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.6
USE OF THE COMPARATIVE SALES APPROACH
John Jetski purchased a new 1990 2005 Bayliner boat (Classic Runabout, Model 192cu) with a 110 HP
mercury engine and trailer in1990 for $19,200 $15,000. On the 2002 2009 lien date, this boat was
located in the county and was assessable.
The following information was available to and gathered by the appraiser:
 The assessee is planning to sell the boat to his brother next month for $3,000 $1,000 because he
is moving out of state.
 A similar boat (with trailer) was seen advertised in the local newspaper for $15,000 $9,000.
 Research in two separate value guides found a value range from $6,500 $9,200 to $14,010
$8,000 for this particular boat in average condition.
 An inspection of the boat and a conversation with the assessee found the boat to be in average
condition for its age.
The assessee argues that the boat's value is $3,000 $1,000.
USING THE COMPARATIVE SALES APPROACH TO VALUE, WHAT IS THE ESTIMATED TAXABLE VALUE
OF THIS VESSEL?
The estimated taxable value of the boat is between $9,200 to $14,010 $6,500 - $8,000 using two
separate used-boat value guides. The assessee's estimate of value, $3,000 $1,000, does not represent
market because it is not an arm's length transaction, has not occurred under normal circumstances, and is
not a "sale" (the sale has not occurred yet). The appraiser in this case estimates the value at $12,000
$7,500, which includes sales tax.
1
2
INCOME APPROACH
3
4
5
The income approach to value includes any method of converting an anticipated income stream
into a present value estimate. This approach can be considered as an approach to value when the
subject property meets three assumptions:
6
7
1. Value is a function of income (i.e., the property is purchased for the income it will
produce).
8
9
2. Value depends upon the quality and quantity of the income stream (i.e., the investor
demands a return of and on his/her investment in the property).
10
11
3. Future income is less valuable than present income (i.e., the value of the property is the
sum of the present worth of its anticipated/future net benefits).
AH 504
89
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
When any of these do not correspond to the reality of the property, the income approach to value
should not be given great weight as an indicator of the property's current market value.
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
The income approach has limited application to personal property and fixtures because it is often
extremely difficult to attribute an income stream directly to individual items of personal property
and fixtures. However, the income approach can be applied to leased personal property or other
personal property to which an income stream can be attributed. The approach can also be used to
estimate personal property as a residual amount. For example, the value of an entire
manufacturing plant can be estimated using the income approach, with the value of the
constituent personal property then estimated as a residual by subtracting out the (presumably)
known values of any real property and other assets.
11
12
13
14
15
A general discussion and explanation of the income approach to value is included in AH 501,
Basic Appraisal, and the income approach chapter of AH 502, Advanced Appraisal. These
sections will not be repeated here. Below is a short discussion of how, and when, the approach
can be applied to personal property. When using this technique, refer to the above mentioned
sections for additional in-depth discussion of the income approach.
16
17
There are several aspects of appraising personal property that may differ from those encountered
in the valuation of real property. These include:
18
19
20
21
22
23
 Verification that the income is truly attributable to the property. In many cases, the
24
25
26
 Caution in the selection of the remaining economic life. Since personal property usually
27
28
 Difficulty in finding market evidence for capitalization rates for personal property as
29
30
31
Despite the problems, where income(s), capitalization rates, and economic life estimates are
available and reliable, the income approach is equally valid for personal property as it is for real
property.
32
33
34
35
The income approach is often most applicable in the case of leased personal property because an
income stream can often be directly attributable to leased personal property. Much of the
following discussion is in the context of leased personal property. As discussed below, other
issues arise in an appraisal of leased personal property under the income approach.
36
37
The components that make up the value of personal property are the costs of manufacturing the
item, transportation of the item, installation of the item, and profit markups. Additionally, a sales
"rental" or "lease" income is significantly influenced by business activity, personal
services, sales or services directly related to the rented property (the rental amount could
be artificially high or artificially low), or other non-property factors. In such cases, the
income approach is unlikely to measure the value of the personal property unless the
income attributable to the property can be isolated.
has a much shorter economic life than real property, an error in the estimate of remaining
economic life will have a much greater impact than it will for real property.
compared to real property.
AH 504
90
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
tax or a use tax component must be added. The components of the value of personal property
may be borne by either the lessor or the lessee. Payment of expenses by the lessee does not
diminish the value of the personal property. The terms of the lease agreement or rental contract
should be carefully analyzed to iensure that all costs are included in the valuation process. When
the costs of transportation or installation are paid by the lessee, the economic income may have
need to be adjusted to include a charge for these expenditures in the valuation process, or the
costs may be added as a lump sum to the capitalized earning ability of the income stream.
However it is done, all property expenditures must have been properly identified and included in
the value of the (leased) equipment.
10
11
12
13
14
Maintenance of the property, on the other hand, which may be considered a cost pursuant to
make up part of the lease, cost but is not a component of value. For instance, if the lessor is
charging the lessee for maintenance under the lease contract, the auditor-appraiser must deduct a
maintenance charge from the income stream. One method to estimate this charge is to make an
estimate of service time, and then relate this time to prevailing labor rates, as shown below: 173
EXAMPLE 4.7
ADJUSTING INCOME FOR MAINTENANCE CHARGES
A machine requires 3 hours of service each month at a rate of $95 per hour:
A monthly cost of $285 ($95 x 3 = $285)
If the monthly rental is $1500:
Then, the maintenance is 19% of gross income ($285 / $1,500 = .19, or 19%)
Gross annual income is then $18,000 ($1,500 x 12 = $18,000), annual expenses are $3,420 ($285 x 12 =
$3,420), and the net annual income is $14,580 ($18,000 - $3,420 = $14,580)
15
16
Processing the Income Stream
17
18
The steps for processing the rental income stream for personal property are the same steps that
are used for processing real property income. The steps are as follows:
(less)
Potential Gross Income (PGI)
Vacancy and Collection Losses (V & C)
(less)
Effective Gross Income (EGI)
Operating Expenses
(less)
Net Income Before Recapture and Property Taxes (NIBR&T)
Property Taxes
Net Income Before Recapture (NIBR)
173
Estimates and percentages for Sservice time, rates, costs, and maintenance expenses estimates and percentages
may be obtained from various sources in the marketplace (for instance, the lessor may be able to supply the actual
service time for the preceding year), and this could serve as a guide when reconstructing the operating statement.
AH 504
91
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
(less)
Allowance for Recapture
Net Income (Yield Income)
1
2
3
4
As with real property, it is the anticipated income stream of personal property that is processed
when deriving income multipliers and rates. In the valuation of personal property, the income
stream cannot be processed below NIBR&T. 174
5
Vacancy (Idle Time) and Collection Losses
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Personal property that is held for lease or sale by a retailer or wholesaler on the lien date may be
exempt from taxation. Because these items are exempt for the entire year, it can be argued that it
is improper to allow for vacancy (idle time) and collection losses. However, it is also reasonable
to take the position that an item may be out on lease on the lien date (and therefore taxable) but
returned to the retailer or wholesaler prior to the expiration of the lease period. Consequently, the
retailer or wholesaler may very well suffer a loss of income because of vacancy (idle time) or
collection loss. An allowance made for vacancy (idle time) and collection loss should be based
on the actions of the market place.
14
Expenses
15
16
17
18
19
20
As with real property, all lessor-borne expenses that are necessary to maintain the equipment's
income stream should be deducted as an operating expense. If the expenses are paid by the
lessee, they are not deductible from the income stream. Maintenance expense is a good example.
If the lessee pays the maintenance charges, the lessor will generally charge a lesser rent and the
expenses are not allowed. If the lessor is responsible for maintenance, the rents will reflect this
expense. An adjustment will be necessary similar to that shown in Example 4.7.
21
22
23
24
25
Particular care must be given to analyzing expenses. They may have been paid by either the
lessor or the lessee, and therefore included on either or both books. The lessor's books may show
an expense for maintenance. If the lessee has purchased a maintenance contract from the lessor,
the price of the contract must be added to the rental fees before processing the income stream. If
this is not done, then the expenses for maintaining the item are not deducted as an expense.
26
Valuation Methodology
27
28
29
30
31
32
Both direct and yield capitalization methods can be used to value machinery and equipment.
Yield capitalization is often used. In the case of leased equipment, for example, the income to be
capitalized can be divided into two segments (1) the lease, or rental, payments (net of allowable
expenses) over the term of the lease, estimated as the present value of an annuity; and (2) a
reversionary payment representing the estimated market value of the property at the end of the
lease, estimated as the present value of a single payment. Thus:
33
Value of property = present value of an annuity + present value of the reversion
174
When calculating NIBR&T for business property, status, category and trade level of the property are important
factors to consider.
AH 504
92
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
The reversionary income is usually the salvage value of the property. Salvage value is the net
amount the owner expects to obtain when disposing of the property, which is not necessarily the
residual value stated in a lease contract. The stated residual value, sometimes called the "buy-out
cost," is often not an accurate indicator of the market value of the leased property at the end of
the lease: for example, a $1 buy-out cost usually does not represent market value. The reversion
is usually positive, although it can be a negative amount (i.e., representing a cash outflow).
Sometimes it is zero or a nominal amount. The total value of the property is as follows:
8
9
10
11
PV OF THE ANNUITY
+PV OF THE REVERSION
TOTAL VALUE
EXAMPLE 4.8
USING THE INCOME APPROACH TO VALUE PERSONAL PROPERTY
A manufacturer leases machines to various businesses within your county. The number of machines on lease in
the county as of the lien date is 50. The machines are leased for a one-year term. The average annual gross
income of each machine on lease is $2,700 per machine. The rental income includes a component for sales tax.
You have determined that the machines have an average total life of seven years; however, the average
remaining economic life of the machines on lease, as of the lien date, is estimated at four years. Property taxes
are one percent of the full cash value. Yield rates derived from sales indicate a 13.5 percent return. The return
on the investment is based on a constant terminal income stream premise. The present worth of one per period
(PW1PP) at 14.5 percent (13.5 + 1.0) = 2.88409.
Other pertinent information:

The salvage value per machine is $500.

Typical annual expenses of a machine on lease are $500 for maintenance and $200 for insurance.

AH 504
93
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
EXAMPLE 4.8 (CONTINUED)
USING THE INCOME APPROACH TO VALUE PERSONAL PROPERTY
WHAT IS THE ESTIMATED TAXABLE VALUE OF THE MACHINES?
Per Machine
Total (50 Machines)
A. VALUATION OF THE RENTAL INCOME
Market Potential Gross Income
Less: Vacancy & Collection Loss
Effective Gross Income
Expenses: (Maintenance $500 + Insurance $ 200)
Net Income Before Recapture & Taxes (NIBR&T)
$2,700
0
$2,700
(700)
$2,000
$135,000
0
$135,000
(35,000)
$ 100,000
NIBR&T x PW1PP (2.88409)
$5,768
$288,409
$500
0.581806
$291
$25,000
0.581806
$14,545
Present Value of Rental Income
Present Value of Salvage Income
$5,768
291
$288,409
14,545
TOTAL VALUE
$6,059
$302,954
B. VALUATION OF THE SALVAGE VALUE
Salvage Price
PW $1 (13.5% Yield + 1% ETR) 175
Present Value of Salvage Income
C. TOTAL PROPERTY VALUE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Summary of the Income Approach
The income approach can be applied to leased equipment or other personal property appraisal
units that independently produce income because it converts expected rental income to a present
value estimate, but it is normally not applicable to most types of personal property. Personal
property, in general, is not purchased to independently produce income. It is often difficult to
assign or estimate an expected income to that individual property. The example above helps to
illustrate how the income approach to value can be used in the appraisal of personal property. In
practice, each situation is different and this should be taken into consideration by the auditorappraiser.
11
12
13
175
Present worth of $1 at 14.5% at 4 years, factor from compound interest table.
AH 504
94
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 4
1
RECONCILIATION AND VALUE CONCLUSION
2
3
4
5
The final step in the appraisal process is to reconcile value indicators from the separate
approaches utilized into a final estimate of value, when more than one approach to value is
applied. Resolving the differences among the value indicators is called reconciliation. The result
of the reconciliation is the final value estimate.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
In the reconciliation process, consideration should be given to any factors influencing value that
are either not reflected or only partially reflected, in the value indicators. The greatest weight
should be given to that approach or combination of approaches that best measures the type of
benefits the subject property yields. The reconciliation step should involve an analysis of: (1) the
relative appropriateness of the approaches applied; (2) the accuracy of the data collected and
calculations made in each approach; (3) the quantity of data available for each approach; and (4)
the consistency in the manner in which the approaches to value were applied.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
For example, a cost estimate should be reviewed for the realism of the depreciation estimate and
whether it is supported by market data. If the sales comparison approach was used, a check
should be made to determine whether the value indicator was based on sufficient market data or
relies heavily upon only one sale. In reviewing the income approach, the appraiser should
reexamine the estimates of economic rent, economic life, expenses, and capitalization rate.
Alternative estimates should be considered. Additionally, the appraiser should avoid estimates
that are consistently optimistic or pessimistic.
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Although containing an element of judgment, the analysis of value indicators should be based
upon indicators derived from objective data, plus general overall value influences (economic,
physical, political, and social factors). If a value indicator were perfect, it would already reflect
these value influences. However, in actual practice, any value indicator is usually far from
perfect. As indicated above, if the appraiser has adequate and reliable data, the greatest reliance
should be placed on that value indicator and approach which that best measures the type of
benefits the subject property is expected to yield.
AH 504
95
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
CHAPTER 5: ASSESSMENT OF IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO
BUSINESS PROPERTY
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Improvements related to business property include improvements reported on Schedule B of the
Business Property Statement and other improvements owned by or made for a business. Many
variables exist regarding the valuation of these improvements. Factors required to make a valid
assessment—especially property classification, identification of assessee, and valuation—may be
difficult to determine. Depending on the data source, the assessment can be processed by either
the real property appraiser, the auditor-appraiser or both, on either the secured or unsecured roll,
creating a situation that may result in duplicate or escape assessments. Assessment of
improvements related to business property is, therefore, an important topic for discussion within
this section of the Assessors' Handbook. The discussion is divided into five main sections:
definitions of relevant terms, classification, appraisal, determination of assessee, and suggested
procedures. It is directed to both real property appraisers and auditor-appraisers.
14
DEFINITIONS OF RELEVANT TERMS
15
16
17
The purpose of this section is to define and describe the following relevant terms: improvements,
building improvements, landlord improvements, leasehold (or tenant) improvements, structure
items, and fixtures as used in the context of this section.
18
IMPROVEMENTS
19
As defined in section 105, improvements include:
20
(a) All buildings, structures, fixtures, and fences erected on or affixed to the land.
21
22
(b) All fruit, nut bearing, or ornamental trees and vines, not of natural growth, and
not exempt from taxation, except date palms under eight years of age.
23
24
25
Improvements within this statutory definition are reported, classified and subclassified on the
Business Property Statement, Schedule B. 176 Examples of such improvements are provided in
Rule 124(b)(2).
26
BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS
27
28
29
As used on the property statement, building improvements are all improvements to a structure.
They may include improvements made by the landlord and improvements made by or for the
tenant. They can be sub-classified as structure items and/or fixtures.
176
No classification between structure items and fixtures is required for State assessed leasehold improvements.
AH 504
96
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
LANDLORD IMPROVEMENTS
2
3
4
5
For purposes of this discussion, building improvements made by the real property owner are
referred to as landlord improvements. This term includes improvements paid for by the landlord
whether they benefit the landlord or the tenant. A landlord improvement is either structure item
or a fixture, as discussed below.
6
LEASEHOLD (OR TENANT) IMPROVEMENTS
7
8
9
10
For purposes of this discussion, the term leasehold improvement and tenant improvement are
used synonymously to mean all "improvements or additions to leased property that have been
made by the lessee." 177 Leasehold improvements include structure items as well as fixtures paid
for by the lessee.
11
For example, two tenants move into separate units,
12
13

Tenant A moves into a shell and makes basic improvements (e.g., a drop ceiling, floor finish,
floor to ceiling partitions for an office) to finish the interior of the structure.
14
15
16

Tenant B moves into a space ready for occupancy and only makes improvements designed
for a specific trade business, or profession (e.g., shelving attached to a wall or dressing rooms
in the case of retail apparel sales).
17
18
19
As the definitions below will indicate, Tenant A has made improvements classified as structure
items. Tenant B has made improvements classified as fixtures. However, in both cases, the
improvements made by the tenants are leasehold (or tenant) improvements.
20
STRUCTURE ITEMS
21
22
23
A structure may be defined as "an edifice or building; an improvement." 178 Structure items are
integral parts of the structure by nature. The Business Property Statement further describes
structure items:
24
25
26
An improvement will be classified as a structure when its primary use or purpose
is for housing or accommodation of personnel, personalty, or fixtures and has no
direct application to the process or function of the industry, trade, or profession.
27
28
29
Structure items are reported on the property statement on Schedule B, column 1, Structure Items.
A listing of items commonly reported and classified as structure items can be found in Appendix
A and also in Chapter 7 of AH 581, Equipment Index and Percent Good Factors.
177
178
Appraisal Institute, The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, s.v. "leasehold improvement."
Appraisal Institute, The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, s.v. "structure."
AH 504
97
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
FIXTURES
2
Rule 122.5(a)(1) defines fixtures: 179
3
4
5
6
7
8
A fixture is an item of tangible property, the nature of which was originally
personalty, but which is classified as realty for property tax purposes because it is
physically or constructively annexed to realty with the intent that it remain
annexed indefinitely.
Rule 122.5(a)(2) sets forth three tests to determine what constitutes a fixture for property
tax purposes:
9
10
11
12
13
14
The manner of annexation, the adaptability of the item to the purpose for which
the realty is used, and the intent with which the annexation is made are important
elements in deciding whether an item has become a fixture or remains personal
property. Proper classification, as a fixture or as personal property, results from a
determination made by applying the criteria of this rule to the facts in each
case. 180
15
16
17
18
19
20
Fixtures are reported on the Business Property Statement, Schedule B, Column 2, Fixtures Only.
A listing of items commonly reported and classified as fixtures can be found in Appendix A and
also in Chapter 7 of AH 581, Equipment Index and Percent Good Factors. It is important to note,
however, that these items are fixtures only when they are not an integral part of the building, but
their "use or purpose directly applies to or augments the process or function of a trade, industry,
or profession." 181
21
Types of Fixtures
22
Trade Fixtures
23
24
25
26
27
In the context of property tax, a trade fixture is merely a type of fixture that is "trade-related."
All fixtures, including trade fixtures, have received the same treatment by the courts. In the
interest of uniformity, neither the statutes nor the courts base the classification of fixtures on
whether they are trade-related. As expressed by the California Supreme cCourt in Trabue
Pittman Corp., LTD. v. County of Los Angeles (1946) 29 Cal.2d 385, 293:
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
To classify trade fixtures as real property is not to obliterate the distinction between
fixtures and trade fixtures for all purposes, nor to introduce an innovation into the law of
trade fixtures. It is well settled that for purposes of taxation the definitions of real
property in the revenue and taxation laws of the state control whether they conform to
definitions used for other purposes or not. . . . Section 104 of the Revenue and Taxation
Code declares that real estate shall include "improvements," and section 105 defines
improvements as "fixtures." No exception is made in the case of trade fixtures. According
to Burby, a trade fixture is merely a particular type of fixture, one for which the law
makes a special provision permitting its removal under certain circumstances by a lessee
179
See also Chapter 2 of this manual.
Intent is the primary test of classification. Rule 122.5(d)(1).
181
Rule 463(c).
180
AH 504
98
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
3
4
from the lessor's real property to which it has been annexed. (See Burby Hornbook of the
Law of Real Property (1943) p.28.)
In a subsequent case deciding similar issues, the cCourt held:
5
6
7
8
It follows [from Trabue Pittman above] that the applicable statutes do not permit
of the division of trade fixtures into classes or of the distinctions contended for by
defendants, and on the contrary require all fixtures or trade fixtures to be taxed as
improvements. 182
9
10
11
12
13
14

15
Fixed Machinery and Equipment
16
17
18
19
20
Fixed machinery and equipment (FME) is another type of fixture. FME is equipment which is
physically or constructively annexed and intended to remain indefinitely with the realty. Rule
122.5(c) sets forth the standard for constructive annexation and some examples are provided in
subdivision (e). The concept of constructive annexation of equipment has long been recognized
by the courts. As stated by the California Court of Appeal:
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
In addressing the question of annexation, we initially observe that the common
law test of technical affixation of the article to the realty is no longer an absolute
prerequisite to "fixture" status." On the contrary, the modern trend of case law
underlines that fixtures include articles such as heavy machinery whose
permanent annexation is not manifested by the use of bolts, screws, and the like,
but which are of such weight that the mere retention in place of gravity is
sufficient to give them the character of permanency and therefore affixation to the
realty. 183
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
An assessee may erroneously report FME as personal property (i.e., machinery and equipment)
on Schedule A of the Business Property Statement. The assessee may report such property as
machinery and equipment because of its use/function as machinery or equipment. However, if
the property's weight or method of attachment and the intent as reasonably manifested by
outward appearance is that the property remain annexed indefinitely, then based on Rule
122.5(c), such equipment is actually FME, that is, a fixture. Often, the incorrect classification is
discovered by physical inspection.
Additionally, "trade fixture," in section 469 and "fixture" in Rule 192(a) are used
synonymously when identifying the pool of taxpayers with largest assessments for audit
purposes in the determination of a mandatory audit. (Fixtures and personal property values
are components in the value criterion for identifying the pool of taxpayers with largest
assessments for audit purposes.) Thus, trade fixtures are merely a particular type of fixture
and must be evaluated under the three-part test in Rule 122.5.
182
Simms v. County of Los Angeles (1950) 35 Cal.2d 303.
Seatrain Terminals of Cal. V. County of Alameda (1978) 83 Cal.App.3d 69, 75, quoting M.P. Moller, Inc. v.
Wilson (1936) 8 Cal.2d 31, 37.
183
AH 504
99
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
CLASSIFICATION
1
2
CLASSIFICATION ON THE PROPERTY STATEMENT
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Schedule B (including the supplemental schedule) of the Business Property Statement requests
information regarding building improvements (landlord and leasehold improvements) in relation
to a specific property or business. It provides valuable information and may be used by both
auditor-appraisers and real property appraisers. Items reported in Column 1 and Column 2 are
structure items and fixtures, respectively, as defined earlier. Items reported in Column 3, Land
Improvements, include such things as blacktop, curbs, and fences; and items reported in Column
4, Land and Land Development, include such things as fill and grading.
10
WHY CLASSIFICATION IS IMPORTANT
11
12
13
14
15
Property tax law requires that improvement value be shown separately from land value and
personal property value on the assessment roll. However, there is no requirement that fixtures
value be shown as a separate category of improvements. 184 Nonetheless, it is necessary for the
appraiser to make the distinction between fixtures and other improvements prior to enrollment,
because classification may affect the audit procedures and valuation of property.
16
17
It is important to properly classify fixtures separate from other improvement items for several
reasons:
18
1. Fixtures are a separate appraisal unit when measuring declines in value (Rule 461(e)). 185
19
20
2. Fixtures are treated differently than other real property (i.e., structure items) for
supplemental roll purposes.
21
22
23
3. Fixtures and personal property values are components in the value criterion for
determination of a mandatory audit. . identifying the pool of taxpayers with the largest
assessments for audit purposes under section 469.
24
25
Other than these three areas, fixtures are subject to the same constitutional, statutory, and
regulatory provisions affecting the valuation and assessment of other real property.
26
Fixtures are a Separate Appraisal Unit When Measuring Declines in Value
27
28
29
Proposition 8, amended article XIII A of the State Constitution to require the assessor to
recognize declines in value (of real property) if market value on the lien date falls below the
property's factored base year value. Section 51 requires that the assessor annually enroll the
184
Section 602.
However, there are as exceptions to the general rule that fixtures are a separate appraisal unit for declines in
value. For example, rules 469(e)(2)(C), and 473(e)(4)(C), and 474(d) – in the context of mineral properties, and
geothermal properties, and petroleum refinery properties, respectively – provide that for the purpose of declines in
value, certain fixtures may be valued in an appraisal unit comprising land, improvements (other than fixtures), and
reserves, rather than valued as a separate appraisal unit. In terms of mineral properties, "[e]ach leach pad, tailings
facility, or settling pond shall be considered a separate appraisal unit for purposes of determining its taxable value on
each lien date subsequent to the lien date upon which its initial base year value was determined." For refineries,
land, improvements, fixtures and other fixed machinery are rebuttably presumed to constitute a single appraisal unit,
except in disasters, where land is a separate appraisal unit (Rule 474(d)(2)).
185
AH 504
100
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
3
4
lower of either (1) a property's base year value factored for inflation, or (2) its full, or market,
value as of the lien date. Thus, declines in value under Proposition 8 are determined by
comparing the current full value (i.e., current market value) of an appraisal unit to the factored
base year value of the unit on the lien date. 186
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Appraisal unit is defined in section 51(d) as the unit that (1) persons in the marketplace
commonly buy and sell as a unit or (2) that is normally valued separately. Land and
improvements, for example, are an appraisal unit because improvements are typically bought and
sold with land. Fixtures not typically bought and sold separately in the market are also
considered a separate appraisal unit under this section, because they are normally valued
separately. Rule 461(e) provides that fixtures, and other machinery and equipment classified as
improvements, are a separate appraisal unit when measuring a decline in value. 187
12
13
14
15
16
A special provision applies, however, to petroleum refining properties, as provided in Rule 474.
For this special type of property, land, improvements, fixtures, and other fixed machinery and
equipment are rebuttably presumed to constitute a single appraisal unit, except in disasters,
where land is a separate appraisal unit. Evidence that can rebut this presumption includes the
following:
17
18

The elements of the property are not in common ownership or typically do not transfer in
the marketplace as a single unit
19
20

The fixtures and other fixed machinery and equipment are not functionally and physically
integrated with the realty and do not operate together as one economic unit. 188
21
Fixtures may be a Separate Appraisal Unit for Supplemental Roll Purposes
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Generally, all property that changes ownership or is newly constructed after the lien date is
assessed as of the date of change in ownership or date of completion of new construction and is
subject to supplemental assessment. An exception to this requirement applies to certain fixtures
and certain taxable possessory interests. Section 75.5 removes from the definition of "property"
subject to supplemental assessment, "fixtures which that are normally valued as a separate
appraisal unit from a structure" and taxable posssessory interests, as specified.cally identified in
the section. Section 75.5 states:
29
30
"Property" means and includes manufactured homes subject to taxation under Part
13 (commencing with Section 5800) and real property, other than the following:
186
See also Rrule 461(e).
See County of Orange v. Orange County Assessment Appeals Bd. (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 524, where the appellate
court held that under Rule 461(e), "the components of taxable property may be separated for valuation purposes,"
and that section 51, subdivision (e) "states, albeit ungrammatically, that an appraisal unit can be that which are [sic]
normally valued separately. Taken as a whole, neither section 51 in general, nor subdivision (e) in particular,
mandates appraisal of the property as a single unit."
188
Rule 474(d)(3)(A)&(B).
187
AH 504
101
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
(a) Fixtures which are normally valued as a separate appraisal unit from a
structure.
3
4
5
(b) Newly created taxable possessory interests, established by month-to-month
agreements in publicly owned real property, having a full cash value of fifty
thousand dollars ($50,000) or less.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
With regard to fixtures, this exclusion from supplemental assessment applies only to fixtures that
are normally valued as a separate appraisal unit from the land and other improvements on which
they are located. It does not apply to fixtures that are included with other property as part of a
single appraisal unit that changes ownership or is newly constructed. If an entire property
containing land, structures, and fixtures is valued as a single appraisal unit upon a change in
ownership or new construction, the fixtures included in the unit are subject to supplemental
assessment. 189
13
Fixture Value Included in Value Criterion for Mandatory Audit Purposes
14
15
16
17
The combined total value of personal property and fixtures determines whether an audit is
mandatory a taxpayer is within the pool of taxpayers with the largest assessments for audit
purposes under Section 469; the value of structure items is not included in this determination.
Section 469(a) (b)(1), in part, states that:
18
19
20
21
Fifty percent of the audits required by subdivision (a) shall be performed on taxpayers
selected from a pool of those taxpayers that have the largest assessments of locally
assessable trade fixtures and business tangible personal property in the county.
22
23
24
25
26
27
In any case in which locally assessable trade fixtures 190 and business tangible
personal property owned, claimed, possessed, or controlled by a taxpayer
engaged in a profession, trade, or business has a full value of four hundred
thousand dollars ($400,000) or more, the assessor shall audit the books and
records of that profession, trade, or business at least once every four years. 191
(Emphasis added.)
28
29
30
Therefore, Ccaution should be exercised to avoid misclassification. If fixtures are
misclassified—notably, if fixtures are classified as structures or visa versa—the value criterion
for mandatory audits under section 469 cannot be applied properly.
189
See LTA No. 91/59; section 75.15 also addresses the supplemental assessment of fixtures.
Fixtures and trade fixtures are synonymous terms in this context, as discussed earlier.
191
The change in the threshold level for mandatory audits (from $300,000 to $400,000) was effective January 1,
2001.
190
AH 504
102
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
APPRAISAL OF IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO BUSINESS PROPERTY
1
2
GENERAL
3
4
5
6
7
In general, improvements related to business property (i.e., landlord improvements,
leasehold/tenant improvements, structure items, and fixtures) are valued, as is other real
property, in accordance with section 51. As previously discussed, section 51 requires county
assessors to value taxable real property at the lesser of its factored base year or its full cash value
as defined in section 110. 192
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
In accordance with section 110.1, a property's base year value is its fair market value as of either
the 1975 lien date or the date the property was newly constructed, or underwent a change in
ownership after the 1975 lien date. Base year value is generally estimated using one or more of
the generally accepted and authorized approaches to value discussed in Rule 3 (i.e., the
comparative sales approach, the cost approach, or the income approach). The base year value can
be adjusted for the effects of inflation up to a maximum of 2 two percent per year based on the
California Consumer Price Index. For example, an improvement with a 2001-2002 base year
value of $100,000 (and a 2002 inflation factor of 2 two percent) has an adjusted base year value
of $102,000 in year 2002-2003.
17
18
Base Year Value x Inflation Factor = Indexed Base Year Value
$100,000 x 1.02 = $102,000
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
The full cash value on the lien date is the property's current market value. This value is also
estimated by one or more approaches to value allowed by Rule 3. If the current market value of a
property is below its factored base year value, the property is temporarily reassessed to reflect
the lower value, that is, the property's current market value or its full cash value on the lien date
(section 51(a)). Properties valued under Proposition 8 (Rule 461(e)) guidelines are reviewed
annually. In some future year, if and when the property's market value exceeds its factored base
year value, the factored base year value is restored to the assessment roll. Assume that the
improvement mentioned above, with a factored base year value of $102,000, has a current
market value of $95,000. Since the market value ($95,000) on the 2002-2003 lien date is less
than the indexed based year value ($102,000), the market value is enrolled until such time that
the market value exceeds the factored base year value.
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
The valuation of structure items is normally conducted by the real property appraiser since he or
she has the market data, cost manuals, and requisite experience to properly value all real
property. In certain circumstances, however, the auditor-appraiser may be required to value this
property. In other circumstances, the real property appraiser may be required to value fixtures
when they are commonly bought and sold in the marketplace with the land and improvements
and are so integrated with the realty such that the highest and best use of the property depends on
the valuation of the appraisal unit as a whole.
192
Fixtures, although real property, are often valued in a manner similar to personal property.
AH 504
103
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
3
4
Fixtures are normally valued and assessed by the auditor-appraiser. Since fixtures are property
that directly apply to or augment the process or function of a trade, industry, or profession, it
follows that fixtures should be valued by the same appraiser (i.e., the auditor-appraiser) valuing
other business property.
5
6
7
In most cases concerning fixtures, the lower value is the full cash value on the lien date. This is
the current market value of the property estimated by the auditor-appraiser using an appropriate
approach to value (the cost approach, the comparative sales approach, or the income approach).
8
9
10
11
12
13
When determining the taxable value of new building improvements (i.e., landlord or tenant
improvements), the appraiser should ensure that the value of these improvements is not already
included in the existing assessment. For example, if an office building changes ownership and is
valued using the comparative sales and/or income approach, the value indicator and resulting
assessment on the secured roll may include some or all of the value of the building
improvements. Such improvements should not then be doubly assessed on the unsecured roll.
14
SOME VALUATION ISSUES
15
16
17
18
19
In valuing improvements related to business property (i.e., landlord and leasehold (tenant)
improvements, both structure items and fixtures), careful consideration should be given to new
construction, leasehold improvements abandoned on the lien date, and fixtures which that have
declined in value. Several issues and questions arise and should be addressed regarding these
types of improvements. The following discussion addresses these issues.
20
New Construction
21
22
23
24
Property tax law governing the valuation of new construction is primarily contained in sections
70 through 74.67 and Rules 463 and 463.5. Also, AH 502, Chapter 6 discusses the subject of
new construction; and that it also includes a discussion is generally applicable to regarding new
construction involving improvements related to business property.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Rule 463(b) defines new construction to include: (1) "Any substantial addition to land or
improvements, including fixtures…", (2) "Any substantial physical alteration of land which
constitutes a major rehabilitation of the land or results in a change in the way the property is
used". (3) "Any physical alteration of any improvement which converts the improvement or any
portion thereof to the substantial equivalent of a new structure or portion thereof or changes the
way in which the portion of the structure that had been altered is used…", or (4) "Any substantial
physical rehabilitation, renovation or modernization of any fixture which converts it to the
substantial equivalent of a new fixture or any substitution of a new fixture."
33
34
35
Rule 463(b)(4) excludes construction or reconstruction performed for "the purpose of normal
maintenance and repair" from the definitions. Underground storage tanks that must be improved
or replaced after September 7, 1999 to comply with federal, state, and local regulations shall not
AH 504
104
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
be considered new construction. These tanks shall be considered to be replaced for normal
maintenance and repair. 193
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
In the context of fixtures, rehabilitation, renovation, or modernization of a fixture that converts
the fixture to the substantial equivalent of new is new construction. Rule 463(b)(5), relating to
fixtures, provides that "substantial equivalency shall be ascertained by comparing the productive
capacity, normally expressed in units per hour, of the rehabilitated fixture to its original
productive capacity." Repair to a fixture does not qualify as the substantial equivalent of new. 194
Normal or routine maintenance in order to continue the use of function of the unit (i.e., a new
roller to replace the old one in a printing press) is also not considered new construction. 195
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Landlord and leasehold (tenant) improvements, both structure items and fixtures, are frequently
renovated, rehabilitated, or modernized. This is often done in order to provide an interior or
exterior "facelift" for the space. Existing improvements may be removed and new improvements
added, even before the useful life of the existing improvements is over. If such construction
activity converts the existing improvements to substantially equivalent to new or is the
installation of a new fixture or the replacement of an existing fixture, such activity is new
construction.
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
When new construction of landlord and/or leasehold improvements occurs, relevant information
may be received by the assessor from different sources. Information may originate from (1) the
Business Property Statement (Schedule B) as reported by the assessee, (2) building permits, (3)
county health permits required for some types of construction or (4) a lease agreement. The
Business Property Statement is received by the business property division, and building permits
are received by the real property division. An assessee may report information on the property
statement that has also been provided to the real property appraiser in the form of a permit (and
perhaps a follow-up construction activity questionnaire submitted by the assessee). Since
information is received by both divisions, the landlord and/or leasehold improvements may be
assessed by both divisions (or may escape assessment) if a system of effective coordination is
not in place. Methods for ensuring such coordination are discussed later in this chapter and in
Appendix A B.
29
30
31
32
33
34
After the information regarding construction activity is received, improvements should be
classified as a structure item or fixture. 196 The descriptions of additions and deletions should be
reviewed by both an auditor-appraiser and real property appraiser and valued appropriately. The
appraiser should examine the data received to determine whether any demolition costs have been
excluded, whether some elements of reported cost reflect normal maintenance and hence not new
construction, and whether, and to what extent, the new construction adds value.
193
Section 70(e).
Rule 463(b)(4).
195
Rule 463(b)(4).
196
See Why Classification is Important, which is discussed earlier in this section.
194
AH 504
105
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
The following example illustrates a fixture qualifying as new construction because it is an
addition since the last lien date.
EXAMPLE 5.1
VALUATION OF NEW CONSTRUCTION (FIXTURES)
On February 1, 20012008, an assessee purchased and installed a new walk-in refrigerator (not an
integral part of the building). The total installed cost of the refrigerator was $15,000 $$10,000. At
acquisition, it had an estimated average service life of 12 years. The inflation factor for the current
year is 2%.
What is the assessed value on the 2002 2009 lien date, January 1, 2002 2009?
Total 20012008
Cost
Total 20012008
Cost
Enrolled Value
Cost
$10,000
$15,000
$10,000
$15,000
Index Factor
100
Percent Good
Factor 197
.93
Fair Market
Value
$9,300
$13,950
Inflation
Factor
Indexed
Value
1.02
$10,200
$15,300
$9,300
$13,950
What is the supplemental assessment value?
No supplemental assessment applies to this fixture. The fixture is a separate appraisal unit, and is not
part of a larger appraisal unit; therefore, the property is not subject to supplemental assessment.
3
4
Valuation of Abandoned Leasehold Improvements
5
6
7
8
9
Improvements installed by a tenant, but left at a vacant rental space are called abandoned
leasehold improvements. The real property appraiser and/or auditor-appraiser may encounter
difficulties when assessing this property. For example, to whom are the structure items and
fixtures assessed, and what is their value? No two cases will be the same. Facts related to each
scenario will differ and appraisal must be based on those facts.
10
Following is an example of one possible scenario involving abandoned leasehold improvements.
197
Percent good factor from "Table 4: Machinery and Equipment Percent Good Factors," 12 year life, AH 581,
January 2009.2002.
AH 504
106
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
EXAMPLE 5.2
ABANDONED LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS

A retail business moves into a new indoor mall in 2006. 2000. The mall space is leased to
the tenant as a shell. It is the tenant's responsibility, and expense, to finish the space to his
or her specifications. The retail business spends $40,000 $20,000 to install leasehold
improvements. The leasehold improvements, improvements paid for by the lessee, include
structure items (dropped ceiling, finished walls, lighting fixtures, and carpet) and fixtures
(burglar alarm system, and permanent partitions-less than floor to ceiling).

After two years at this location, the retail business moves out of the space to another mall.
The leasehold improvements installed two years earlier are abandoned and the space is left
vacant on the lien date, January 1, 2002 2009.

Because the tenant has abandoned the improvements and the leased space in the scenario
above, any improvements left behind revert to the owner of the mall; therefore, the mall
owner is the assessee. The structure items and fixtures are assessable to the mall owner on
the lien date.

The improvements may continue to have value because, in theory, another tenant using the
same space and improvements may not be required to spend the same amount of time and
money in order to utilize the space for his or her needs. The value, on the other hand, may
be less than indicated by the cost approach, since a future tenant may have different needs
than the original tenant. Professional judgment is needed to determine whether the
abandoned improvements have the same value, lower value, or no value.

1
2
Valuation of Fixtures Under Decline in Value
3
4
5
6
7
8
Measuring declines in value can be simple when only one appraisal unit is involved. Fixtures, for
example, as a separate appraisal unit are valued at current market value on the lien date and at
the indexed base year value, and the lower value is enrolled. However, measuring declines in
values may become more difficult in a total property appraisal because more than one appraisal
unit is involved. When a decline in value(s) of such property occurs, the first part of Rule 461(e)
is extremely important and must be applied.
9
10
11
Declines in value will be determined by comparing the current lien date full value
of the appraisal unit to the indexed base year full value of the same unit for the
current lien date. (Emphasis added.)
12
13
In other words, each appraisal unit must be considered separately. The following example
illustrates how declines in value and appraisal units should be treated under Rule 461(e).
AH 504
107
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
EXAMPLE 5.3
TOTAL PROPERTY APPRAISAL UNDER DECLINE IN VALUE
Market Value on
Factored Base
the Lien Date
Year Value
(Prop 8 Value)
(Prop 13 Value)
Appraisal Unit 1
Land
Building
Unit 1 Value
Appraisal Unit 2
Fixtures
Unit 2 Value
Total Property Value (Unit 1 + Unit 2)
$515,000
60,000
$575,000
$100,000
85,000
$185,000
40,000
$ 40,000
52,000
$ 52,000
Total Property
Value
(Assessed Value)
$185,000
$ 40,000
$225,000
As indicated in the above example, the proper unit values are "Appraisal Unit 1" (land and building)
value of $185,000 and the "Appraisal Unit 2" (fixtures) value of $40,000. The correct total value of
this property is $225,000. The appraisal units must be defined properly when applying Rule 461(e)
and recognizing declines in value. If the appraisal units are not defined properly, the assessed value of
the property would be erroneous and not in compliance with property tax law.
1
2
DETERMINATION OF ASSESSEE
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
When the owner of a business is also the owner of the land and building, there is no question as
to the proper assessee of the improvements related to business property (i.e., the landlord or
tenant improvements). In this case, taxable property is assessed to one account on the secured
roll. In the case where the owner of the real property (other than fixtures) does not own the
business, however, other possibilities arise. Improvements related to business property may be
constructed and paid for by either the landlord (landlord improvements) or the tenant (leasehold
improvements) and in either case are assessable to either party.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
When new construction of landlord or tenant improvements occurs, the added value of the new
construction is typically assessed to the party who paid for the improvements. A tenant in a
shopping center, for example, is typically assessed on the unsecured roll for leasehold
improvements—structure items and fixtures—since they are constructed at the tenant's expense.
Such construction is generally reported on the Business Property Statement. On the other hand,
the landlord is typically assessed on the secured roll for landlord improvements since they are
constructed at the building owner's expense. (Such new construction is usually discovered by a
building permit.)
18
19
20
21
As a general rule, whether short-term or extended-term leases, if improvements are constructed on
leased land, and the ground lease provides that the lessee has the right to remove the improvements at
the end of the lease term per Civil Code section 1013, the "owner" of the improvements is presumed
to be the ground lessee. On the other hand, if the lease states that the ground lessor retains ownership
AH 504
108
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
of the improvements at the end of the lease term (and the ground lessee has no right of removal), the
"owner" of the improvements is the ground lessor."
3
4
5
6
7
However, the above procedure is not a legal requirement. Section 405 allows the assessor to
assess property to "the persons owning, claiming, possessing, or controlling it on the lien date."
In the case of landlord improvements and leasehold improvements, the courts have interpreted
this to mean either the lessor or lessee may be the assessee, even if the improvements have been
paid for by the opposite party. 198
8
9
COORDINATION IN THE ASSESSMENT OF LANDLORD IMPROVEMENTS AND
LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Close cooperation between auditor-appraisers and real property appraisers is essential when
valuing and assessing landlord and leasehold improvements, because special difficulties arise
concerning the uniform assessment and proper enrollment of this type of property. Record
management for accurate tracking of base year values and ownership of this type of property
may be complex and tedious but extremely important in order to ensure correct valuation and
assessment. As discussed earlier, information regarding this type of property is received from
various sources and may be submitted to either auditor-appraisers and/or real property
appraisers. The value may be enrolled on either the secured roll or the unsecured roll, and the
assessee may be either the landlord or the tenant.
19
20
21
22
23
24
Internal procedures in assessors' offices should be designed to ensure that all landlord
improvements and leasehold improvements are (1) valued on and at the appropriate date and
amount, (2) not assessed on multiple accounts, (3) assessed on the proper roll (i.e., secured or
unsecured), and (4) assessed to the proper assessee. The means by which this coordination is
accomplished may differ from county to county, but general guidelines for coordination should
be maintained in all assessment programs.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
ESTABLISH A COMPREHENSIVE SET OF WRITTEN PROCEDURES REGARDING
ASSESSMENT OF LANDLORD AND LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS
A comprehensive set of written procedures that describes how to systematically identify and
assess landlord and leasehold improvements can help promote uniform assessment. As noted
above, the assessment of landlord and leasehold improvements requires record management for
proper tracking of base year values and ownership. Written procedures clarify each staff
member's responsibilities in the valuation process for this type of property, making appraisal and
record management easier to maintain.
198
Valley Fair Fashions, Inc. v. Valley Fair (1966) 245 Cal.App.2d 614, Tele-Vue Systems, Inc. v. Contra Costa
County (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 340, and Ventura County v. Channel Islands State Bank (1967) 251 Cal.App.2d 240.
AH 504
109
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 5
1
2
CLEARLY IDENTIFY LANDLORD AND LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS ON APPRAISAL
RECORDS
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Proper notes on appraisal records concerning the establishment of value is an are important step
in the appraisal process. Appraisal notes should include information regarding the existence of
landlord and leasehold improvements, a description of the improvements, and the basis for
valuation. If the improvements involve more than one account, the appraisal records should
indicate in what manner the improvements are assessed (i.e., to whom, secured or unsecured roll,
and assessor's parcel number or business property account number). This information will not
only assist appraisers and auditor-appraisers who may work on the subject parcel or related
business account(s) in the future, but will also help to avoid duplicate or escape assessments.
11
COORDINATION OF LANDLORD AND LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENT APPRAISAL
12
13
14
15
16
Appendix A B describes and suggests one method of coordinating the appraisal of landlord and
leasehold improvements that is used in some assessors' offices. It is not the only proper method.
An example is included as illustration. The example starts with the source documents and goes
through several steps including classification, determination of assessee, valuation and
enrollment of value.
AH 504
110
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
CHAPTER 6: SPECIAL ISSUES
2
VALUATION OF OTHER TYPES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
3
LEASED EQUIPMENT
4
5
6
7
8
9
Valuation and assessment of leased equipment can be one of the more difficult tasks an auditorappraiser encounters. 199 Many impediments are generated by a lack of complete, up-to-date
information. Other problems are based on the nature of the property. Leased equipment is usually
easily movable, and it may change ownership (or possession) and situs frequently. This can make
it difficult to analyze the factors (assessability, assessee, situs, description, and classification)
necessary to make an appropriate opinion of value and a valid assessment.
10
Assessability
11
12
13
14
Assessability of leased equipment, or equipment intended for lease, is the first consideration an
appraiser encounters. As discussed in Chapter 1, personal property leased on the lien date is
assessable unless exempt. However, personal property held for lease on the lien date is
inventory. Leased equipment, or property intended for lease, is assessable when: 200
15

property is actually leased or rented on the lien date.
16
17

property is being used by the owner for purposes not directly associated with the
prospective sale or lease of that property.
18
19

property has been used by the owner prior to the lien date, even though "held for lease"
on the lien date.
20
21

property is intended to be used by the lessor after being leased (or during intervals
between leases), even though "held for lease" on the lien date.
22
Assessee
23
24
25
26
A person who owns, claims, possesses, or controls property on the lien date is the assessee of
that property. 201 This is either the lessor or the lessee. Under section 405, the assessor may assess
leased property to either, or both, whether or not there is a private agreement between the parties
to the lease. Section 405 specifically states, in part:
27
28
(b) The assessor may assess all taxable property in his county on the unsecured roll jointly to
both the lessee and lessor of such property.
29
30
(c) Notices of assessment and tax bills relating to jointly assessed property on the unsecured roll
shall be mailed to both the lessee and the lessor at their latest addresses known to the assessor.
199
Leased equipment reported to the State Board of Equalization Board by public utility companies is assessed at the
state level. However, the Board may delegate to a local assessor the duty to assess a property used but not owned by
a state assessee on which the taxes are to be paid by a local assessee.
200
See Rule 133(b), Business Inventory Exemption, Exclusions.
201
Section 405(a).
AH 504
111
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
However broad this statute, the courts and most counties have reasonably construed the
language. 202 That is, property is generally not assessed jointly although the assessor has that
option pursuant to section 405. Property under a true lease is usually assessed only to the lessor
and property under conditional sales contract only to the lessee. Exceptions to this rule mainly
occur when the lessor requests to be assessed to ensure the taxes are paid or one of the parties to
the lease is an exempt entity.
7
8
9
10
11
Capital leases are analogous to conditional sales contracts. Lessees under such leases are the
beneficial owners of the properties leased, as they gain possession, use, and control of the leased
properties and the leases include bargain purchase options at the end of the lease terms. For
property tax purposes, including the annual reporting obligation specified in section 441, the
lessee is the responsible party under a capital lease.
12
Leasing with Exempt Entities
13
Banks and Financials
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Tangible personal property owned by banks and financial corporations (commonly referred to as
financial institutions or financials) is exempt from property taxation by the in-lieu tax provisions
under article XIII, section 27 of the California Constitution, and sections 23154, and 23181
through 23183 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, improvements or fixtures are assessable
however. These businesses pay an in-lieu "franchise tax on net income" instead. A listing of
banks and financials qualified under these sections is maintained by the Franchise Tax Board
with confidential copies distributed to assessors annually by the Board of Equalization. 203 The
in-lieu exemption does not apply to banks and financial corporations whose principal activity
consists of leasing tangible personal property (see section 23183(b)). Generally, such
corporations are not shown on the list. Any questions in this regard should be directed to the
Franchise Tax Board.
25
26
27
If a lessor bank or financial institution is shown in the listing of banks and financials, the leased
property is assessable to the lessee (unless the lessee is also exempt from property taxation)
pursuant to section 235. Section 235 states:
28
29
30
For purposes of this division, the lessee of tangible personal property owned by a
bank or financial corporation shall be conclusively presumed the owner of that
property.
202
61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 472, 475 (1978).
As of year 2000, state chartered credit unions are exempt from paying the bank and corporate in-lieu franchise
tax (section 23701y). Therefore, state chartered credit unions no longer appear on the Confidential List of Banks and
Financial Corporations. Assessors need to independently evaluate, on a case by case basis, whether these entities
qualify as a financial corporation for assessment purposes. The personal property of those qualifying as financial
corporations remains exempt from property tax. Generally, state-chartered credit unions are (1) not subject to the
bank and corporation in-lieu tax, (2) subject to real property tax, and (3) not subject to personal property tax.
Federally-chartered credit unions are (1) not subject to the bank and corporation in-lieu tax, (2) subject to real
property tax, and (3) subject to personal property tax.
203
AH 504
112
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
However, where personal property is leased to an exempt bank or financial, it is assessable to the
owner/lessor (unless the owner/lessor is also exempt from property taxation). The owner/lessor
holds title to the property and does not benefit from the lessee's in-lieu exemption.
4
Insurance Companies
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Personal property owned by insurance companies is exempt from property taxation, regardless of
how the property is used by that insurance company, pursuant to article XIII, section 28, of the
California Constitution. 204 Property leased to insurance companies, rather than owned by them,
however, remains assessable to the lessor (unless the lessor is also exempt from property
taxation). The Department of Insurance maintains a listing of, and periodically issues a
publication containing the names of insurance companies authorized to do business in California.
Assessors should utilize the publications in the administration of this exemption. In the event that
a taxpayer/insurance company seeks exemption of its personal property under article XIII,
section 28 but it has not been recognized by the Department of Insurance as an insurance
company qualified to do business in California, the burden is on the taxpayer/insurance company
to establish to the Department of Insurance that it is an insurance company qualified to do
business in California, such that it is so recognized by the Department and included in its listings
and publications.
18
Government Entities
19
20
21
Property leased to or from a federal, state (California), or local governmental (county, city,
district in California) entity is not taxable to that entity, although the property may remain
taxable to another party. It is not taxable to the governmental entity because:
22
23
24

The federal government is immune from taxation pursuant to the United States Constitution.
It is a "governing constitutional principle that the properties, functions, and instrumentalities
of the federal government are immune from taxation by state and local governments." 205
25
26
27
28

The California Constitution, article XIII, sections 3 and 5 expressly exempt from taxation all
property owned by the state or local governments, except as provided in section 11(a) of the
California Constitution, article XIII (which applies only to land and improvements outside
the boundaries of the local government).
29
Personal Property
30
31
32
Personal property owned by the government is immune (federal) or exempt (state or local) from
all taxation, as discussed above, and it is not subject to being a possessory interest as is with real
property (with one exception). 206 "[T]he Legislature has not provided for the taxation of limited
204
Mutual Life Insurance of New York v. City of Los Angeles (1990) 50 Cal.3d 402 overturned Massachusetts
Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. City and County of San Francisco (1982) 129 Cal.App.3d 876
205
TRW Space & Defense Sector v. County of Los Angeles (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1703, 1710.
206
See section 201.5.
AH 504
113
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
interests in tangible personal property. It has not defined personal property as including a right
to its possession as it has real property." 207
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Under a "lease to ownership plan" or direct financing lease, privately owned personal property
leased to the government is immune from taxation if the government is considered the owner of
the property (government has exclusive management, responsibility and control of the property).
However, Pprivately owned personal property leased to and held by the government is not
immune (federal) or exempt (state or local) where title remains with the lessor. In such cases, the
property is taxable to the owner/lessor, even if its situs is located on government-owned land.
(The exceptions are Congressional grants of immunity for the privately held personal property of
Indians located on Indian reservations and personal property located on federal enclaves.) In the
former circumstance, business equipment leased to a tribe and used on a reservation is not
assessable to the tribe. The state is preempted by federal law from imposing such a tax on Indian
lessees; but, if taxing the equipment would not impose a burden on federally regulated tribal
activity, the equipment may be assessed to the non-Indian lessor
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Frequently, in cases where federal immunity or state/local exemption is claimed regarding leases
of property with the government, the question is who "owns" the property? In one case, for
example, a court found that title to tools, equipment, and material owned by the federal
government but used by a private contractor doing government construction remained with the
government and were, therefore, immune from taxation. 208 In another case, a court found that
title to personal property consisting of materials and inventory used by a private contractor doing
government construction never vested in the government, even though the government fully
reimbursed the costs to the contractor. The nature of the property involved was mere overhead,
"the common staples of any ongoing business; the contractor was the owner." 209 In a subsequent
case, however, a court found that title to overhead property vested in the government, pursuant to
the terms of the contract, and was not assessable to the contractor. 210
26
27
28
Where the question of ownership is not clear, proper analysis of the lease agreements and other
sales or financing documents is important. In establishing ownership for tax assessment
purposes, the assessor should determine who holds the essential indicia of ownership. 211
29
30
31
A title clause standing alone is not conclusive of ownership for tax purposes when
it appears that the taxpayer retains the essential indicia of ownership. . .
Accordingly, it is necessary to examine the terms of the contracts to determine
207
General Dynamics Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 59, 64-65. An exception is set forth in
section 201.5 for personal property owned by or for the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
208
General Dynamics Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 59.supra.
209
TRW Space & Defense Sector v. County of Los Angeles (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1703, 1718.
210
Hughes Aircraft Co. v. County of Orange (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 540.
211
Mayhew Tech Center Phase II v. County of Sacramento (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 497, 505, citing General Dynamics
Corp., supra, 51 Cal.2d at 67.
AH 504
114
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
whether plaintiffs retained rights in the property inconsistent with its ownership
by the United States for tax purposes. 212 (Italics added.)
3
4
5
6
Several factors have been identified by the court(s) under the essential indicia of ownership test
as evidence that the government holds title. The tests can be applied when the government is
either the lessor or the lessee and title is not physically held by the government. When the
government is a lessee, for example, essential indicia of ownership may be apparent if:
7
8
1. Title automatically passes to the government (lessee) at the end of the lease term (the title
clause of the lease agreement);
9
10
11
2. The property itself is used as security for any unpaid lease payments (in the event of
default, the lessor would sell the property to pay off the debt and the remainder would go
to the government);
12
3. The government (lessee) has full authority to alter the property at will;
13
4. The government (lessee) is required to maintain the property.
14
15
16
Again, no one factor standing alone is indicative of essential indicia of ownership, or proper
owner for assessment purposes. The ultimate decision must be made upon consideration of all
the facts.
17
Fixtures (and Other Real Property)
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Fixtures owned by the federal government and leased to a private party are immune (federal) or
exempt (state or local) from property taxation, to the same extent as other real property. Fixtures
are not assessable to the government owning the property, but the possessory interest in the
fixtures is assessable to the lessee as any other type of real property leased from the government.
The assessment is on the entire interest of the lessee. It is a possessory interest in real
property. 213 A possessory interest within an area in which the United States has exclusive
jurisdiction (so-called "federal enclaves") is excluded from the meaning of "taxable possessory
interest" and is immune from taxation.
26
27
28
Thus, determination of ownership becomes less of an issue; the property is either assessable as
an improvement or a possessory interest value. If, however, ownership does become an issue, it
should be determined based on the essential indicia of ownership as discussed earlier.
29
30
31
32
Summary of Lease Situations with a Governmental Agency as Either Lessor of or
Lessee
The following table summarizes the discussion regarding the assessability of leased property
wherein the federal, state, or a local government agency is either the lessor or lessee. The table is
212
213
General Dynamics Corp. v. County of Los Angeles supra. (1958) 51 Cal.2d 59 at 67.
Section 107(a).
AH 504
115
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
not controlling in all situations and, again, essential indicia of ownership (referred to as owner
(title with) in the table) should be determined based on all facts.
AH 504
116
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
LESSOR
Private Party
Private Party
TABLE 6A
ASSESSABILITY OF LEASES INVOLVING GOVERNMENT
OWNER
LESSEE
(TITLE WITH) TYPE OF PROPERTY
Government
Lessor
Personal Property
Government
Lessee
Personal Property
ASSESSEE
Private Party
No assessment
(Immune or
Exempt)
Private Party
Government
Lessor
Private Party
Government
Lessee
Government
Private Party
Lessor
Fixtures
(and other real property)
Fixtures
(and other real property)
Personal Property
Government
Private Party
Lessee
Personal Property
Government
Private Party
Lessor
Government
Private Party
Lessee
Fixtures
(and other real property)
Fixtures
(and other real property)
Private Party
Private Party
(Possessory Interest)
No assessment
(Immune or
Exempt)
Private Party
Private Party
(Possessory Interest)
Private Party
2
3
Other Exempt Entities or Institutions
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Property leased to other exempt entities and institutions may be eligible for exemption, but each
situation must be considered individually. In some cases, the property may be automatically
exempted; in others, claim forms must be filed in order for the applicable exemption or reduction
to be granted. For example, a lessor who leases equipment to public libraries, museums, schools,
community colleges, state colleges, and the University of California is not automatically exempt
from taxation on the property. The lessor may file a claim for exemption if (1) the leased
equipment is "used exclusively" by an aforementioned entity as lessee and (2) it is demonstrated
that the benefit of the exemption has inured to the lessee institution. A lessor's exemption claim
should only be filed when the lease has been adjusted for taxes and the public entity has already
received the benefit of the reduction. Where the lessor does not claim the exemption, the lessee
must file a claim in order to receive the refund of tax that the lessor has paid to the county.
15
16
17
18
A discussion of exemptions is located in Assessors' Handbook Section 267, Welfare, Church and
Religious Exemptions. Reference to code sections governing exemptions (sections 202 et. seq.,
203, 214 et seq.) is also necessary to determine whether equipment leased to qualifying entities is
deemed eligible for exemption or if a claim must be filed.
AH 504
117
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
Situs
2
3
4
Physical situs of leased equipment may change frequently, as previously discussed in Chapter 3.
Determination of tax situs for this type of property is generally governed by Rule 204 and
section 623.
5
6
7
8
9
Prior to January 1, 1996, Rule 204, Leased EquipmentProperty, was the sole authority governing
situs determination. It requiresd a determination of a precise situs for each piece of leased
equipment (a time-consuming process in many cases). However, section 623 has made precise
situs of leased equipment less important by allowing a single assessment for leased personal
property assessed to the same assessee:
10
11
12
13
14
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. (Italics added.)
15
Description: Types of Leases
16
17
18
19
20
A lease is generally defined as any contract that gives rise to a lessor and lessee relationship in
real or personal property. There are many different types of leases and lease situations. To
properly determine property tax reporting and assessment questions, it is important to define and
consider each type of lease, and the terms associated with them: short-term leases, extended-term
leases, true leases, and financing leases or conditional sales contracts.
21
Short-Term Leases
22
23
24
25
Leases or rentals of property on a daily, weekly, or other short-term basis (defined as a period of
six months or less) are short-term leases. The property is assessable to the lessor at the lessor's
principal location, regardless of actual location or control on the lien date. 214 The lessor is
considered the owner, and value is estimated by reference to the owner's cost of the property. 215
26
Extended-Term Leases
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
An extended-term lease (commonly referred to as a long-term lease) is any lease whose duration
is more than six months, or for an unspecified period. In many cases, property leased under this
type of lease eventually becomes property of the lessee. For example, a lessee leases a computer
for five years. At the end of the five-year lease period, the lessee has the option to buy the
computer for $1. Essentially, from the start of the lease, the lessee is the owner of the equipment
whether or not title has actually passed. During the lease term the assessor may assess this
equipment to either the lessor or the lessee, and situs for assessment purposes is generally the
actual location of the leased equipment, subject to the provisions of section 623 as discussed
above.
214
215
Rule 204(a).
See trade level discussion in Chapter 4.
AH 504
118
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Extended-term leases, business property leased for a term of more than six months or for an
extended (even though unspecified) period, must be valued as if in the hands of the lessee, after
all costs of production, including marketing costs, profit, sales tax, freight, and installation costs
have been added. The lessee is considered the consumer of the property, and the property is
therefore valued at the consumer trade level. In the example, the lessee may record a $1 buy-out
cost on his or her books. The actual value for assessment purposes should be based on the total
acquisition cost at the inception of the lease (if the cost approach is utilized) or the present value
of the lease payments made during the lease (if the income approach is utilized).
9
True Leases
10
11
12
13
14
True leases, whether short-term or extended-term as defined earlier, are agreements under which
an owner gives up possession and use of his/her property for valuable consideration and for a
definite term and at the end of the term, the owner has the absolute right to retake, control, or
convey the property. It is an agreement under which there is no intention of transferring
ownership. At termination of the lease, the property will be returned to the lessor.
15
Conditional Sales Contracts or Financing Leases
16
17
18
19
20
Conditional sales contracts or financing leases (agreements) are purchases rather than true
leases. They can be short-term or extended-term agreements whereby the seller (vendor) accepts
periodic payments for the purchase price while retaining title to the property for security
purposes. Possession of the property transfers to the buyer (vendee) without full legal title until
payment of the purchase price or a predetermined date occurs. 216
21
22
23
These contracts provide possession, use and control to the buyer. The buyer or lessee is the
beneficial owner of the property, and therefore becomes the assessee, regardless of whether or
not they he or she holds title.
24
Differentiating Between a True Lease and a Conditional Sales Contract
25
26
27
28
29
It is often difficult to distinguish between a true lease and a conditional sales contract, and no
precise formula has been devised for separating the two types of contractual arrangements. 217 An
agreement identifying itself as a lease may, in actuality, be a conditional sales contract and viceversa. Proper distinction is of prime importance because assessability, exempt status, appropriate
assessee, and value depend on this distinction.
30
31
32
33
34
35
According to the Uniform Commercial Code, in determining whether an instrument is a lease or
a sales contract, the contract form is not as important as the intent of the parties. Following are
some issues related to the lease contract that will help determine the intent of the parties of the
contract. In any contract, some of the issues may be indicative of a true lease while others may
be indicative of a conditional sales contract. The intent of the parties should be determined by the
express terms of the contract. Some terms such as liability for insurance, taxes, and other
216
217
Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, (2d.ed.) "Specific Real Estate Contracts", section §2:42.
61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 472 (1978).
AH 504
119
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
expenses may not establish ownership. These terms are, therefore, not considered in the table
below.
Issue
Lease
Period
Rent
Ownership
Terms

TABLE 6B
ISSUES TO REVIEW WHEN VERIFYING LEASE TYPE
(TRUE LEASE V. CONDITIONAL SALES CONTRACT)
True
Lease
Lease period is approximately the same as the anticipated
life of the property.

Lease is for a fixed period with a nominal option payment
(i.e., $1) required to transfer title.

Lease is cancelable on a monthly or annual basis.
X

Optional purchase clause is at market value.
X

Present value of contractual rental payments is equal to or
greater than the current purchase price.

Present value of contractual rental
considerably less than the purchase price.

The contract contains specific provisions retaining
ownership with the lessor.

The contract transfers all ownership responsibility, with
the exception of title, to the lessee.
Accounting 
Treatment
by Lessor 
or Lessee
(FASB 13)

payments
is
Lessor is treating the property as a depreciating asset.
Conditional Sale
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Lessor is treating the property as a note, contract, or
account receivable.
X
Lessee is treating the property as a depreciating asset
X
3
4
5
6
7
As mentioned earlier, like any factual determination, analysis of any one item cannot determine
lease type. All evidence must be weighed. Reliance on any one factor may lead an appraiser to
the wrong conclusion. For instance, treatment (by either the lessor or the lessee) for financial
accounting purposes can be misleading.
8
9
10
11
Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 13 (FASB 13)
Accounting for leases can be a controversial area of financial accounting. Many lessees structure
their lease agreements to avoid capitalization for financial accounting purposes or to improve
their financial position. The Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 13 (FASB 13) was
AH 504
120
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
developed to govern accounting for leases. This standard, FASB 13, provides lessees and lessors
with established criteria for classifying leases and also requires reporting and disclosure of leases
on financial statements based on the classification made by the lessor and/or the lessee. Thus,
when an audit is conducted, or taxpayer's records are reviewed, leased equipment can be
identified. The nature of the leasing arrangement and activities must be disclosed regardless of
the lease type.
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Recognition of these requirements for classifying and reporting leases for financial accounting
purposes under FASB 13 is useful in that a substantial amount of information about the property
may be discerned. However, such information does not necessarily determine property tax
classification, assessability, or value. Accounting records alone are not conclusive, although they
may greatly assist the auditor-appraiser in gathering and evaluating all the facts. A lease, for
example, does not necessarily need to be capitalized for it to be assessed to the lessee.
Possession, claim, or control in itself may determine the assessee (section 405(a)).
14
Valuation of Leased Equipment
15
16
17
18
When valuing leased equipment, all three approaches to value should be considered: the
replacement or reproduction cost approach, the comparative sales approach, and the income
approach. Each approach, when appropriate, should be applied as discussed in Chapter 4 of this
section.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Regardless of which approach(es) is used, leased property must be valued at the proper trade
level. The proper trade level depends on the term of the lease. Under extended-term leases (more
than six months), the lessee is considered to be the consumer of the equipment and thus is
assessable at that level, the consumer trade level. The appraiser should determine the selling
price new of the equipment to consumers, plus sales tax and delivery and installation costs; then
adjust for depreciation. In short-term leases or rentals (six months or less), the lessor is
considered to be the consumer of the equipment, and the value is determined at the lessor's trade
level.
27
SUPPLIES
28
29
Supplies are classified as personal property. 218 The historical cost of supplies on hand as of the
lien date is reportable by the assessee on the Business Property Statement.
30
31
32
33
34
35
Normally, the value of supplies can be based on cost information and/or physical examination of
supplies on hand. The cost approach is an appropriate approach to value because of the relatively
short economic life of the property. Current purchase price often reflects value. In some cases it
is necessary to adjust the purchase price or recorded cost to include supplies not included in the
assessee's books, to adjust for trade level or discounts, or to reflect general price level changes.
These adjustments usually are addressed primarily as a result of an audit. 219
218
219
See discussion of supplies in Chapter 2 for determination of items included in assessable supplies.
See discussion of auditing for assessment purposes in Chapter 8.
AH 504
121
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
It is important, when utilizing the cost approach and the assessee's accounting records, to ensure
that inventory is not misclassified or reported as supplies. Supplies should not be confused with
inventory. Supplies are items used in the ordinary course of business but not incorporated into
the product sold or held for lease. Inventory, on the other hand, are products held for sale or
lease, which include items incorporated into the product or transferred with the product when
sold. An in-depth discussion of this topic is included in Chapter 2, Classification, of this section.
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
The cost and value of assessable supplies may be estimated by the percentage of annual
purchases method. This method summarizes total yearly supplies purchased, and estimates the
supplies turnover rate based on frequency and quantities of supplies purchased during the year.
Total annual supplies purchased divided by this supplies turnover rate (Total Annual Supplies /
Turnover Rate = Estimated Supplies on Hand) generally results in a reasonable estimate of the
value of the supplies on the lien date. The reasonableness of this estimate can often be verified
during the physical inspection of the business when an audit is conducted. Caution should be
used if supplies are seasonal when using the percentage of annual purchases method.
15
CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Construction in progress (CIP) is also an item required to be reported on the Business Property
Statement. CIP is assessable at full cash value on the lien date. 220 The income and sales
comparison approaches are of limited use because property under construction is typically not
producing any income, and it is difficult to find comparable sales of partially completed projects.
For this reason, the cost approach is nearly always used to value this type of property. Costs
incurred as of the lien date represent total costs, including preliminary direct and indirect costs
such as planning and engineering charges. These costs may or may not represent actual market
value on the lien date. Ultimately, the value should be based on what the property in its partiallyconstructed condition would bring in the market place involving a willing buyer and seller. The
seller would attempt to recover all costs if the equipment under construction was sold in a
partially constructed state.
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
The instructions on the Business Property Statement request an attachment of an itemized listing
of costs for construction in progress for improvements to land, machinery, equipment, furniture,
buildings or other improvements, or leasehold improvements. Reported CIP may include both
real property and personal property items that may be hard to distinguish depending on the stage
of completion. Reported costs may also include direct and indirect costs that were discussed
earlier in Chapter 4, Valuation of Personal Property, which may or may not influence value.
Review of the costs included in CIP is important to determine assessability, classification, and
contribution to value. Coordination between the real property appraiser and the auditor-appraiser
is equally important to correctly classify building and leasehold improvements, and to avoid
duplicate and escaped assessments (see Chapter 5 for more information on this topic).
220
Construction in progress regarding personal property is assessable only when actual construction has begun by
the lien date. If actual construction has not yet begun, any costs incurred (i.e., engineering fees) are exempt from
taxation for the entire year.
AH 504
122
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
COMPUTER AND RELATED EQUIPMENT
2
3
4
5
Non-production computers and related equipment must be reported separately from other types
of personal property on the Business Property Statements. Effective January 1, 2010, the Board
adopted a valuation table and classification guidelines pertaining to the assessment of nonproduction computers.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
This equipment includes non-production computers (excluding computer-operated machinery
and equipment), monitors, printers, scanners, disk drives, and cables. These items have relatively
short-lives, and are influenced by rapidly changing technology and user needs. Non-production
computers consist of: (1) general purpose computers; (2) general purpose computer peripherals;
and (3) local area network (LAN) devices. General purpose computers contain a central
processing unit and memory (be it volatile, fixed, on chips, on a disk, or a diskette), and run a
stored program (software). General purpose computers can be programmed to do different kinds
of tasks, rather than special purpose computers that are limited by design to a specific task.
General purpose computers consist of mainframes, servers and microcomputers (desktops and
laptops). General purpose computer peripherals consist of the auxiliary equipment which is
designed to be placed under the control of a general purpose computer. General purpose
computer peripherals include equipment such as monitors, keyboards, mouses, docking stations,
printers, scanners, disk drives, tape drives, modems, wireless cards and web cameras. LAN
devices are used to connect two or more general purpose computers, to store data and to facilitate
data traffic in a network. LANs are usually contained in a single building (but equipment which
is part of a LAN is not excluded merely because it is also part of a wide area network). LAN
devices include equipment such as routers, computer network switches, hubs, virus protection
equipment, and storage devices. Non-production computers do not include telecommunication
equipment or lines (wire, fiber or other) used to connect LANs, computers embedded in
machinery, and equipment or computers specifically designed for use in any other application
directly related to manufacturing.
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
Production computers (computer operated machinery and equipment or computers embedded in
machinery) are not reported, considered, or valued with non-production computer equipment on
Schedule A, Column 5, Computers. They are valued as other types of machinery and equipment
specific to an industry, and are normally reported on Schedule A, Column 1, Machinery and
Equipment for Industry, Profession, or Trade. When computerized equipment is encountered, a
special study of the equipment and the industry it serves may be required to determine the
appropriate valuation method.
34
General Valuation
35
36
37
38
39
40
Valuation of non-production computers and related equipment has become increasingly difficult,
yet important, due to rapid changes in technology and changing needs of users. Because of
typically shorter lives, rapid depreciation, and little salvage value in many circumstances, the
Board has provided three separate valuation tables to aid the appraiser using the cost approach to
value. These tables segregate computers by original cost, and apply different factors based on
past value trends. As with most equipment, these factors are not appropriate for all computers. In
AH 504
123
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
some cases, other approaches to value will be more appropriate. Sound appraisal judgment is
necessary to determine the appropriateness of applying the factors to specific computers and
estimating the accuracy of the resulting value.
4
Storage Media for Computer Programs
5
6
7
8
9
Section 995 provides that storage media for computer programs are to be valued as if there were
no computer programs on such media except basic operational programs. Otherwise, computer
programs shall not be valued for purposes of property taxation. Section 995.2 defines the terms
"basic operational program" and "processing program." Rule 152 explains how to properly
determine the classification of computer software. 221
10
Basic Operatingional Programs
11
12
Basic operational programs are those programs that are "fundamental and necessary to the
functioning of a computer." 222 They are, according to section 995.2:
13
14
15
. . . that part of an operating system including supervisors, monitors, executives
and control or master programs that consist of the control program elements of
that system.
16
17
18
19
20
21
A basic operational program is a control program, as defined in section 995.2, that which is
included in the sale or lease price of the computer equipment. The assessable value of storage
media containing basic operational programs includes the value of the storage media and the
value of the program embedded on it. The basic operational programs in personal computers and
mainframe computers are the basic input output system (BIOS) and licensed internal code (LIC
or microcode).
22
23
24
25
26
Often, computer equipment is purchased or leased at a single price. When the price is not
segregated, or not able to be segregated, between taxable and nontaxable property and programs,
the total purchase price may be used as an indicator of taxable value.223 Pursuant to Rule 152(f),
when an assessee can identify and segregate the costs (and supply information to support such
separation) the value must be adjusted appropriately.
27
28
29
30
31
The assessee is determined by the ownership and control of the storage media. The value of
storage media is assessable to "the person owning, claiming, possessing, or controlling
storage media on the lien date." 224 Storage media shall not be assessed to the owner of
copyright of the computer program embodied or stored on the media unless the owner of
copyright also owns, claims, possesses, or controls the storage media on the lien date. If
the
the
the
the
the
221
This rule was amended in 1996 and subsequently challenged in court; however, the court found that the Board's
1996 amendment to Rule 152 properly clarified what constitutes a computer's basic operational program, as opposed
to other, separate programs, was a legitimate exercise of the Board's rulemaking authority, and was consistent with
the Legislature's intent to exempt basic computer programs from taxation. Hahn v. State Bd. of Equalization (1999)
73 Cal.App. 4th 985.
222
Section 995.2
223
Rule 152(e).
224
Section 405(a).
AH 504
124
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
licensee of a basic operational program owns the storage media on which a program is stored,
then the licensee is the assessee. If the storage media is leased, then the assessor has the option of
making the assessment to the owner (lessor), the lessee, or to both according to section 405(b).
4
Processing Programs
5
6
A processing program is a program used to develop and implement the specific applications that
the computer is to perform. It consists of:
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
. . . language translators, including but not limited to, assemblers and compilers;
service programs, including, but not limited to, data set utilities, sort/merge
utilities, and emulators; data management systems, also known as generalized
file-processing software, and application programs including but not limited to
payroll, inventory control and production control. Also excluded from the term
"basic operational program" are programs or parts of programs developed for or
by a user if they were developed solely for the solution of an individual
operational problem of the user. . . . 225
15
16
17
Its operation is possible only through the facilities provided by the basic operational program (or
control program). By itself, however, a processing program is not fundamental and necessary to
the functioning of a computer.
18
19
20
Only the storage media for processing programs are assessable and they are valued as if there
were no computer programs on them. This value is assessable to "the persons owning, claiming,
possessing, or controlling it on the lien date." 226
21
BIOPHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY EQUIPMENT AND FIXTURES
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Effective January 1, 2009, the Board adopted a valuation table and classification guidelines
pertaining to the assessment of specific property owned and/or used by the biopharmaceutical
industry. The valuation table and classification guidelines can be found in AH 581, Table 9.
"Biopharmaceutical Industry Equipment and Fixtures" consist of equipment and fixtures utilized
in connection with, or in support of, research and/or manufacturing activities that use organisms,
or materials derived from organisms, their cellular, subcellular, or molecular components, to
discover and/or provide products for human or animal therapeutics, diagnostics, and/or vaccines.
For mass appraisal purposes, these factors contained in the table are intended to be applied
directly to the historical costs of property for each category. 227
31
SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT AND FIXTURES
32
33
34
Effective January 1, 2009, the Board adopted a valuation table and classification guidelines
pertaining to the assessment of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and fixtures found in
AH 581. Similar to the nonproduction computer valuation factors and the biopharmaceutical
225
Section 995.2.
Section 405(a).
227
See AH 581 for classification guidelines.
226
AH 504
125
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
industry equipment and fixtures valuation factors, the semiconductor manufacturing equipment
and fixture valuation factors are intended to be applied directly to historical costs. One The factor
is applied to the acquisition cost to determine the replacement cost new less normal depreciation.
Semiconductor manufacturing equipment consists of (1) manufacturing equipment used in a
clean room for the fabrication of semiconductor chips; (2) test equipment used in the
manufacturing and research and development environment and to test semiconductor
manufacturing equipment; and (3) fixtures in place to support a semiconductor fabrication
facility. This definition is not limited by the size of a semiconductor facility or the technology of
the chips produced. 228
10
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
11
IDLE, UNUSED, OR OBSOLETE EQUIPMENT
12
13
14
15
Idle, unused, or obsolete equipment has value, even if only salvage or scrap value. 229 Therefore,
the auditor-appraiser must estimate value and assess this type of equipment. Idle, unused, or
obsolete equipment may need to be valued separately from in-use, active equipment of a similar
type.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
First, an auditor-appraiser must consider all the reasons why equipment is idle on the lien date.
This may or may not influence value for assessment purposes. For example, consider a printing
press no longer in use because it was replaced by a newer model. The old press is stored in the
office break room because there is no other place to put it until sold, donated, or otherwise
disposed of. The older model has value although not in productive use and the value can be
computed in the same manner as a similar piece of equipment that is in productive use. On the
other hand, consider a second example of a printing press no longer in use because it needs
repair. Assume the part needed to repair the press is no longer manufactured; there is no way to
repair the part or the printing press; and it would not interface with modern equipment in use if it
were repaired. This printing press has value, but the value may only be the salvage value of the
property, or the value of the tangible materials since the printing press in essence is unusable or
obsolete. As illustrated here, to value idle, unused, or obsolete equipment, an appraiser must
determine the reason(s) for non-use. It influences value and the resulting assessment.
29
EQUIPMENT PURCHASED USED
30
31
32
33
34
35
Valuation of equipment purchased used is peculiar in that the equipment index and percent good
factors, normally utilized by the assessor in mass appraisal, may or may not produce results
reflective of market value. This may be due to differences between total economic life and
remaining economic life, and between historical cost (cost to the original owner) and acquisition
cost (cost to current owner). The equipment index factors provided by the Board (in AH 581)
include separate tables for new and used agricultural and construction equipment, but does not
228
See AH 581 for classification guidelines.
This discussion could also be applied to the valuation of equipment that is abandoned in place, and back up
equipment.
229
AH 504
126
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
include separate tables (new and used) for other types of equipment. An appraiser should take
care to determine how the results of applying factors, both trending and estimation of
depreciation, relate to the actual market value of equipment purchased used. If the results are not
indicative of market value, another method of estimating depreciation, as discussed in Chapter 4,
or another valuation approach should be utilized.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Another method of estimating cost and implementing the equipment index factors and percent
good factors, used infrequently but one which may have validity in certain situations, is reverse
trending. Where application of table factors does not accurately represent market value, index
factors can be applied (to acquisition cost) in a reverse sense in order to estimate the historical
cost (cost to the original owner). Then, the appraiser can apply traditional methodology to
estimate value. In order to utilize this approach, an auditor-appraiser should be assured that the
results are indicative of market value on the lien date.
13
14
15
16
17
Reverse trending is a method of recognizing, and removing from the final valuation conclusion,
assets that are still recorded on the assessee's books, but no longer exist, and have been replaced.
This method is particularly useful for hotel/motel or retail businesses, where periodic
refurbishing occurs, but layers of prior costs are still recorded on the books of the property
owner.
18
Steps in the Reverse Trending Process
19
20
21
1. Verify that in fact the books and records, and reported costs, appear to lack periodic updating
for disposed assets. Such an inference can be drawn when the original reported costs for each
initial acquisition year indicate little or no change from lien date to lien date.
22
23
2. Verify that costs of new replacements have actually been reported. Assessees do not always
report replacement costs.
24
25
26
3. Determine year original asset(s) acquired. If original acquisition year unknown, remove the
estimated original cost from the earliest year, and then the next earliest year, etc., until all of
the cost is deleted.
27
4. Find appropriate price index factor(s) for the original asset's acquisition years.
28
5. Divide the new replacement cost(s) by the price index factor(s) determined in step 4.
29
30
6. Subtract the cost(s) determined in step 5 from the total cost(s) reported for the original assets'
acquisition years.
AH 504
127
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
EXAMPLE 6.1
REVERSE TRENDING
An assessee owns a machine shop and the start-up costs in 1987 1992 for all equipment was $535,981.
Over the years the assessee has consistently reported $535,981 as 1987 1992 acquisition costs.
The original acquisition in 1987 1992 included the cost of a Bridgeport Mill, but the assessee does not
know how much it cost in 1987 1992, and does not have any other records to substantiate its cost. In 2008
2001 the assessee replaced the old Bridgeport Mill with a new one that cost $81,763, including sales tax,
freight, and installation.
For mass appraisal purposes, Uuse the following method to estimate the original cost to be deducted from
the total recorded 1987 acquisition costs:

From the AH 581, Equipment Index and Percent Good Factors, January 2009 2002, Industrial
Machinery and Equipment Table, the 1987 1992 price index factor is 137 134.

Divide the new replacement cost, $81,763 by 1.37 1.34; the result is an estimated base cost for a
Bridgeport Mill in 1987 1992 of $61,017 $ 59,681.

Subtract $61,017 $ 59,681 from the reported 1987 1992 acquisition costs of $535,981.
EXAMPLE 6.2
REVERSE TRENDING

A hotel owner expended $3,203,102 in 2001 2008 for the refurbishment of 150 rooms in a 500-room
complex.

Although some costs have been deleted from the records over time, the property owner has not
deducted any original costs relative to the 150 refurbished rooms.
To estimate the cost adjustment, index the earliest historical costs, and begin deleting costs, until an
amount equivalent to the current dollar expenditure is removed. (The commercial equipment index factors
are taken from AH 581, January 2009 2002.)
Begin with the audited fixed asset machinery and equipment costs (column titled F/A Cost), and adjust
the indexed 2009 2002 lien date assessable historical costs as shown on the following table.
2
AH 504
128
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
EXAMPLE 6.2 (CONTINUED)
REVERSE TRENDING
Year
2001
2008
2000
2007
1999
2006
1998
2005
1997
2004
1996
2003
1995
2002
1994
2001
1993
2000
1992
1999
1991
1998
1990
1997
F/A Cost
$ 3,203,102
Total
$22,009,216
Index
Factor
Restated in
2002 2009 $s
Cost to
Remove
Full Economic
Cost
$ 3,203,102
123,784
123,784
56,223
56,223
72,358
72,358
1,225,488
1,225,488
2,789,321
2,789,321
698,354
698,354
3,579,684
3,579,684
7,899,642
467,892
1,325,879
567,489
114
129
116
131
118
131
120
132
$ 9,005,592
$10,190,538
542,755
612,939
1,564,537
1,736,901
680,987
749,085
*2002$s 9,005,592 – 414,823 = 8,590,769
8,590,769/1.14 = 7,535,762
*Year 2000: $10,190,538 – 104,177 = $10,086,361
$ 414,823
$104,177
542,755
612,939
1,564,537
1,736,901
680,987
749,085
*7,535,762
*7,818,884
$ 3,203,102
$ 19,233,133
1993$s
$10,086,361 / 1.29 = *7,818,884
2
3
VEHICLES
4
5
6
7
8
9
Vehicles subject to license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for on road use are not
subject to property tax assessment. The license fee imposed is in lieu of all property taxes levied
for State and local purposes. However, vehicles exempt from DMV registration and license fee
are subject to assessment by the assessor. Theyse vehicles are considered "implements of
husbandry" or "special vehicles" and are specifically exempted from DMV registration under
Vehicle Code Sections 4000-40203.
AH 504
129
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
"Implements of husbandry" include, but are not limited to, any tool, machine, equipment,
appliance, device or apparatus used in the conduct of agricultural operations, except where such
implements are intended for sale in the ordinary course of business, and any additional items
defined by the Vehicle Code. 230 "Special vehicles" include steel-wheeled, track-laying, and
rubber-tired equipment, and other vehicles which that are not subject to the license fees by DMV
and are subject to assessment pursuant to section 994. 231 Also exempt from registration is special
equipment, "special construction equipment" and "special mobile equipment.", as defined by the
Vehicle Code. Section 565 of the Vehicle Code, states:
"Special construction equipment" is:
9
10
11
12
13
(a) Any vehicle used primarily off the highways for construction purposes and
which moves only occasionally over the highways and which because of the
length, height, width, or unladen weight may not move over the public highways
unladen without the permit specified in Section 35780.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
(b) Any vehicle which is designed and used primarily either for grading of
highways, paving of highways, earth moving, and other construction work on
highways, or for construction or maintenance work on railroad rights-of-way, and
which is not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or
property and which is only incidentally operated or moved over the highway. It
includes, but is not limited to, road and railroad construction and maintenance
machinery so designed and used such as portable air compressors, air drills,
asphalt spreaders, bituminous mixers, bucket loaders, tracktype tractors, crawler
tractors, ditchers, leveling graders, finishing machines, motor graders, paving
mixers, road rollers, scarifiers, earth moving scrapers and carryalls, lighting
plants, welders, pumps, water wagons, power shovels and draglines, speed
swings, skip loaders, weed mowers, self-propelled and tractor-drawn earth
moving equipment and machinery, including dump trucks and tractor-dump trailer
combinations which either (1) are in excess of 96 inches in width or (2) which,
because of their length, height or unladen weight, may not be moved on a public
highway without the permit specified in Section 35780 of this [Vehicle] code and
which are not operated laden except within the boundaries of the job construction
site, and other similar types of construction equipment. 232
230
Section 411.
Section 994.
232
"Special construction equipment" does not include a vehicle originally designed for the transportation of persons
or property to which machinery has been attached (unless specifically designated in section 565 of the Vehicle
Code) or dump trucks originally designed to comply with the size and weight provisions of the Vehicle Code.
(Section 570 of the Vehicle Code.)
231
AH 504
130
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
"Special mobile equipment" is defined as "a vehicle, not self-propelled, not designed or used
primarily for the transportation of persons or property, and only incidentally operated or moved
over a highway, excepting implements of husbandry." 233
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
All of these are subject to assessment by the assessor because they are exempt from license fees
by DMV, except by one-trip or special permit. Although identification plates may be found on
these vehicles, they are not evidence that the vehicle is registered and the DMV license fee paid.
Vehicles bearing these identification plates are exempt from registration and should be
assessed. 234 The value should be determined using the same standards and guides used to value
other types of personal property according to section 413. However, in some cases, the assessee
of such property may be allowed to deduct from the amount of property tax any fee paid on such
vehicle (i.e., temporary licenses or special permits including a fee for property tax). 235 For
example, if a permit costing $20 (paid for prior to the lien date for the calendar year in which the
lien date occurs) included $5 for a registration or service fee and $15 for an in-lieu property tax,
it may be appropriate for the total property tax dollar amount as determined by the tax collector
(based on the assessor's estimated value) to be reduced by the amount of the in-lieu property tax
paid ($15).
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Certain other vehicles used for non-business personal use may be subject to property tax. Such
items as tractors, backhoes, forklifts, golf carts, even riding lawnmowers, do not qualify for
exemption under section 224 because that section specifically excludes vehicles from the
definition of personal effects, household furnishings, and pets. These types of unlicensed
vehicles are subject to property taxation, although they are often of such a low value and that
they may be exempted under a county's low value ordinance exempting low valued personal
property. 236 Other types of vehicles , however, that must be registered with DMV the
Department of Motor Vehicles (such as snowmobiles, dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, off-road
motorcycles) and are exempted by Vehicle Code section 38230 from property taxation. 237
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Under section 10751, vehicles subject to registration under the Vehicle Code pay the a vehicle
license fee in lieu of property taxes. New equipment permanently mounted on such vehicles must
be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the value of the equipment added to the
license fee base of the vehicle. This code section precludes the imposition of local property
taxation of these types of vehicles. Note that such This equipment is not assessable regardless of
whether it is actually registered with DMV. Other types of property, sometimes used in the
ordinary course of business, that may be required to be registered by DMV include truck
mounted equipment and relocatable offices. Equipment that is permanently attached to a licensed
vehicle is not subject to local property taxation because it is considered part of the vehicle. When
this equipment is attached to the vehicle the assessee is required to notify DMV so that the value
233
Section 575 of the Vehicle Code.
Identification plates are obtained from DMV for a minimal fee, similar to the fee paid to register a vessel with a
CF number.
235
Section 994(b).
236
See Revenue and Taxation Code Section 155.20.
237
Vehicle code section 38230.
234
AH 504
131
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
of the vehicle can be adjusted. (However, it is not assessable regardless of whether it is actually
registered with DMV.)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Similarly owners of relocatable offices, usually utilized by construction companies, may register
the trailer with DMV. 238 These trailers are classified as commercial coaches by DMV, and the
license can be verified with the yearly DMV (or HCD, the Department of Housing and
Community Development) registration. Since the assessee pays an annual "in-lieu fee" for these
trailers to DMV, they are not subject to local property taxation. Commercial trailers may also be
exempt from property taxation if issued permanent identification plates in California under
Vehicle Code section 5014.1, or licensed as a foreign commercial vehicle to a nonresident owner
pursuant to section 6852 of that the Vehicle cCode.
11
EXPENSED EQUIPMENT
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Equipment expensed by an assessee for accounting purposes is assessable personal property as is
any personal property used in the ordinary course of business. Expensed equipment may include
any type of equipment from small hand tools such as a screwdriver to large machinery. Expensed
equipment should be reported on the property statement yearly until disposed, but may go
unreported. In the course of an audit, an auditor-appraiser should investigate to determine
reporting, classification, and assessment of these items. When discovered, all valuation and
assessment procedures are the same as those used for similar types of property.
19
CONTAINERS
20
21
22
23
24
25
Compressed gas cylinders, beer barrels, and steel drums are examples of types of containers that
are typically returned for refill and reuse. 239 A deposit may be required, but there is generally no
intention by the buyer to sell the containers but only the product contained within that container.
The value of such items is most often determined using the cost approach (cost less
depreciation). In some cases, a trade level adjustment may be appropriate. However, the value
shall not be less than the deposit or similar charge paid by the buyer. 240
26
LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS TANKS
27
28
29
30
31
To promote assessment uniformity of liquefied petroleum gas tanks (commonly referred to as
propane tanks), Rule 153 was adopted regulating the assessment and valuation of liquefied
petroleum gas tanks. Rule 153 defines liquefied petroleum gas tanks (LPG tanks), includes
guidelines to determine if the property is leased or rented, identifies the ultimate consumer of the
tanks, and describes valuation procedures. An LPG tank is defined as:
238
The relocatable office may be registered with either DMV, or HCD (Department of Housing and Community
Development), in which it is not assessable, or it may be assessable by the assessor similar to mobile homes. See
Vehicle Code section 4010 and Mobilease Corp v. County of Orange (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 461, where the court
held that relocatable office trailers leased to various companies and registered with DMV were not subject to
property tax.
239
See Chapter 2 for discussion of situs of containers.
240
Section 996.
AH 504
132
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
…a tank used as a means of storage, delivery, or transfer of liquefied petroleum
gas products. The term also includes related equipment, apparatus, gauges and
meters, attached to or installed on the tank. 241
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
The LPG tank defined is shall be considered leased or rented "if the purchaser of the liquefied
petroleum gas is required to pay: (1) sales or use tax measured by the purchase price or a
separately stated lease or rental price of tank, or (2) installation fees or charges, maintenance fees
or charges, rent, or any other separately stated periodic charge on the LPG tank." 242 The
ultimate consumer of the tank is determined based on the length of the lease 243 or, if not leased
or rented, the ultimate consumer of the property is considered to be the owner of the tank. Once
the ultimate consumer is defined, the assessor can value the tank accordingly.
11
OAK BARRELS
12
13
14
Oak barrels are often used in the manufacturing of wine or brandy. This property may be
assessable; however, in many cases oak barrels qualify as business inventory. Rule 133(a)(2)(B)
states, in part, that "business inventories" include:
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
New and used oak barrels used in the manufacturing process that physically
incorporate the flavor- and aroma-enhancing chemical compounds of the oak into
wine or brandy to be sold, when used for this purpose. However, an oak barrel is
no longer business inventory once it loses the ability to impart the chemical
compounds that enhance the flavor and aroma of the wine or brandy. An "oak
barrel" used in the manufacturing process is defined as having a capacity of 212
gallons or less. Oak barrels not used in the manufacturing process but held for
sale in the ordinary course of business are also considered business inventory.
23
24
When oak barrels qualify as business inventory as indicated by Rule 133, the property is exempt
from taxation.
25
ANIMALS AND MIGRATORY LIVESTOCK
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
Animals and migration livestock, where classified as personal property and not exempt as
business inventory, pets, or otherwise, are assessable at full cash value on the lien date in the
county where they have established situs. Taxable animals include those used in riding stables,
pack station operations, or rodeos, stallions or broodmares held for breeding, and registered or
show horses even when located on premises which belong to a person other than the property
owner. Animals involved in the production of food and fiber, such as dairy cattle and bulls, beef
cattle and bulls, draft animals, swine, sheep, and poultry, and animals held for sale or lease on
the lien date are exempt from taxation as business inventory.
241
Rule 153(a).
Rule 153(ab).
243
A lessee or renter is the ultimate consumer of the tank if the property is leased or rented for an extended period
over six months (Rule 153(c) (1). The owner of the LPG tank is the ultimate consumer of the tank if the property is
leased or rented for six months or less (Rule 153(c)(2)).
242
AH 504
133
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Determining location, or situs, of animals and migratory livestock may be difficult due to the
constant movement of the "property." It This type of property often moves from city to city,
county to county, or even state to state. The rules of situs apply. In the case of livestock, location
may include more than one county; livestock may graze on land that is on the county line, or the
livestock may be physically moved from field to field between counties. 244 Where this occurs in
significant proportions, section 990 allows for proration by the assessors' concerned. Section 990
states:
8
9
10
11
Where migratory livestock are ranged in two or more counties during the year, the
assessors of the counties interested may meet and prorate the number of stock to
be assessed in each county, taking into consideration the time such stock ranged
in each county.
12
13
14
15
Racehorses are also taxable as personal property. However, valuation is not required. Unlike
other types of property, the owner computes and reports the tax due based on section 5722. The
statement is then filed directly with the tax collector.245 See Chapter 7, Property Statements, for
more information on the assessment of racehorses.
16
SPECIAL VALUE ALLOWANCES
17
Works of Art
18
19
20
21
The value of a work of art still owned by the artist who created it that has never been sold nor
exhibited for profit, for assessment purposes, is the "full value of the materials which constitute
the work of art." 246 Works of art, antiques, and other decorations used in conjunction with a
business and not otherwise exempt, should be assessed at their full cash value.
22
Motion Pictures 247
23
24
25
The value of motion pictures (including the negatives, prints, and videocassettes), for property
tax assessment purposes, is "the full value of only the tangible materials upon which such motion
pictures are recorded." 248 Section 988(a) states, in part, that:
26
27
28
. . . Such full value does not include the value of, or any value based upon, any
intangible rights, such as the copyright or the right to reproduce, copy, exhibit or
otherwise exploit motion pictures or the negatives or prints thereof.
29
Business Records
244
For other types of animals, situs should be determined based on the situs rules discussed in Chapter 3, Situs.
The assessor, however, must mail Board prescribed forms to owners of racehorses although the assessees file the
statements with the tax collector (Rule 1045(a)(2)). The assessor must also audit the records of any racehorse owner
who had a gross tax liability that exceeds $2,000 for each of four consecutive years pursuant to Rule 1045(a)(3).
246
Section 986.
247
For a case discussing the Assessment of motion picture negatives, see Michael Todd Co. v. County of Los
Angeles (1962) 57 Cal.2d 684.
248
Rule 153(a).Section 988(a).
245
AH 504
134
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4
5
6
The assessment of business records (records of persons engaged in a business or profession) is
governed by section 997. The value of this property, for assessment purposes, is "the cash value
only of the tangible material upon which, or in which, such records are recorded, maintained, or
stored" 249 (section 997(a)). Similar to motion pictures, the value must be "determined without
inclusion of or consideration of the intangible value of the information or data so recorded,
maintained or stored, nor the intangible right to utilize such information or data." 250
7
ONE-WAY PAGING COMPANIES
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
For the 1996 lien date and thereafter, one-way paging service companies utilizing facilities that
are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are assessable by the county
assessors. This is due to deregulation of the industry that prompted amendment to section 234 of
the Public Utilities Code. 251 Previous to 1996 and this deregulation, these companies were
assessed by the State Board of Equalization. Assessors now have jurisdiction over the one-way
paging companies; while the Board continues to have assessment jurisdiction over the radio
telephone companies regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). 252
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Most often, equipment owned by these companies is valued using the cost approach
(Reproduction Cost New Less Depreciation – RCNLD). It is important to have a general
knowledge of the equipment to be valued in order to apply appropriate equipment index and
percent good factors. Following is a listing of equipment normally applicable and assessable to
one-way paging companies. This equipment should be reported on the Business Property
Statement when applicable, to the county, and should be looked for when conducting audits of
these types of accounts.
22
23
Control and Message Center Equipment
 Radio-telephone control consoles
24

Equipment and wiring
25
26

Interconnect equipment, and associated apparatus used in receiving, forwarding, and
terminating calls and messages and for other control purposes
27

Monitoring and measurement equipment installed for regular control purposes.
28
29
Fixed Station Equipment
 Transmitters
30

Receivers
31

Antennas
249
Rule 153(a).Section 997(a).
Rule 153(a).Section 997(a).
251
A telephone corporation (company) does not include any one-way paging service utilizing facilities that are
licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, including but not limited to, narrow-band personal
communications services described in Section 24.100, Part 24 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations in
effect on June 13, 1995.
252
The Board's Valuation State-Assessed Properties Division maintains a list of state assessed companies.
250
AH 504
135
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1

Associated equipment and wiring used in base station and repeater operations
2

Microwave facilities
3

Other equipment used for control of base station operations
4
5
Mobile Equipment for One-Way Radio Service, Signaling, or Paging
 Receivers
6

Decoders
7

Mobile antennas
8
9

Associated apparatus that is mounted in vehicles or is hand portable (Note: mobile units
in stock may be subject to the business inventory exemption.)
10
11
Shop and Test Equipment 253
 Instruments
12

Tools
13
14

Other equipment located in offices, shops, or vehicles and used in testing, maintaining,
and constructing a radio-telephone plant.
15
BIOPHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY EQUIPMENT AND FIXTURES
16
17
18
Effective January 1, 1999, the Board adopted guidelines pertaining to the assessment of specific
property owned and/or used by the biopharmaceutical industry. 254 The biopharmaceutical
industry is defined as:
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
Firms engaged in research and/or manufacturing activities that use organisms, or
materials derived from organisms, and their cellular subcellular and molecular
components to discover and/or provide products for human or animal therapeutics
and diagnostics. Biopharmaceutical activities make use of living organisms to
develop and/or produce commercial products, as opposed to conventional
pharmaceutical activities, that make use of chemical compounds to develop
and/or produce commercial products. Firms engaging in agriculture, animal
husbandry, and pharmaceutical delivery in the area of research and/or
manufacturing are specifically excluded.
28
29
30
31
32
The guidelines adopted by the Board include direction regarding reporting of equipment and
fixtures on property statements (i.e., Form 571-L), a sample listing of equipment covered by the
guidelines, and a suggested valuation table for use in mass appraisals of reported equipment.
When appraising property owned and/or used by a biopharmaceutical company, reference to
LTA 99/54 for specific information is helpful.
253
Note that in many cases, paging companies charge small tools and instruments or other equipment costing $50 or
less directly to operating expense at the time of purchase.
254
LTA 99/54.
AH 504
136
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
POSSESSORY INTERESTS
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
As discussed earlier regarding leases with governmental entities, except for property not exempt
pursuant to section 201.5 (California Pollution Control Financing Authority), the Legislature has
not defined "taxable possessory interest" as applicable to personal property. 255 With the
exception of the air pollution control provision, there is no possessory interest in personal
property. Possessory interest is applicable to real property, including property that was formerly
personal property but is now classified as fixtures.256 The value of the taxable possessory interest
is based on the value of the right to possess or use publicly-owned real property.
9
10
11
12
When an auditor-appraiser encounters leased real property (structure items or fixtures) owned by
an exempt public entity, the real property division should be consulted to determine whether a
taxable possessory interest exists. The value of this interest is assessable to the lessee on the
same basis or percentage of value as other property under section 107.1.
13
PAWN SHOPS
14
15
16
Property in possession of a pawnbroker, for sale or held for sale by the pawnbroker, is not
assessable to him or her. 257 This is exempt inventory to him/her whether or not the property is
owned by him/her unless used in the ordinary course of business.
17
VALUATION OF AIRCRAFT AND VESSELS
18
19
20
21
Valuation of aircraft and vessels is unique. Unlike other personal property, this property is
normally valued using the comparative sales approach. Sales of similar types of property are
usually the best indicators of value. Valuation of both aircraft and vessels is discussed in-depth in
separate Assessors' Handbook sections.
22
BANKRUPTCY
23
Bankruptcy is a legal process under federal law with the most common provisions being:
24
25
26

Chapter 7 – A complete cessation of business and almost complete liquation of assets of
the petitioner to provide for the satisfaction of creditor claims. Certain assets may be
allowed exemption from liquidation.
27
28
29
30
31
32

Chapter 11 – Allows a reorganization of a business to promote and facilitate a
rehabilitation or restructuring of its finances in order to continue operations and avoid
liquidation. The filing of a Chapter 11 petition automatically institutes a stay of debt
collections and lien enforcement while a reorganization plan is negotiated with creditors
based on the future earning capacity of the business. The stay on the bankruptcy estate
are is terminated when the plan is confirmed by the court.
255
General Dynamics Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 59. Section 201.5
Section 107.
257
Section 989.
256
AH 504
137
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 6
1
2
3
4

Chapter 13 – Allows individual debtors the opportunity to develop a new repayment
program for financial obligations. Debtors receive protection from creditors' collections
while their debt adjustment plan is being developed. Once the plan is approved by the
court, the bankruptcy estate terminates and the plan is executed.
5
6
7
Each type of bankruptcy provides a measure of protection to the petitioner by prohibiting legal
action by creditors against the petitioner. In the case of petitions under both Chapter 11 and
Chapter 13, the petitioner usually retains possession and control of the assets.
8
ASSESSEE OF A BUSINESS IN BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
9
10
11
12
Although the filing of a petition for bankruptcy under Chapters 7, 11, or 13 creates a separate
and distinct estate, the estate of the bankrupt, the beneficial use of the bankrupt's assets is not
transferred upon the creation of the estate. Therefore, the assets do not undergo a reappraisable
change in ownership upon the creation of the estate.
13
14
15
16
17
Property in an estate should be enrolled, whether the assessment is a on the regular one roll or is
a result of an escape assessment, in the name of the estate or in the name of the beneficiary who
will receive the particular property. If the property has been distributed, the assessment, (regular
or escape), should be in the name of the beneficiary only since the executor's/administrator's
liability to pay taxes ceases once the estate is distributed.
18
19
20
Frequently, the State Board of Equalization discovers information concerning bankruptcy filings
in conjunction with the Policy, Planning, and Standards Division's Legal Entity Ownership
Program (LEOP). This information is forwarded to the county assessors upon discovery.
21
SPECIAL VALUATION ISSUES SURROUNDING BANKRUPT ENTITIES
22
23
24
25
26
Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, the federal bankruptcy court assumes jurisdiction, and can
determine the assessed value of property under certain circumstances. Since taxes take
precedence over some other claims, interested parties may seek to have the court reduce the
assessed value, thus affecting the related taxes that are due. In this manner, other unsecured
creditors will receive a larger share of the funds available.
27
28
29
30
31
Sales of assets from a bankruptcy estate should not necessarily be considered valid indicators of
market value under the definition of Revenue and Taxation Code section 110. The buyer of
property from a bankrupt's estate has the ability to take advantage of the exigencies of the seller.
Frequently, the trustee's desire to liquidate the assets in an abbreviated period of time further
impinges on the concept of "open market transaction."
32
33
34
A write-down of the assets after a discharge in bankruptcy to net book value, or some other
amount, should also be carefully reviewed. The newly recorded amounts may not represent
historical costs, or fair market value, as defined for property tax purposes.
AH 504
138
August 2010October 2002
1
This page intentionally left blank.
AH 504
139
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
CHAPTER 7: PROPERTY STATEMENTS
2
3
4
Property statements are declarations of assessable property signed under penalty of perjury. The
property statements filed by assessees are used by assessors to gather information and ultimately
determine the assessable value of property. 258
5
6
The property statement shall show all information as of 12:01 a.m. on the lien
date. 259
7
8
9
Except as otherwise specifically provided, all tax liens attach annually as of 12:01
a.m. on the first day of January preceding the fiscal year for which the taxes are
levied. 260
10
11
12
13
The statement shall show "all taxable property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled, or
managed by the person filing it and required to be reported thereon." 261 The property statement
shall also show the situs of the property, 262 and a description of the property in the detail
required. 263
14
15
In compliance with section 451, the information on a property statement filed by assessees is
confidential information. This section reads:
16
17
18
All information requested by the assessor or furnished in the property statement
shall be held secret by the assessor. The statement is not a public document and is
not open to inspection, except as provided in Section 408.
19
20
In general, property statements are similar from county to county. All property statements are
prescribed by the Board as set forth under Rule 171, which reads, in part:
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Except as specifically authorized by the board with respect to heading, name and
address of the taxpayer, location of the property, assessor's use columns, and the
like, the assessor shall not change, add to, or delete the specific wording of
property statement forms or mineral production report forms prescribed by the
board or change the sequence of the questions, but he the assessor may otherwise
arrange the content and alter the size and design of a property statement or
mineral production report form to meet the needs of his office procedures and
facilities.
258
There are several types of property statements based on type of property: business property, agricultural property,
apartments, vessels, aircraft, etc. Most of these property statements are prescribed by the Board. For state assessed
properties, property statements are governed by Part 2, Chapter 4, Article 5 commencing with section 826 through
834.
259
Section 448.
260
Section 2192.
261
Section 442.
262
Section 443.
263
Section 445.
AH 504
140
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Each year, the Board prescribes the property statements that are available for use by assessors for
the forthcoming assessment year. The assessor is required to notify the Board of the forms
(including exemption claim forms, which are also prescribed by the Board) that will be
reproduced using the Board's template, the forms that will not be used, and forms originated by
the Board that may have been rearranged by the assessor. Rearranged forms must be submitted to
the Board for approval. A checklist provided by the Board accompanies a copy of the forms and
instructions submitted to the Board by the assessor.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Assessors commonly develop their own forms to supplement the use of property statements.
Such forms or questionnaires may be used in lieu of property statements unless the assessee is
required by law to file a property statement. For example, section 441(a) requires that every
person who owns taxable personal property (other than a manufactured home) in the county that
costs $100,000 or more must file a property statement. For smaller accounts, the assessor may
require the person to file a property statement or may use a questionnaire instead. The key
difference between property statements (which must be prescribed by the Board) and
questionnaires (developed by the county assessor) is that the assessee is subject to a 10 percent
penalty for failure to file a property statement timely, 264 but the assessor cannot impose a penalty
for failure to respond to a questionnaire. The only exception is that in the case of general aircraft,
section 5365 provides that the assessor may ask the owner to file a statement (not Boardprescribed) setting forth the make, model, and year of manufacture of the aircraft, and section
5367 provides for a 10 percent penalty for failure to file the statement timely.
21
22
23
24
25
The assessor may request any person within his county to file a property statement. 265 It is,
however, much more efficient to request a statement only from those actually owning,
possessing, or controlling personal property. An assessor, therefore, should have a program to (1)
discover assessable personal property, (2) obtain declarations (or property statements) and (3)
process these statements once filed. This chapter will discuss each of these aspects.
26
DISCOVERING ASSESSABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
The business climate is ever changing with businesses opening, closing, transferring, and
changing locations constantly. (Other types of personal property, vessels and aircraft for
example, also exist in ever changing environments.) Therefore, the assessment roll regarding
personal property and fixtures must be continually updated. Developing a program for
discovering information regarding taxable personal property and fixtures, and for verifying new
and existing information, is the best assurance that the assessment roll is complete, accurate, and
valid.
34
35
Discovery methods may differ from county to county. These methods may involve procedures
tracking property transfers, city and county business permits, sales tax permits, business
264
265
Section 463.
Section 453.
AH 504
141
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
5
questionnaires, telephone and reverse telephone directories, newspapers, BOE Forms 600B and
600R, FAA (Federal Aviation Association), California Race Horse Association, and Department
of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records. It may also include conducting a field canvass and field
checks. Due to budgetary and time constraints, an assessor may use any or all of these methods
depending upon what works best and is most cost effective in that particular county.
6
PROPERTY TRANSFERS
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
If a business or property transfer is processed through escrow, a statement of bulk sale or tax
clearance from the county tax collector may be required. These statements contain helpful
information regarding the existing business and ownership in addition to information regarding
the buyer. If a sale does not go through escrow, information regarding the sale may be provided
by the seller. In some situations, to prevent future tax liability, sellers notify the assessor when
their business is sold. Whether obtained from the tax collector, the seller, the buyer or another
source, the information regarding the sale of a business can be used to update the assessor's
inventory of assessees who may have taxable personal property or fixtures in the county.
15
BUSINESS PERMITS
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
If a business operates (or is planning to operate) within city or county limits, the owner may be
required to apply for a business permit. The application normally requests, in addition to other
information, the business name, owner's name, business location, and phone number. Therefore,
business permit records can provide a valuable source of information to the assessor for property
tax purposes. Some cities and counties have monthly summaries of new businesses that they
make available to the assessor. (It is in the city's best interest to aid the county assessor since a
portion of collected tax dollars are allocated to them.) In fact, section 72 requires county and
city building departments to furnish the assessor with copies of building permits and certificates
of occupancy.
25
SALES TAX PERMITS
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
On a monthly basis, the Board of Equalization prepares sales tax permit registration information
for counties. 266 This information includes owner and business names. D.B.A. (Doing Business
As), address, type of business, and other information pertinent for a business acquiring or
updating a sales or use tax permit in the county. The information can be used to update and/or
verify business information. In respect to the type of business, the classification code provides a
description of the business. A listing of the classification codes is included in Appendix C for
reference purposes. provided in Publication 28, Tax Information for City and County
Officials. 267
266
In the past, this information has been supplied on 3" x 5" cards, but is now also available on computer disc. (To
receive the information on computer disc, call the State Board of Equalization's Board's Local Revenue Allocation
Section at 916-324-13213000.)
267
This publication is a Sales and Use Tax publication and is available on the Board's website (www.boe.ca.gov).
AH 504
142
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
BUSINESS QUESTIONNAIRES
2
3
4
5
6
Business questionnaires can be a low-cost, yet valuable tool, for following up on other source
documents and public records. If data received from other sources do not provide all information
required to initiate a new account, or verify information on an existing account, a questionnaire
specifically designed by an assessor's business division to request pertinent information may
save the time of the field visit (field check).
7
TELEPHONE DIRECTORY AND REVERSE TELEPHONE DIRECTORY
8
9
10
11
A telephone directory or a reverse telephone directory, especially if published near the lien date,
can be a useful resource for discovery of businesses. Basic information found here can be used to
send business questionnaires or arrange field checks in order to gather enough data to establish
or update business accounts.
12
NEWSPAPERS
13
14
15
16
Useful information concerning business formations, dissolutions, transfers and other changes are
found in newspapers. Items referring to newly established businesses or closings are helpful to
update the assessment roll. In addition, items regarding new products, or acquisition of a new
subsidiary are helpful when establishing an audit list or preparing for an audit.
17
VALUATION FORMS 600B AND 600R
18
19
20
21
22
Forms 600B and 600R are forms sent from the Valuation State-Assessed Properties Division of
the State Board of Equalization to the county assessors. These forms include lists of equipment
leased by State-assessed companies that should be locally assessed. State-assessed companies,
such as public utilities, are assessed by the Board, but the Board may delegate to county
assessors the duty to assess property used but not owned by the state assessee. 268
23
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES (DMV)
24
25
26
27
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a good source for verifying information regarding
vessels, special vehicles, or other licensable equipment. Based on the vehicle license number
(i.e., CF number for a boat), DMV can provide information such as owner's name, mailing
address, location of the property, date of purchase, and purchase price.
28
FIELD CANVASS
29
30
31
32
Field canvassing is a technique that involves physically viewing every business location. It is
used to confirm current business information in comparison to the assessor's roll, and it can be a
reliable technique for discovery. However, the field canvass method of discovery is very time
consuming and thus may be inappropriate for frequent use.
268
Article XIII, section 19.
AH 504
143
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
FIELD CHECKS
2
3
4
5
A field check is a modified version of the field canvas. Instead of visiting every business, an
appraiser visits only those where information, or partial information, is already available. For
example, field checks can be used as a follow-up on undelivered Bbusiness Pproperty
Sstatements and when property statements are not filed for an account in consecutive years.
6
7
8
9
Valuable information may be discovered when the auditor-appraiser is physically at the business
location. In addition to obtaining information regarding the owner, the auditor-appraiser can
secure data necessary to estimate the value of the business property. Such data, and the value
estimate, becomes essential if the assessee does not file the Bbusiness Pproperty Sstatement.
10
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
11
12
13
14
15
16
Other sources of information that are available to assessors for the discovery of new businesses
include, but are not limited to: change in ownership statements, building permits, certificates of
occupancy, health permits, documents filed with the Secretary of State, and business web sites.
Each may provide valuable information that is necessary to make a valid assessment. Discovery
methods differ from county to county and each county should determine the most effective
means of discovering new businesses and updating information on existing businesses.
17
OBTAINING STATEMENTS
18
FILING REQUIREMENTS
19
20
Some assessees are required to file property statements. Others are required to file only upon
request of the assessor. Section 441(a) identifies the requirements, as follows:
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Each person owning taxable personal property, other than a mobilehome
manufactured home subject to Part 13 (commencing with Section 5800), having
an aggregate cost of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more for any
assessment year shall file a signed property statement with the assessor. Every
person owning personal property that does not require the filing of a property
statement or real property shall, upon request of the assessor, file a signed
property statement. Failure of the assessor to request or secure the property
statement does not render any assessment invalid.
29
30
31
32
33
34
Property Tax Rule 171, subdivision (df), provides that the assessor shall furnish the pertinent a
property statement form and instructions to every person required by law or requested by the
assessor to file a property statement. For those taxpayers not required to file a property
statement, wWhen the county assessor mails or otherwise provides a property statement to an
assessee, the assessor has thereby requested the assessee to file. These statements must then be
filed timely and signed under penalty of perjury by the deadline as prescribed under section
AH 504
144
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
441. 269 If a property statement is filed by May 7, and accepted by the assessor, as required by
section 441, a property owner may amend the statement for errors or omissions that were not the
result of willful intent to erroneously report until May 31. 270 If a filing deadline falls on a
weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day. 271
5
6
7
8
9
The assessor may accept the filing of property statements by use of electronic media. Electronic
media, as defined in new subdivision (k) of section 441 includes, but is not limited to, computer
modem, magnetic media, optical disk, and facsimile machine. Property statements filed by the
use of electronic media must be authenticated by methods specified by the assessor and approved
by the Board.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
If the assessee does not file the property statement by May 7, the assessor shall estimate a value
and add a 10 percent penalty to that estimated assessed value. 272 For existing businesses, this
value might be the value from the previous roll year. For new businesses, this value may be
estimated by the appraiser based on similar businesses or based on the initial information
received when the business was originally added to the assessment roll. No matter what method
is used to estimate the current roll value, it should be a reasonable estimate of market value based
on available information. 273
17
18
19
20
21
When a property statement is filed timely in duplicate (on or before the prescribed deadline), the
assessee may request the assessor to provide the full value computed by the assessor for each
category (supplies, equipment, etc.). Under section 443.1, the assessor has the obligation to
comply. Further, the assessor is required to return the duplicate, with the full value for each
category, to the assessee by July 15th of the year in which the statement was filed.
22
DIRECT BILLING
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
For smaller businesses and other selected accounts, assessors may use direct billing. 274 Direct
billing systems select accounts to appraise periodically, normally once every three or four years,
in lieu of annual property statements. When the total (personal property and fixture) value of a
business changes very little from year to year, direct billing can have a number of advantages
over annually sending a property statement. The advantages for both the assessor and the
property owner are efficiency and cost savings. The process (1) reduces the number of property
statements mailed out, received and processed each year, thus reducing administrative costs, and
269
Property statements should be filed with the assessor between the lien date (January 1) and 5 p.m. on April 1. A
late penalty applies if the statement is filed after May 7 (section 441(b)).
270
Section 441(i)
271
Section 441(ib).
272
Section 441(b), 463, and 501 and section 463.
273
Section 501.
274
Direct billing is not mandated or even discussed in the statutes. Direct billing is a system of assessment
developed by the counties. Taxpayers cannot be required to participate in a direct billing system. In addition, the
assessor is not precluded from processing roll corrections if applicable.
AH 504
145
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
(2) deletes the filing requirement for the assessee (unless material changes are made to taxable
property in that year).
3
4
5
6
7
Accounts appropriate for direct billing are usually established (older) businesses, having tangible
personal property costing less than $100,000, and minor changes in equipment holdings from
year to year. Small barbershops and small retail stores with minimal equipment holdings are
good examples. The total personal property and fixture value of these businesses usually does
not change much annually.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Many accounts are not appropriate for direct billing. Direct billing cannot, for example, be used
for accounts whose tangible personal property cost is $100,000 or more, sine these accounts are
required to file in accordance with section 441. New businesses, no matter what the value, should
not be put on direct billing. New businesses tend to acquire equipment more often than do older
businesses of similar type. Even if a new business seems to fit the description of a business that
could appropriately be put onto the direct billing system, the assessor may wish to have property
statements for the first year(s) in the business file. These property statements would establish a
starting point for determining a valid assessment and confirm that the account is a good
candidate for direct billing due to little or no change in property acquisitions or disposals.
17
PROCESSING PROPERTY STATEMENTS
18
PRELIMINARY REVIEW: REQUIRED INFORMATION
19
20
21
22
Upon receipt of a property statement, the statement should be logged as received and verified as
complete. If the statement is not complete, an accurate assessment cannot be accomplished. The
guidelines used in the determination of a complete property statement are identified in the
statutes and are discussed below.
23
24
25
To verify completeness pursuant to these sections, and to aid in processing a statement, it may be
helpful to use a checklist. An example of a property statement checklist is found later in this
chapter.
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
In lieu of completing the property statement provided by the assessor, an assessee may furnish
information as attachments to the property statement (i.e., assessee prepared computerized
version of the property statement). This filing is acceptable provided that the property statement
attachments (1) are in a format specified by the assessor, (2) include one copy of the property
statement, as printed by the assessor and executed by the taxpayer, and (3) includes appropriate
reference to the data, or (3) the statement if filed electronically and authenticated as provided in
section 441(k). 275 The property statement (and attachments) should be reviewed, as is any other
property statement pursuant to guidelines discussed below.
275
Section 441.5.
AH 504
146
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
Contents of Statement
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
"The property statement shall show all taxable property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled,
or managed by the person filing it and required to be reported thereon." 276 This information
ensures that the assessor can fulfill his/her statutory duty to enroll all property that it is his/her
duty to assess. 277 This includes property that may later be found exempt. Personal property can
be exempt by reason on its ownership, use, and/or type. Not all exemptions are automatic,
however. Some are allowed only if appropriate forms are filed timely and approved by the
assessor, and in these cases, the property remains assessable unless an exemption claim is filed
and approved. Other exemptions, however, are automatic in that no application for exemption is
necessary because the property is of a type that is simply not subject to property taxation.
11
12
13
The property statement is made up of several sections, titled "parts" in addition to Schedule A
and Schedule B. Each section requests information necessary for a valid assessment. It is
important to review each section of the statement for possible errors.
14
Situs
15
16
17
18
19
20
A valid assessment requires a specific location; property must be assessed in the appropriate
county, city, and district. Therefore, the property statement shall also show: (a) the county where
the property is taxable and (b) if taxable in the county where the statement is made, any city or
revenue district where it is situated. 278 This generally requires the assessee to report the physical
address of the property or the assessor's parcel number on which it is located. The statement is
not complete if the location of the property, as specified in section 443, is not shown.
21
22
23
24
25
26
It is not only important to verify that the situs of the property is reported, but it is also important
to verify that the property is reported to the appropriate county. It is not uncommon for an
assessee, owning several businesses at various locations in California, to file a statement with the
wrong county. At times, erroneous assessment(s) can be avoided simply by reviewing the
reported situs on the property statement. (Other times, however, situs errors may not be
identified until an audit is conducted.)
27
Description of Property
28
29
30
31
32
33
"The property statement shall show a description of property, in the detail required." 279 Such
detail shall include the cost of the property, if the information is within the knowledge of the
assessee or is available from his or her own or other records, and the classification of the
equipment (the physical description). 280 The property statement instructs the assessee to report
the equipment by category (machinery and equipment, office equipment, computer equipment,
etc.) year of acquisition, and cost. Further description (other than total cost by year and
276
Section 442(a).
Revenue and Taxation Code section 601, Property Tax Rule 252.
278
Section 443. Each city or district may have different tax rates within the jurisdiction.
279
Section 445.
280
As noted earlier the statement is signed under penalty of perjury. Therefore, unless additional information
indicates otherwise, it must be assumed that the taxpayer classified the property accurately.
277
AH 504
147
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
classification) is required for reported additions and deletions of improvements and construction
in progress.
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
It is important to determine whether the property is properly described in order to make an
accurate assessment. Some statements, for example, are received with the total cost reported on
the front sheet, but without costs classified or reported by year of acquisition on Schedule A.
Others are received with a valid signature but no costs reported anywhere on the form (or with a
statement "same as last year"). Still other statements may be filed with costs which appear
inappropriate (i.e., the rendition does not resemble the costs that were reported in the previous
year). Review of property statements filed in previous years or a phone call to the assessee, or
both, may clear up some discrepancies or inconsistencies in the current property statement. In
some cases it is necessary to mail the statement back to the assessee to request that the omitted
information be submitted. (It may be advisable for the assessor to keep a copy of the statement
prior to sending the statement back.) In these situations, the statement is not considered filed by
the assessee unless the deficiencies are corrected and the completed statement is returned prior to
the filing deadline.
16
Tax Day
17
18
As previously noted, a property statement shall show all information as of 12:01 a.m. on the lien
date. 281 The lien date, pursuant to sections 2192 and 722 is January 1. 282
19
20
21
22
23
It is important to remind assessees that an assessment is based on information (as reported on the
property statement) and value of property owned on the preceding lien date, although the tax bill
may be not be received until either July 283 or November 284 of that same year. An assessee filing
a 20029 property statement (which declares property owned as of 12:01 a.m. January 1, 20029)
for example, will receive a tax bill for:
24
25

an unsecured account by mid-July 20029 for the fiscal year July 1, 20029 - June 30,
200310. 285
26

a secured account in November 20029 for the fiscal year July 1, 20029 - June 30, 200310.
27
28
29
30
The tax bills, in both cases, reflect property reported on 20029 property statements as of the lien
date, January 1, 20029; the cost of all taxable property acquired and owned or controlled as of or
through December 31, 20018. Sale or disposal of the personal property (business property,
vessels, and aircraft) between the lien date and start of the fiscal year does not relieve the
281
Section 448.
Prior to January 1, 1997, the lien date was 12:01 a.m. March 1 pursuant to these sections.
283
In general, section 2910.1 requires that the tax collector mail or electronically transmit the tax bills (or copies) for
property on the unsecured roll no later than 30 days prior to the date on which taxes are delinquent. Unsecured taxes
are delinquent on August 31 (section 2922).
284
In general, section 2610.5 requires that the tax collector mail or electronically transmit tax bills (or copies) for
property on the secured roll on or before November 1.
285
Unsecured taxes are due on January 1: therefore, some counties mail the unsecured tax bills as soon as the
assessments are prepared.
282
AH 504
148
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
assessee of any tax liability 286 unless the assessment is secured and the new real property owner
does not own, claim, possess, or control the personal property at any time between the lien date
and the date the assessment was made. 287 Personal property taxes are not prorated and are
assessed to the owner on the lien date.
5
Authorized Signature
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Property statements and mineral production report forms prescribed by the Board, and filed with
the assessor or the Board, must be signed by the assessee, a partner, a duly appointed fiduciary,
or an authorized agent. 288 Statements filed on behalf of a corporate assessee must be signed by
an officer or by an employee or agent for whom the board of directors has submitted written
authorization to sign on behalf of the corporation. When signed by an agent who is not a member
of the bar, a certified public accountant, a public accountant, an enrolled agent, or a duly
appointed fiduciary, then the assessee must authorize appointed agents by filing a statement with
the assessor's office.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Facsimiles or copies of original signatures are not acceptable as valid signatures. A copy of the
original may be accepted, but the original document and signature should be provided timely to
constitute a valid filing since facsimiles and copies merely represent the likeness of the original.
A property statement that is unsigned, or signed by an unauthorized agent, does not constitute a
valid filing. 289 Such a statement is incomplete and invalid, and should be returned to the
assessee. (It may be advisable to keep a copy of the statement prior to sending the statement
back.)
21
SPECIFIC SECTIONS OF THE PROPERTY STATEMENT
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
When it is concluded that a property statement is complete, it is a valid filing. The next phase is
reviewing the reported information and processing the data into an estimate of value. The
appraiser should initially review sections on the form that may require extra attention or where
the assessee needs to be contacted for additional information or clarification. For example, costs
reported as construction in progress and costs reported on Schedule B usually require review and
coordination by both a real property appraiser and auditor-appraiser. If the itemized and detailed
descriptions of these costs are missing from the filing, the assessee may need to be contacted.
29
30
31
32
33
Besides In addition to reviewing specific areas that may require special attention or follow up
work, it is also important to focus on the statement in whole. That is, does the total reported cost
for this type of business seem appropriate? Review (and processing) of specific parts of the
property statements are discussed below. The Business Property Statement is used as an
example, although there are other statements filed with the business division of the assessor's
286
See Example 1.1.
Section 2189 provides that in such a case the assessment of the personal property must be transferred to the
unsecured roll.
288
Rule 172(a).
289
Rule 172(e).
287
AH 504
149
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
office. 290 In all cases, the statements request data on the owner, location, and cost of the
property.
3
Part I: General Information
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
This section of the property statement provides general information on the business, including:
and indicates (a) the type of business, (b) the telephone number, fax number, email address, (c)
an indication if the assessee owns the realty where the business is located, (d) when the business
started at this location, (e) confirmsation of the business location, (f) an indication where the
records are located, (g) and whether if a change in ownership or control has occurred during the
last year, and (h) if whether the company or business has any related business entities in the
county.
11
12
13
(a)
Type of business: Business type (retail, manufacturing, service, etc.) is information
useful when applying appropriate valuation factors and for gauging whether the reported costs
appear reasonable for that type of business.
14
15
(b)
Telephone number: The phone number provides a convenient way to contact the
assessee in the event questions arise during the review and processing of the statement.
16
17
18
19
20
(c)
Owner of realty: Business personal property can be secured to realty if in fact the
owners of the personal property and the real property are one in the same. It is, therefore,
important to determine the ownership of the realty where the business is located. Business
personal property held by a corporation, for example, cannot be secured to real property if held
in the name of an individual.
21
22
23
(d)
Date business started at current location: It is important to know when the business
started at the current business location. It is possible that the business was at a different location
within the county, operating in another county or escaped assessment in prior years.
24
25
26
Business location: The business location, or situs of property, indicates whether the
(e)
business is physically located in the county and it is used to designate the appropriate tax rate
area.
27
28
29
(f)
Location of records: If an audit is required or needed, the audit is normally conducted at
the location of the original books and accounting records (which may or may not be at the
business location within the county).
30
31
32
33
34
(g)
Change in ownership or control during the last fiscal year: A change in ownership of
the real property or a change in control of the partnership, corporation or legal entity owning the
property is important information that must be conveyed to the real property division. An
appraiser should also note how this section is completed because it may affect the costs reported
in Part II of the statement.
290
A sample of a Business Property Statement is included in the appendix for reference purposes.
AH 504
150
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
(h)
Related business entities in the county: If the assessee owns other businesses in the
county, all the assessments of personal property and fixtures must be accumulated to determine
whether the business is subject to mandatory audit. It could also be a source of information in the
discovery of new businesses, and other related businesses.
5
Part II: Declaration of Property Belonging to You
6
7
8
9
This is the section of the statement where the assessee reports property owned by the business.
The property is reported by type including (a) supplies, (b) equipment, (c) equipment out on
lease or rent to others, (d) buildings building improvements, and/or leasehold improvements,
land improvements, land and land development, and (e) construction in progress.
10
11
12
13
14
With the exception of supplies and construction in progress (discussed below), property reported
by the assessee should be classified and reported by year of acquisition. The statement gives
instructions to the assessee on classification of the property and applicable costs to be included in
the reported cost of the property. However, the assessee is not required to value the property.291
Valuation is conducted by the assessor's office. 292
15
Supplies
16
17
18
19
20
Supplies are a category of personal property that is frequently not reported, although the majority
of assessees have at least minimal taxable supplies. Many times the cost is low and it is simply
forgotten by the assessee. In reviewing the statement, an auditor-appraiser should check the
reported supplies figure. Is a supplies cost reported? If so, is it appropriate for that type of
business? If not, what should it be?
21
Following is an example of supplies reported on a Business Property Statement.
22
291
292
Clunie v. Siebe (1896) 112 Cal. 593. 597.
Classification and valuation are discussed in other chapters of this manual.
AH 504
151
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
EXAMPLE 7.1
SUPPLY COST REPORTED ON THE BUSINESS PROPERTY STATEMENT
The owner of a small video movie rental store reports $21,500 of supplies, $15,000 of equipment, and
$5,000 of leasehold improvements.
DOES
THE REPORTED SUPPLIES COST APPEAR REASONABLE (IN TERMS OF QUANTITY, COST,
AND TYPE) IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE SIZE, LOCATION, AND TYPICAL OPERATION OF A VIDEO
MOVIE RENTAL STORE?
No. The reported supplies cost does not appear reasonable based on a "typical" video movie rental store.
It appears that the assessee either misclassified property, or reported property that is considered business
inventory for property tax purposes. The assessee may have reported the total cost of the movies in the
rental stock. If so, supplies are overreported. Only the movies out on rent on the lien date are reportable
and assessable. The movies "held for rent" are exempt inventory. The appraiser should contact the
assessee to clarify what cost items are included in the $21,500 cost reported as supplies on the property
statement. The value of a video tape movie is the assessable value of the blank DVD/video tape only.
1
2
3
As shown in the example above, it is important to review reported supplies for reasonableness
and contact the assessee or other sources for more information if necessary.
4
Construction-In-Progress (CIP)
5
6
7
8
9
10
The instructions require the assessee to attach a schedule supporting CIP reported on the property
statement. This schedule should identify all of the costs which that make-up the reported CIP
total. Using this schedule, the costs can be classified; the total may include costs that are not
assessable, and/or costs that should be allocated between the secured or real property assessment
and the personal property assessment. It is important to coordinate the classification and
assessment of these items with a real property appraiser to avoid duplicate or under assessment.
11
Schedule A: 293 Equipment
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
On the Business Property Statement, Fform BOE-571-L, Schedule A includes seven categories
of equipment: (1) machinery and equipment for industry, profession, or trade, (2) office furniture
and equipment, (3) other equipment, (4) tools, molds, dies, jigs, (5) personal computers
(component cost of $25,000.00 or less), and (6) local area network equipment (plus mainframe
computers) (components cost of $25,000.01 to $500,000.00), and (7) computers (components
costing $500,000.01 or more). All equipment should be reported here at the proper trade level,
including short-lived and expensed equipment, and equipment acquired through lease-purchase
agreement at the selling price effective at the inception of the lease.
293
The Agricultural Property Statement includes similar schedules, but also includes Schedule D, "Movable Farm
Equipment." This schedule requests each piece of equipment to be reported separately. See Form 571-F,
Agricultural Property Statement.
AH 504
152
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
Schedule B: Proper Classification of Fixture and Structure Items (Schedule B)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Schedule B includes four categories of improvements: structure items only, fixtures only, land
improvements, and land and land development. 294 These costs should be reviewed to avoid
erroneous assessments. Not only should proper classification be verified (i.e. reported in the
appropriate column?), but coordination between the real property appraiser and the auditorappraiser must take place to ensure that an accurate and valid assessment is made. Chapter 5 of
this manual provides a discussion on the classification and valuation of improvements related to
a business property.
9
Supplemental Schedule
10
11
12
13
14
Form BOE-571-D, Supplemental Schedule for Reporting Monthly Acquisitions and Disposals,
of the Business Property Statement, usually may be furnished with the annual Business Property
Statement, The supplemental schedule provides an opportunity for businesses to provide detail as
indicated. A careful review of this information should assist in this important task of
coordination and classification.
15
Part III: Declaration of Property Belonging to Others
16
17
18
19
Part III, Declaration of Property Belonging to Others, on the Business Property Statement
applies to equipment that may be assessable to an assessee other than the one filing the
statement. As discussed in Chapter 6, title to the property may be held by a party other than the
one who files the statement and it may be assessable to that other party.
20
21
22
23
24
25
Equipment reported in this section is reported by type: leased equipment, lease-purchase option
equipment, capitalized leased equipment, vending equipment, other businesses, and governmentowned property. They are Equipment is also reported by tax obligation: lessor or lessee. Each
lease should be cross-referenced with renditions received from the lessors to avoid duplicate
assessments or escaped assessments, and to ensure accurate assessment of the equipment. For
example, the assessee (lessee) may classify a lease as a capitalized lease assessable to the lessee.
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
The taxpayer is also required to report any property that is subject to a lease. For example, Tthe
lessor of property that is leased under a conditional sales agreement is required to list that leased
property on the lessor’s property statement. 295 Lessees under capital leases are considered the
owner and assessee of the leased properties. As such, lessees are responsible for filing business
property statements to report their leased properties. 296 Additionally, lessors are required to
report property leased under a capital lease unless the capital lease is with a free public
librariesy, free museums, public school, and/or colleges as specified in Article XIII, section 3,
subdivisions (d) and (e). Section 442(c), provides:
294
For a thorough discussion of classification, see Chapter 2, Classification and Chapter 5, Assessment of
Improvements Related to Business Property.
295
Section 442(b).
296
Section 441.
AH 504
153
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Property that is the subject of a contract designated as a lease that provides that the lessee
has the option of acquiring the property at the end of the lease term for one dollar ($1), or
any other nominal consideration, shall be reported by the lessor on the lessor's property
statement. If that property qualifies for the property tax exemption provided for by
subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, that
property shall be regarded as owned by the lessee and is not required to be shown on any
property statement of the lessor.
8
9
10
11
12
Capital leases to parties other than free public libraries, free museums, public school, and/or
colleges are not eligible for this exemption from filing business property statements.
Additionally, if the lessor is leasing equipment to a free public librariesy, free museums, public
school, and/or colleges and the lease is not a capital lease, the lessor is required to report the
lease with their other leased property on the business property statement.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Referencing the statement received from the lessor indicates it is a true lease assessable to the
lessor. Reconciling these differences prior to assessment, and close of the roll, will help to avoid
subsequent roll changes. Cross-referencing may involve an additional step when there are
changes in ownership: e.g., when one leasing company buys the portfolio of another or when a
lessee experiences an ownership or name change. The lessee(s) may continue to reference the
former company in Part III of their statement; the lessor may continue to reference the former
lessee's name in his or her reporting. In such cases, the assessor's system of cross-referencing is
extremely important to minimize erroneous, duplicate, and escape assessments.
21
INCONSISTENT REPORTING
22
23
24
25
26
Sometimes costs reported on property statements are not consistent with costs reported in
previous years. Differences may be due to equipment transfers or dispositions within the last
year, a buyout of previously leased equipment, or simply misreporting. Differences, particularly
changes other than dispositions, should be researched and analyzed as much as possible prior to
enrolling an assessed value.
27
28
29
When it is found that inconsistencies affect past assessment years, roll changes may be
necessary. In most instances, these roll changes will be done at the close of the current year's
roll. These changes are discussed further in Chapter 98, Roll Procedures.
30
REVIEW OF PREVIOUS AUDIT FINDINGS
31
32
33
34
35
When an audit is conducted it is important to use the audited costs, or incorporate audit findings
as appropriate, in subsequent years when a property statement is processed. Although a property
statement as filed may reflect costs as reported in the previous year, rather than
recommendations made through the audit, an appraiser should make an effort to identify and
correct problems prior to enrollment.
AH 504
154
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
PROPERTY STATEMENT CHECKLIST
2
3
4
Following is a sample property statement checklist that may be used to verify completeness of a
property statement. The checklist also provides a summary of the information discussed in this
section.
AH 504
155
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
TABLE 7A

SAMPLE PROPERTY STATEMENT PROCESSING CHECKLIST
Log property statement as received.

Check signature, if not authorized signature property statement not valid (some counties retain a copy
prior to returning original for signature).

Check statement for any changes to situs, mailing address, and/or business name; make any necessary
changes.

Check for any change of ownership regarding business and/or real property. Make any necessary changes
(e.g., notify the real property division, make changes to unsecured account).

Confirm that account is appropriately classified as secured or unsecured (review responses to Part I:
General Information questions).

Confirm that property is reported and described as required.

Are costs summarized on the front of the form classified and broken down by year of acquisition on
schedules A and B?

Does the statement include a description of costs reported as construction in progress, and costs added to
or deleted from Schedule B?

Did the assessee report supplies? If yes, does the reported cost seem reasonable.?If it is not reasonable,
estimate supplies on hand on lien date. (For suggested method of estimating supplies, see the section on
Supplies in Chapter 6.)

Did the assessee report leased equipment? If yes, cross reference to lessor files to confirm reported
information and to prevent duplicate assessment or escaped assessments.

Check current reported costs with costs reported in previous years. Are the costs consistent? If not, a
phone call to the assessee may be required.

Are CIP (construction in progress) costs reported? If yes, reference description of costs provided by
assessee and coordinate assessment with real property appraiser.

Are CIP costs from the previous year accounted for on the current year's property statement?

Are additions (or deletions) reported on Schedule B, Buildings, Building Improvements, and/or Leasehold
Improvements, Land Improvements, Land and Land Development? If yes, reference description of
additions/deletions provided by assessee and coordinate assessment with real property appraiser.
AH 504
156
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
VALUATION
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Finally, after the property statement has been reviewed and is considered complete, the auditorappraiser must value the taxable property reported on the statement. As discussed earlier, in most
cases this involves using the cost approach to value and the application of equipment index
factors and percent good factors. Sound appraisal judgment is required to determine which
factors or approach(es) applies in each situation. For new accounts, reviewing the factors or
approach adopted by the assessor's business division and reviewing lives given to the equipment
used by similar businesses will help with this process. For older or existing accounts, and
statements that show little or no change from previous assessment years, the same approach,
table and/or economic life estimate as previously assigned are usually appropriate. Referring to
the previous year's property statement electronically or in the physical file will verify the factors
used. Additionally, refer to equipment index and percent good factors included in AH 581,
Equipment and Percent Good Factors.
14
15
16
17
18
In some cases, as the result of physical inspections, audits, assessment appeals, income approach
estimates, sales data, or other data gathered in prior years, the assessor's office has agreed that
the standard cost approach is not appropriate for specific accounts. The agreed upon approach
should be reviewed and used, when appropriate, in subsequent years. This will avoid the same
problem from occurring year after year.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
LATE FILINGS AND NON-FILINGS
27
28
29
30
The penalty of 10 percent applies if the property statement is filed after May 7. 298 If that date
falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, property statements filed on the next business day
are considered timely filed. The postmark date as affixed by the United States Postal Service, or
a date certified by a bona fide private courier service, shall serve as the date filed. 299
31
32
33
34
In the case of late filings, the 10 percent penalty is added to the value computed using the
reported costs on the property statement filed late. If a statement is not filed, the 10 percent
penalty is applied to the auditor-appraiser's best estimate of value based on the best information
available.
Section 463(a) provides that:
If any person who is required by law or is requested by the assessor to make an
annual property statement fails to file an annual property statement within the
time limit specified by Section 441 or make and subscribe the affidavit respecting
his or her name and place of residence, a penalty of 10 percent of the assessed
value of the unreported taxable tangible property of that person placed on the
current roll shall be added to the assessment made on the current roll.… 297
35
297
Section 463.
Section 463.441(b).
299
Section 441(b).
298
AH 504
157
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
Verification of Existing Business
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
If a statement is not filed for one or more years (time period at the discretion of the assessor),
existence of the business should be verified. Verification may be accomplished with a phone call
or a field check of the business. If the verification process indicates that the business is no longer
in operation, the next step is to confirm when the business ceased operation to prevent any
erroneous assessments. Confirmation of the closing date can be accomplished by contacting the
subject business owner (if possible), landlord, neighboring tenants, or the current tenant of the
same location.
9
BUSINESS CLOSE-OUTS
10
11
12
13
14
Information regarding business close-outs may come from any one of the sources indicated
earlier, or from the business owner who uses the property statement to notify the assessor that the
business is no longer in operation in the county. This is also an opportunity to identify new
businesses. Is a new business at the site, or is the site vacant? What happened to the assessable
property?
15
LOW VALUE PROPERTY (LOW VALUE EXEMPTION ORDINANCE)
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
When a property statement is processed, resulting in classes 300 of (1) personal property with a
value so low that, if not exempt, the total taxes, special assessments, and applicable subventions
on the property would amount to less than the cost of assessing and collecting them and/or (2)
real property/fixtures base year value or full value of $510,000 or less, the assessment may be
exempt if authorized by the county board of supervisors. 301 Pursuant to section 155.20,
Exemption of property having a low value, the board of supervisors may adopt an ordinance
implementing these low value provisions in that county. Most counties have enacted a low value
ordinance (section 155.20) using various minimum values. Others have not enacted the
ordinance at all, and therefore have no value minimum.
25
PROPERTY STATEMENTS FOR SPECIAL TYPES OF PROPERTY
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Other property statements that are filed and processed in the business division of an assessor's
office include agricultural, apartment, aircraft, and vessel property statements. One type of
property statement, the racehorse property statement, is filed with the tax collector. The format
of the forms is different, the type of property that is reported is different, but the purpose of the
forms is the same. The forms are filed by the assessee, and signed under penalty of perjury, and
used by the assessor (or the tax collector) to determine the assessable value (and/or tax) of the
property located in the county on the lien date.
300
For purposes of section 155.20, "class" is defined as a statutory class of property or other class of property
separately enrolled and designated by the board of supervisors as eligible for exemption.
301
This limitation is increased to $50,000 "in the case of a possessory interest, for a temporary and transitory use, in
a publicly owned fairground, fairground facility, convention facility, or cultural facility." (Section 155.20(b)).
AH 504
158
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
The steps in processing the agricultural and apartment statements are similar to the processing of
the business return. Thus, a discussion of each individual statement will not be included here.
The aircraft, vessel, and racehorse property statements, however, are unique and require mention.
4
Aircraft
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Section 5365 specifically discusses the aircraft statement. It states that: "Upon request of the
assessor of the county in which an aircraft is habitually based, the owner shall file with him the
assessor a statement setting forth information about the aircraft that is necessary to ascertain the
full value of the aircraft, including, but no limited to, the serial number, the make, model and
year of manufacture of the aircraft, and engine and maintenance information, including the total
hours logged on the aircraft following the major overhaul of the engine of the aircraft." As
previously discussed, this is the one statement that is not Board-prescribed but a penalty is
applicable if the owner does not return the statement timely.
13
14
15
In addition, section 5366 requires airport owners and/or operators to file statements reporting
aircraft that are located at their airports or that use their airports as a base. This section of the
code, in part, states:
16
17
18
19
20
Owners, as well as operators, of private and public airports shall, within 15 days
following the lien date of each year, provide the assessor of the county in which
the airport is situated with a statement containing a list of names and addresses of
the owners, and the make, model, and aircraft registration number, of all aircraft
which were using the airport as a base.
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
For the most part, the discovery of aircraft located in a county is through the statements filed by
the airport owners and/or operators. After the discovery of an aircraft (in a particular) county, an
account is established by the assessor's office and an aircraft statement is mailed to the owner of
the aircraft. Two basic sets of Board prescribed forms are used for the assessment of aircraft; one
is designed by the assessor for the assessment of general aircraft, and several Board-prescribed
statements are designed are designed for certificated aircraft. Specific statutes exist for each type.
Thorough discussions of aircraft assessment are contained in AH 570, Assessment of
Commercial Aircraft, and AH 577, Assessment of General Aircraft. A discussion on situs of
aircraft is included in Chapter 3, Situs, of this manual.
30
Vessels
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
The requirements set forth in section 441, Property statement; other information, also apply to
property statements filed for vessels. A standard property statement used for all types of vessels
includes questions that require the assessee to describe the vessel in a manner sufficient for an
accurate assessment. Similar to other types of personal property, vessels are assessed at market
value each year. The information received from the assessee on the vessel property statement
identifies the vessel type, the cost, the age, and the size of the vessel, and it significantly aids in
the valuation of the property. Many assessors use questionnaires in lieu of property statements
for smaller vessels (less than $100,000 cost).
AH 504
159
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 7
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Sources and methods that may be used to discover vessels located in the county on the lien date
include records from the DMV, Certificates of Documentation, referrals from other counties, the
use of field canvassing, reports from marinas, and reports from other types of boat storage
facilities. Registration information is received monthly from DMV regarding (1) vessels moved
in and out of the county, and (2) sales of new or used boats to assessees that claim situs in the
county. Many assessors have also established an on-line communication link to the DMV's
database. Operators of marinas and other boat storage facilities are requested by the assessor to
annually file reports that list boats located at their facilities on the lien date. For further
information on vessels see Chapter 3 of this manual ("Situs of Vessels") and AH 576,
Assessment of Vessels.
11
Racehorses
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
"Property statements" utilized for taxation of racehorses are unique and are treated differently
than other types of property statements. 302 Most significantly, as provided in section 5782, this
Board prescribed form, BOEAH 571-J, Annual Racehorse Tax Return (provided by the assessor)
is filed with the tax collector's office rather than the assessor. No valuation is required by the
assessor because the assessee reports an annual tax due based on a schedule in the statute. 303
However, the assessor must audit the tax records of any racehorse owner who had a gross tax
liability exceeding $4,000 for each of four consecutive calendar years.304 The lien date regarding
for the assessment of racehorses is the same as other types of personal property, January 1, but,
unlike other types of property, the tax becomes delinquent at 5 p.m. February 15 of the same
calendar year. 305
302
The taxation of racehorses is discussed in sections 5701 through 5790 (Part 12) and Rules 1045 through 1047.
Section 5722.
304
Rule 1045(d)(1).
305
Section 5762.
303
AH 504
160
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
CHAPTER 98: ROLL PROCEDURES
2
IDENTIFYING ROLL ERRORS
3
4
5
6
For a wide variety of reasons, the initial assessment roll inevitably contains errors. Common
errors include errors in value judgment, "clerical" (calculation) errors, errors caused by the
failure of property owners to report correctly (or to report at all), and various misunderstandings.
Typical examples specific to the business division include:
7
8

A property statement disclosing information erroneously omitted in previous year(s)
(either by the assessee when reported or by the assessor when processing)
9

An audit resulting in a net change (increase or decrease) in assessed value
10
11

An assessee failing to inform the assessor that a business was closed and/or assets were
disposed of prior to the lien date
12
13

An assessor discovering a business owning taxable property after the initial year of
operation and assessability
14
15
16
Such errors result in overassessments, underassessments, misclassifications, assessments to the
wrong assessees, assessments assigned to the wrong tax-rate jurisdictions, and other problems
that result in incorrect assessments.
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
In general, California law provides procedures for correcting errors and omissions on the
assessment roll, regardless of the cause of the error or omission and regardless of whether the
error resulted in an overassessment or an underassessment. If the value of property that should be
on the roll is determined to be different than the enrolled value (an audit resulting in a net
increase, for example), the enrolled value must be corrected according to statutory provisions.
Both the limitation on time (i.e., statute of limitations), if applicable, and the procedure for
making a correction vary greatly according to the nature and the cause of the error. The
procedures set forth in the statutes must be followed.
25
ESCAPE ASSESSMENTS
26
27
28
29
An escape assessment is an assessment made after the completion of the regular assessment roll,
as an addition to that roll. The regular assessment roll is complete after the assessor has certified
the completion of the local roll prepared pursuant to section 601. 306 An escape assessment is any
addition to that roll regardless of the reason.
306
Escape assessments for state assessed properties may either be added to the fiscal year in which it is discovered
or included with the assessments for the succeeding fiscal year (section 864).
AH 504
161
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Section 531 requires the assessor to make an escape assessment if: (1) upon the discovery of any
property belonging on the local roll that has escaped assessment (for any reason) 307 (2) the
assessee does not file a property statement and the result is (a) no assessment, or (b) an
assessment at a valuation lower than would have obtained had the property been properly
reported. 308 (2) upon discovery of any other underassessment of property. When an escape is
based on failure to file a property statement (including circumstances where the statement is
incomplete when filed and returned to the assessee), the assessor is also required to add penalties
and interest to the assessment. Section 531 states:
9
10
11
12
If any property belonging on the local roll has escaped assessment, the assessor
shall assess the property on discovery at its value on the lien date for the year for
which it escaped assessment. It shall be subject to the tax rate in effect in the year
of its escape except as provided in Section 2905 of this code.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Property shall be deemed to have escaped assessment when its owner fails to file
a property statement pursuant to the provisions of Section 441, to the extent that
this failure results in no assessment or an assessment at a valuation lower than
would have obtained had the property been properly reported. Escape assessments
made as the result of an owner's failure to file a property statement as herein
provided shall be subject to the penalty and interest imposed by Sections 463 and
506, respectively. This paragraph shall not constitute a limitation on any other
provision of this article.
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
Escape assessments are also required when it is discovered that an exemption was granted in
error, 309 and when the business inventory exemption was incorrectly applied. 310 The statutes also
provide for escape assessments when assessees do not provide accurate information requested by
the assessor necessary to compute a valid assessment. When accurate information is available to
the assessor that indicates a higher assessment is required than the originally enrolled, the
additional value is enrolled as an escape assessment. Sections 531.3 and 531.4 both provide for
escape of the property incorrectly reported. Section 531.3 provides, in part:
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
If the assessor requires an assessee to describe personal property in such detail as
shows the cost thereof but the assessee omits to report the cost of the property
accurately, notwithstanding that this information is available to the assessee, to
the extent that this omission on the part of the assessee causes the assessor not to
assess the property or to assess it at a lower valuation than he would enter upon
the roll were the cost reported to him accurately, that portion of the property as to
which the cost is unreported, in whole or in part, shall be assessed as required by
law. . . .
307
Section 531.1.
Section 531.1.
309
Section 531.1.
310
Section 531.5.
308
AH 504
162
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
2
Section 531.4 provides, in part: specifically discusses escape assessments in terms of inaccurate
property statements. In part, it reads:
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
When the an assessee files with the assessor a property statement or report on a
form prescribed by the board with respect to property held or used in a profession,
trade or business and the statement fails to report any taxable tangible property
accurately, regardless of whether this information is available to the assessee, to
the extent that this failure causes the assessor not to assess the property or to
assess it at a lower valuation than he would enter on the roll if the property had
been reported to him accurately, that portion of the property which is not reported
accurately, in whole or in part, shall be assessed as required by law. (Italics
added.)
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
In addition, both sections 531.3 and 531.4 discuss the application of penalties and interest as
provided in sections 504 and 506. When it is discovered that an additional assessment is required
for a previous roll year, it is important to determine the reason for the missed assessment. For
example, the missed assessment may be due to either an assessor or assessee error. If it is an
assessee error, the failure to report costs accurately may be due to an unintentional mistake or
willful misreporting. Provisions in the code allow for penalties and interest depending in part on
the reason for the escape assessment. For example, if the omission by the assessee in reporting
was willful or fraudulent, the penalties and interests provided in sections 504 and 506 shall be
added to the additional assessment; otherwise, only the interest provided in section 506 is
added. 311
22
TAX RATE AND INTEREST
23
24
Section 506 indicates the appropriate tax rate and interest to be applied to escape assessments.
The language provides that the tax rate applicable to any escape assessment shall be:
25
26
27
28
29
. . .the tax rate to which the property would have been subject if it appeared upon
the roll in the year when it should have been lawfully assessed. To the tax there
shall be added interest at the rate of three-fourths of 1 percent per month from the
date or dates the taxes would have become delinquent if they had been timely
assessed to the date the additional assessment is added to the assessment roll.
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
Basically, the tax rate is the rate of the year of escape, and the delinquency date is the date the
taxes would have become delinquent if the property was reported timely. The date the escape
assessment is entered on the roll (the date of enrollment) is important in terms of the interest
computation. The date of enrollment of the escape is the date the interest computation stops
(interest computation starting with delinquency date if the property was reported and assessed
timely). The interest rate is applied for the number of months from delinquency date to roll entry
date (three-fourths of 1 percent per month).
311
See sections 531.3 and 531.4
AH 504
163
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
PENALTYIES
2
3
4
5
6
7
Penalties are applied to escape assessments under certain conditions. If the property statement is
not filed or was not filed timely in accordance with sections 441 and 463, a 10 percent penalty
must be applied to the assessed value. The application of the penalty may only be abated by the
county board of equalization or assessment appeals board. Therefore, if an assessee does not
agree with the penalty and wishes to have the penalty abated, an application for changed
assessment (appeal) must be filed.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
A 25 percent penalty may be applied to the assessed value if the assessor discovers that the
assessee or agent willfully concealed information that resulted in a lower assessed value. 312
Section 503 provides for the application of a penalty in the amount of 75 percent of the
additional penalty to the assessed value if it is discovered that the property is underassessed due
to a fraudulent act or omission, or fraudulent collusion between the assessee (or the assessee's
agent) and the assessor (or the assessor's deputy). The interest and the penalties (if appropriate)
of the additional assessed value are added to escape assessments calculated on that additional
assessed value.
16
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
In most cases, escape assessments must be made within four years after July 1 of the assessment
year the property escaped assessment. This time period is extended to eight years if conditions
exist that warrant the 25 percent penalty application in sections 502 and 504. 313 This time period
is also extended to eight years if property escaped assessment as a result from an unrecorded
change in ownership for which either a change in ownership statement, as required by section
480, or a preliminary change in ownership report, as required by section 480.3, is not timely filed
with respect to the event giving rise to the escape assessment or underassessment. 314
24
25
The statutory time period for making an escape assessment is also extended if the assessee and
the assessor agree in writing to extend the time. Section 532.1 (a) provides that: in part reads:
26
27
28
29
30
31
If, before the expiration of the period specified in Section 532 for making an
escape assessment, the taxpayer and the assessor have agreed in writing to extend
the time for making an assessment, correction, or claim for refund, the assessment
may be made at any time prior to the expiration of the period agreed upon. The
period may be extended by subsequent agreements in writing made before the
expiration of the period previously agreed upon.
32
33
This written agreement is in writing may also be known as a waiver of the statute of limitations
(waiver). Each county develops its own form; therefore the titles of the forms, in addition to the
312
Sections 502 and 504.
Section 532(b)(1).
314
Section 531.5.532(b)(2).
313
AH 504
164
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
2
3
4
actual agreements may be different. 315 In all cases, however, the waiver should indicate that it
extends the time allowed for making an escape assessment, correction, and refund. If the waiver
does not specifically state that it extends the time for corrections and refunds, then it only
extends the time for making an escape assessment.
5
6
7
8
9
10
LOW VALUE ESCAPE ASSESSMENTS
11
12
13
14
Pursuant to section 531.8, assessors are It is required to notify that the assessees be notified using
of any proposed escaped assessments by sending them a Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment
at least 10 days prior to the entry of a value on the roll, pursuant to section 531.8. In relevant
part, section 531.8 reads:
15
16
17
No escape assessment shall be enrolled under this article before 10 days after the
assessor has mailed or otherwise delivered to the affected taxpayer a "Notice of
Proposed Escape Assessment" with respect to one or more specified tax years.
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
The intent of this provision is to provide assessees with advance notice of an escape assessment
before its enrollment, thereby increasing their opportunity to ask questions and prepare to file an
appeal. The notice may differ in appearance and content from county to county (as it is not
required on a the form is not Board-prescribed form), but certain information must be included in
order to meet the statutory requirements. For example, every Notice of Proposed Escape
Assessment must: (1) have a prominent heading showing the statutory title of the notice; (2)
show the amount of any the proposed escape assessment for each tax year as estimated by the
assessor; and (3) provide the a name and telephone number of a person at the assessor's office
who is knowledgeable with respect to the proposed escape assessment and to whom the assessee
can so the assessee can contact the assessor's office to voice any concerns with respect to the
proposed escape assessment or to, submit additional information. 316 , or otherwise discuss the
assessment; and have a prominent heading stating the statutory title of the Notice. As stated
above, Tthis notice must be sent by the assessor ten days prior to enrolling any escape
assessment. Absent such notice, no escape assessment may be levied, and, if levied is invalid and
void. When an audit results in escape assessments, the Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment
may be attached to the audit findings or may be sent independently along with other sources of
information.
Section 531.9 provides that a county may adopt an ordinance that authorizes the assessor not to
issue an escape assessment that would result in an amount of taxes that is less than the cost of
assessing and collecting the tax; this amount may not exceed $50.
NOTICE OF PROPOSED ESCAPE ASSESSMENT
315
The form with the agreement that extends the time limitation for processing an escape is not a Board-prescribed
form. The format and title of the form may differ between among counties.
316
Section 531.8
AH 504
165
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
2
3
Receipt of the Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment, however, does not constitute proper
notice of the escape assessment for purposes of sections 534(b)-(d) and 1605. Therefore, the
assessor should include express language on the notice to this effect:
4
5
6
7
8
You may not file an appeal based on this notice. After this proposed escape assessment
has been processed and enrolled, you will be advised that the escape assessment has been
enrolled by a Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment. You will also be provided
with information regarding your right to appeal either (1) the enrollment of the escape
assessment or (2) the value established for the escape assessment.
9
ENTRY ON ROLL
10
11
12
When an escape assessment is made, the entry on the roll must reference the year the property
escaped assessment and applicable sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Section 533
gives specific wording that must be entered on the roll. In part, the section states:
13
14
15
. . . if this is not the roll for the assessment year in which the property escaped
assessment, the entry shall be followed with "Escaped assessment for year 19__
pursuant to Sections __________ of the Revenue and Taxation Code."
16
17
18
19
Since appropriate sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code must be referenced when the entry
on the roll is made, it is important to determine if the missed escaped assessment was due to an
assessee error or an assessor error and/or concealment or fraud. The cause of the escape
assessment determines the appropriate section references.
20
21
22
23
24
As indicated earlier, an escape assessment shall not be enrolled unless the assessor has mailed or
delivered a Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment at least 10 days prior to the entry of the value
on the roll. 317 After an escape assessment is enrolled, section 534 requires that the assessor mail
a Board-prescribed notice to the assessee to notify the assessee that the escape assessment was
enrolled. 318 This notice is described below.
25
NOTICE OF ENROLLMENT OF ESCAPE ASSESSMENT
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Unless a county has adopted a resolution pursuant to the provisions of section 1605(a) and (c),
(explained below, at the end of this section), Ssection 534(b) requires that after an escape
assessment is enrolled, the assessor must notify the taxpayer personally or by United State mail
of the enrollment of the escape assessment. The assessment is not considered effective for any
purpose, including its review, equalization or adjustment by the board of supervisors until the
assessee has been notified of the enrollment of the escape assessment. 319 a Board-approved
notice to the assessee serving notice that the escape assessment was enrolled.
317
Section 531.8.
See section 534(b)-(d), Rule 305.3(d), and the section titled Notice for Filing an Application in Chapter 8 for
more information.
319
Section 534(b).
318
AH 504
166
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
2
3
4
5
Section 534(d) provides that the notice given by the assessor be on a form approved by the
Board. If a county has not adopted the provisions of section 1605(c), section 534 requires that a
The Board has developed the form, Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment, for assessors to
mail to assessee must be mailed at the time of enrollment of escape assessments. Pursuant to
section 534(c), Tthe notice must include the following information:


6
7
8
9
10

The date of mailing
Information regarding the assessee's right to an informal review, and the right to appeal
the assessment
The assessment appeal filing period—specified as within 60 days of the date of mailing
printed on the notice or the postmark date, whichever is later
11
12
13
14
15
16
There are no constraints on the time between the mailing of the Notice of Proposed Escape
Assessment and the subsequent Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment or tax bill. If,
however, the Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment is mailed within 90 days of the expiration
of the period provided by statute for making the escape assessment, then that period is
automatically extended 90 days. 320 Subsequent mailings of the Notice of Proposed Escape
Assessment for the same assessment year do not establish any further extension.
17
18
19
20
The Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment need not be sent in Los Angeles County and any
county that has adopted a resolution as described in section 1605(a) and (c) allowing a taxpayer
to file an assessment appeal based upon receipt of the tax bill. In such counties, the tax bill is the
proper notice, provided that specific appeal information is included in the tax bill.321
21
ROLL CORRECTIONS
22
23
24
25
Errors and omissions not involving the assessor's exercise of value judgment and not involving
escape assessments caused by the assessee's failure to report the information required by section
441 must be corrected within four years after making the original assessment. 322 A change to the
original entry on the assessment roll is a roll correction when:
26
27
28

A clerical error is caused by the assessor or another county official, whether the error
resulted in an increase or a decrease to the original entry on the roll (sections 4831(a);
4832).
29
30
31

A clerical error is caused by an assessee, based on a defect of description or other
information discovered upon an audit, and the error resulted in an assessment at a higher
valuation than would have otherwise been entered on the roll (section 4831.5). 323
320
Section 532.1(b).
See section 534(c)(3).
322
Section 4831(a)(1)-(2).
323
Assessee error that results with in an addition to the roll is an escape assessment, see sections 501 to 534; see also
discussion regarding escape assessments under this chapter.
321
AH 504
167
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
Roll corrections are different from escape assessments in several respects.
2

No penalties are involved with roll corrections.
3
4
5

While escape assessments may result from a roll correction, a roll correction cannot be
made for escape assessments when caused by the assessee's failure to report the
information required under section 441 (section 4831(a)(2)).
6
7
8

Roll corrections are limited to clerical errors only, and cannot be made for errors or
omissions involving the exercise of value judgment (section 4831(a)(1) except in limited
circumstances per section 4831(b).
9
10

The roll correction could result in a refund to the assessee, and if based on an assessor
error, the assessee is entitled to interest. 324
11
REFUNDS
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
If a roll correction decreases the amount of taxes because of an error by either the assessee or the
assessor, a refund of the overpayment of taxes is possible. Refunds of taxes paid are authorized
solely under the conditions described in sections 5096 through 5180. While a thorough
discussion of these sections (sections 5096 through 5180) is not within the realm of this manual,
it is important to note that it is the assessor's duty to deliver the corrected entry to the auditor,
who is required by section 4834 to implement correction procedures. The tax collector is
required to notify the assessee of the right to file a refund claim.
19
20
21
22
23
It may be appropriate for taxes to be offset by the auditor and the tax collector pursuant to
section 533. In part, the section reads: This section provides that the tax liability for an escape
assessment may generally be offset against a tax refund resulting from an audit and that the
audited assessee must be notified by the tax collector of any excess and the procedure for
claiming a refund of the excess amount.
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
If the assessments are made as a result of an audit which discloses that property
assessed to the party audited has been incorrectly assessed either for a past tax
year for which taxes have been paid and a claim for refund is not barred by
Section 5097 or for any tax year for which the taxes are unpaid, the tax refunds
resulting from the incorrect assessments shall be an offset against proposed tax
liabilities, including accumulated penalties and interest, resulting from escaped
assessments for any tax year covered by the audit.
324
Section 5151(c)(1)(A)-(C).
AH 504
168
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
BASE YEAR VALUE CORRECTIONS
2
3
4
Although applicable only to real property (including fixtures) valued under aArticle XIII A of the
California Constitution, it is important to make the distinction between roll corrections and base
year value corrections. Roll corrections and base year value corrections are not identical.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Section 51.5 provides authority for assessors to make corrections to a base year value whenever
it is discovered that a base year value does not reflect applicable constitutional or statutory
valuation standards or the base year value was omitted. If an error or omission involves the
exercise of the assessor's judgment as to value, the error can be corrected only if it is placed on
the current roll or roll being prepared within four years after July 1 of the assessment year for
which the base year value was established. Escape assessments, refunds or the cancellations of
taxes are authorized where appropriate as the result of a base year value correction.
12
13
SUMMARY OF REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE SECTIONS REGARDING ROLL
PROCEDURES
14
15
16
17
18
The following table represents a summary of the Revenue and Taxation Code sections referenced
regarding roll procedures (escape assessments, corrections, refunds, and base year value
corrections). This table is supplied as a reference tool only. It does not quote the sections listed,
but rather provides a brief synopsis of each section for quick reference to the authoritative law on
each subject.
AH 504
169
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
1
TABLE 98A
REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE SECTIONS APPLICABLE TO ROLL PROCEDURES
R&T Code
Reference
Remarks
Section 463
Penalty for failure to file statement. A penalty, 10 percent of assessed value, is
applied when a property statement is not filed in accordance with filing requirements
and deadlines as identified in sections 441 and 463, respectively. The penalty may be
applied to the regular roll, or applied to additions made to the roll after originally
completed and published. It may only be abated by the county board of equalization
or assessment appeals board.
Section 502
Concealment, etc., of tangible personal property. A penalty, 25 percent of the
additional assessed value as provided in section 504, is applied if the taxpayer or
agent willfully conceals information that results with a lower assessed value. The
penalty is applied to additions made to the roll after originally completed and
published.
Section 503
Fraudulent act, collusion, causing escape of taxable tangible property. A penalty, 75
percent of the additional assessed value, is applied if through a fraudulent act or
omission, or fraudulent collusion, the property is underassessed in whole or in part.
The penalty is applied to additions made to the roll after originally completed and
published.
Section 504
Penalty assessments; amounts. Indicates percentage of penalty added if required per
section 502 (25 percent).
Section 506
Tax rate applicable, interest. The tax rate is the rate of the year of escape. Apply
interest for the number of months from delinquency date to roll entry date. Interest is
applied at the rate of three-fourths of 1 percent per month from the date the taxes
would have become delinquent if filed timely.
Section 531
Escaped Property. Property is deemed to have escaped assessment under this section
when its owner fails to file a property statement per section 441 resulting in no
assessment or an underassessment. No willful or fraudulent act is involved.
Section 531.1
Escaped property, incorrect exemption. If it is discovered that an exemption was
incorrectly allowed, an escape assessment shall be made.
Section 531.3
Escaped personal property, failure to report cost accurately. Escape assessment due
to inaccurate report of personal property cost when assessor required a cost report.
Section 531.4
Escaped business property, inaccurate statement or report. Escape assessment due
to inaccurate business property statement or report.
Section 531.5
Escaped property, business inventory exemption. Escape assessment due to the
application of an incorrect business inventory exemption.
AH 504
170
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
TABLE 98A
REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE SECTIONS APPLICABLE TO ROLL PROCEDURES
R&T Code
Reference
Remarks
Section 531.8
Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment. Requires 10 day notice to taxpayer prior to
enrollment of escape assessment.
Section 531.9
Escape assessment; low value exemption. Escape assessments up to $50 in taxes may
be exempted by county ordinance.
Section 532
Statute of limitations. Eight year statute of limitations where 25 percent (sections 502
and 504) nondisclosure or fraud penalty applies. Four year statute of limitations
where no penalty involved.
Section 532.1
Extension of time for making escape assessment. Extends the time period specified in
section 532 for making an escape assessment, correction, or claim for refund.
(Extension only applies to corrections and refunds if specifically stated in the written
agreement between the taxpayer and assessor.)
Section 533
Entry on roll. For assessments made pursuant to article 3 or 4 (commencing with
sections 501 and 531 respectively), the entry on the roll is to state: "Escaped
assessment for year 19__ pursuant to Sections ___________ of the Revenue and
Taxation Code."
Section 534
If the an escape assessments are is made as a result of an audit, which discloses that
property assessed to the party audited has been incorrectly assessed either for a past
tax year for which taxes have been paid and a claim for refund is not barred by
section 5097 or for any tax year for which the taxes are unpaid, the tax refunds
resulting from the incorrect assessments shall be offset against proposed tax
liabilities, including accumulated penalties and interest, resulting from escaped
assessments for any tax year covered by the audit.
Procedure after assessment. Tax rate to be applied: same rate as used for year of
escape. (See also section 506.) Notification to the assessee of an escape assessment
must be provided to make escape assessment effective and shall be on a form
prescribed approved by the State Board of Equalization Board unless the county has
adopted a resolution in accordance with section 1605, allowing the tax bill to serve
as notice of the enrollment of the escape assessment.
Section 4831
Incorrect entries; transfers to unsecured roll. Any assessor error. Result of an
incorrect entry on the roll or clerical error.
Section 4831.5
Correction of errors caused by the assessee. Correction to the roll when information
furnished to the assessor resulted with an overassessment of the property.
Sections
5096-5180
Section 51.5
Refunds. Various code sections related to refunds.
AH 504
Errors and omissions in determination of base year value. Provides authority to
correct base year values.
171
August 2010October 2002
Chapter 8 9
TABLE 98A
REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE SECTIONS APPLICABLE TO ROLL PROCEDURES
R&T Code
Reference
Remarks
Sections 830, 862 866, 4876 - 4880
Failure to File Statement, Escape Assessments of State-Assessed Property; Errors on
the Board Roll. Code sections governing roll changes for state-assessed property.
1
AH 504
172
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
2
APPENDIX AB: COORDINATION OF LANDLORD AND LEASEHOLD
IMPROVEMENT APPRAISALS
3
DEVELOP AN INTER-DEPARTMENTAL MEMORANDUM FOR COORDINATION
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Transferring information between the real property and business property divisions within an
assessor's office can help to avoid duplicate or escape assessment of landlord and leasehold
improvements – both of which may include structure items and fixtures. One method used to
track and monitor this transfer of information in some assessors' offices is an inter-departmental
memorandum. This memorandum is sent between departments (i.e., between the real property
division and business division) with a copy of the improvement source document (e.g., building
permit, change in ownership statement, etc.). As shown in the table below, the memorandum
includes three copies: one copy kept by the originator to verify completion of the assessment,
one copy for the real property file, and one copy for the business property file.
13
14
15
16
The intent of the memorandum is to provide a complete record of the appraisal, including
classification, valuation, and assessee. It summarizes all appraisal information for the business
file and real property record. The following table illustrates how an inter-departmental
memorandum may be used in practice.
EXAMPLE BA.1
INTER-DEPARTMENTAL MEMORANDUM

The business property division receives a property statement reporting additions on Schedule B. After
reviewing the property statement, the auditor-appraiser initiates a memorandum to the real property
division addressing these additions.

The originator (auditor-appraiser) keeps the original memorandum (copy #1). Next, the auditorappraiser attaches copies #2 and #3 to a copy of Schedule B and forwards that information to the real
property division. The auditor-appraiser retains the original (copy #1) to track the appraisal of the
improvements.

Using the memorandum and its attachments, the real property appraiser determines any applicable
value changes. After valuing the property, the real property appraiser places copy #2 in the real
property file.

Using the final copy (copy #3), the real property appraiser notifies the business property division of
the appraisal, along with any recommendations for the auditor-appraiser.
17
AH 504
173
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
DESCRIPTION OF METHOD
2
3
4
5
The following steps describe one method of coordinating the appraisal of landlord and leasehold
improvements as it is used by some assessors' offices. Under this method, information regarding
landlord or leasehold improvements is referred to and from the real property and personal
property divisions for evaluation and appropriate action.
6
7
8
9
10
11
After proper classification, the real property appraiser values the property reported in Columns 1,
3, and 4 (i.e., Structure Items Only, Land Improvements, Land and Land Development), while the
auditor-appraiser values the property reported in Column 2 (i.e., Fixtures Only). 325 This method
requires that the business division provides a copy of Schedule B (and the Supplemental
Schedule) from the Business Property Statement to the real property appraiser each year, or
whenever a change is reported from the prior year's schedule.
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
As discussed above, a memorandum should be attached to this documentation. After a review of
the statement and/or inspection of the property, the real property appraiser notifies the auditorappraiser of the action taken (on copy #3 of the memorandum). In the event that the assessee
does not correctly classify the improvements, the real property appraiser's review should include
consideration of both non-fixture real property items (Columns 1, 3, and 4) and fixtures (Column
2). Based on a building permit received earlier in the year, for instance, the real property
appraiser may add value to real property, believing those improvements to be structure items.
However, the assessee may report the same improvements on the property statement as fixtures.
If the real property appraiser does not receive a copy of Schedule B of this statement, and review
the costs as they were reported, a duplicate assessment may occur.
22
23
This communication process works in both directions. Although the memorandum could
originate from either division, it more often it originates from the business division.
24
Example
25
26
27
Following is an example of an assessment of leasehold improvements using the suggested
procedures outlined above. The example demonstrates only one method to coordinate the
assessment of leasehold improvements; it is not the only proper method.
325
On Schedule B of the Business Property Statement
AH 504
174
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
EXAMPLE BA.2
ASSESSMENT OF LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS

In August 20018, a tenant obtained a building permit valued at $60,000 to install restaurant
improvements in a new strip mall. During September 20018, the real property division received a
copy of this building permit. The real property appraiser copied the permit and forwarded it to the
business division with an attached memorandum. Since this was done in a timely manner, a copy of
the permit was in the business file prior to receipt of the Business Property Statement.

In April 20029, the business division received a property statement from the assessee (the tenant)
reporting the actual cost of the improvements as $48,000. The assessee classified and reported all
leasehold improvements as fixtures on Schedule B, Column 2. No items were reported in Columns 1,
3, and 4.

The property statement included a supplemental schedule that broke down the total cost additions on
Schedule B. Following is the list of additions and their cost are shown below:
2
EXAMPLE BA.2 (CONTINUED)
SUPPLEMENTAL SCHEDULE (SCHEDULE B)
Description
Electrical wiring to restaurant equipment
Flooring
Rough plumbing to restaurant equipment
Walk-in refrigerator
Store front
Sign in front of restaurant
Interior wall paint
Light fixtures & ceiling fans
Stainless steel sink in kitchen
Booths
Counters
Dishwasher
Hood
Total
Cost
$ 2,500
5,000
5,000
10,000
2,500
500
1,000
3,500
1,000
10,000
3,000
2,500
1,500
$ 48,000
3
4
Step 1: Verification of Costs
5
6
7
8
Since the amount on the building permit did not match the actual cost reported by the business
owner, it was appropriate to verify actual costs. It is important to note when the value indicated
on a building permit varies from the total costs reported on a property statement. In general, this
variance may occur due to several reasons: (1) the tenant may have overestimated the cost of
AH 504
175
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
2
improvements; (2) the landlord and tenant may have split the cost of the improvements; or (3)
the business owner may have underreported the cost of the leasehold improvements.
3
4
5
6
In this case, the auditor-appraiser contacted the business owner prior to sending a copy of the
property statement to the real property appraiser. The auditor-appraiser found that the business
owner overestimated the cost of improvements when applying for the permit. Thus, the property
statement represented actual cost.
7
Step 2: Transfer of information
8
9
10
11
12
The business property division forwarded a memorandum to the real property division with
copies of Schedule B and the supplemental schedule. On the memorandum, the auditor-appraiser
referenced (1) the September 20018 memorandum received from the real property division and
(2) the information received from the assessee in step 1. Utilizing all information available aids
in the proper classification of improvements.
13
Step 3: Classification
14
15
16
17
Depending upon the established policy of the assessor's office, either the auditor-appraiser or real
property appraiser may classify the property. For this example, the real property appraiser
classified the leasehold improvements. The real property appraiser classified the property as
follows:
EXAMPLE BA.3
CLASSIFICATION BY REAL PROPERTY APPRAISER
Electrical wiring to restaurant equipment
Flooring
Rough plumbing to restaurant equipment
Walk-in refrigerator - not integral part of building
Store front
Sign in front of restaurant
Interior wall paint
Light fixtures and ceiling fans
Stainless steel sink in kitchen
Booths
Counters
Dishwasher
Hood
Total
Cost
$ 2,500
5,000
5,000
10,000
2,500
500
1,000
3,500
1,000
10,000
3,000
2,500
1,500
$ 48,000
Structure
Fixture
$ 2,500
$ 5,000
5,000
10,000
2,500
500
1,000
3,500
______
$12,000
1,000
10,000
3,000
2,500
1,500
$ 36,000
18
AH 504
176
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
Step 4: Determination of Assessee
2
3
4
5
In this example, the assessee was determined to be the tenant. As discussed earlier,
improvements can be assessed to either the landlord or the tenant, on either the secured or
unsecured roll. Commonly, as in this example, they are assessed to the party that paid for the
improvements.
6
Step 5: Valuation
7
Valuation of Structure Items
8
9
10
After classification, the real property appraiser determined the value of the structure items listed
above. If land improvements, land, and land development were reported (Columns 3 and 4 of
Schedule B), the real property appraiser would have valued these improvements as well.
11
Valuation of Fixtures
12
13
14
15
16
17
After valuing the structure items, the real property appraiser forwarded a copy of Schedule B
along with copy #3 of the memorandum – detailing the action taken – to the auditor-appraiser.
Using that information, the auditor-appraiser must then value the fixtures. As discussed earlier,
fixtures are real property;, which they must be valued, at the lesser of: (1) their full cash value or
fair market value, or (2) their factored base year value. The auditor-appraiser valued and enrolled
the fixtures as shown below:
EXAMPLE BA.4
VALUATION OF FIXTURES
Total 20018 Cost of
Fixtures
Percent
Good
Factor 326
Fair
Market
Value
Indexed Value
(2% Inflation)
Cost
Index
Factor
$ 36,000
100
.93.94
$ 33,480
$33,840
$ 36,720
Enrolled Value
$ 33,480
$33,840
18
19
Step 6: Enrollment of Value
20
21
22
23
In general, the assessed value can be enrolled to either the secured or unsecured roll account
depending on how the assessor's office enrolls leasehold improvements (i.e., on the secured roll
to the land and building owner or on the unsecured roll to the tenant who paid for
improvements). As discussed in sStep 4, the tenant was determined to be the assessee, both
326
The appraiser in this example has determined an average 12-year service life for these types of fixtures, using the
2009 update of AH 581.
AH 504
177
August 2010October 2002
Appendix A B
1
2
3
4
5
values (structure value and fixture value) were enrolled on an unsecured account with the
business personal property. Since the value of fixtures is used in the for the purposes of
determining those taxpayers with the largest assessments for determination of a mandatory audit
purposes under section 469, separation of the structure and fixture values on the unsecured
account is necessary.
6
Step 7: Clearly Identify the Leasehold Improvements on the Appraisal Records
7
8
9
10
11
12
In Tthe final step, the appraisers must documents the assessment in the on appraisal records.
Notes regarding the leasehold improvements in both the real property appraisal records and in
the business property files will assist in verification of the assessment(s) and can help to avoid
double efforts in future assessment years. These notes summarize the information relied upon
during the appraisal and identify the actions taken. The memo(s) and attached copies of source
documents are kept in the appraisal records as support.
AH 504
178
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
APPENDIX B G: SAMPLING
2
GENERAL
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
When an assessor, assessee, or third party chooses to use some type of sampling methodology to
develop their own factors for determining percent good or depreciation, it is important to be
familiar with some of the basic concepts of statistical sampling in order to properly analyze the
results. Sampling is a statistical method which that enables one to make observations regarding
an entire group of items (population) based on a study of a smaller sub-set (sample) of this
group. It is a powerful tool in studying large populations. The advantage of a statistical sample is
that sound inferences can be drawn regarding a population at only a fraction of the cost of
investigating each item in the population. In some cases, a thorough investigation of a sample
can actually produce more reliable results than a cursory enumeration of the entire population.
12
13
In the valuation of a group of items for assessment purposes, for example, sampling may be
applied to:
14
 Derive valuation schedules by analyzing market values
15
 Derive replacement cost new (RCN) factors and indexes
16
 Derive physical deterioration, and functional and economic obsolescence indexes
17
 Estimate economic lifetime and survival characteristics of a population of assets
18
 Calculate appropriate trade level adjustments
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Sampling design, potential pitfalls, and the reasonable expectations as to the confidence
associated with various samples will vary greatly depending upon the population being sampled.
Therefore, few rigid rules apply in all situations. Independent professional judgment is necessary
in selecting testing techniques and/or selecting or developing a sampling plan. However, certain
principles are encountered and/or applied in nearly all sampling situations. For example, in every
case, the sample result must be objective and defensible. The following discussion is an
introductory summary of some of the more important aspects that should be considered in
designing and conducting a sample. For a more thorough understanding of the subject, it is
advisable to consult a textbook on sampling and/or statistics, some of which are referenced at the
conclusion of this text.
29
REPRESENTATIVENESS
30
31
32
33
34
Accepted sampling theory requires that a sample be drawn randomly from a population in order
to make sure statistical inferences regarding that population. In statistics, a population is a set of
all objects or units to be measured or studied. A sample is a subset of a given population. A
random sample is a sample selected in such a manner that every unit of the population has an
equal chance of being included in the sample.
AH 504
179
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
2
3
4
5
Ideally, the population that is sampled should coincide with the entire population under study.
Sometimes, usually for practicality or convenience, they will not coincide. If so, any statistical
inferences drawn from the sample apply to the sampled population only. The extent to which
those inferences can be applied to a target population which is different from the sampled
population will be a question of judgment.
6
7
8
9
10
11
In many cases it is not possible, or practical, to draw a random sample; the sample drawn will be
non-random or "biased."327 Deviating from the theoretical approach is not necessarily wrong, nor
does it necessarily invalidate conclusions regarding a target population drawn from a sample,
providing that if potential bias is identified, it is not large and/or there are no practical
alternatives available. However, if bias does exist great care needs to be taken to avoid reaching
invalid conclusions.
12
13
14
15
16
For example, the set of assets for which sales transactions have occurred is not at all a random
selection, as it excludes items that no buyer would want (zero or even negative value) and also
items an owner would be unlikely to sell. Such a "sample" might be representative of the
inventory of certain used equipment dealers, but not representative of the totality of assets held
by an industrial firm.
17
SAMPLE SIZE
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
The sample size needed to obtain a certain degree of confidence in the results is largely
independent of the size of the population. Sample sizes must be large enough to provide
meaningful results, but not so large to create wasteful effort. Needed sample sizes will vary
greatly, depending upon the nature of the population being sampled. As the size of the
population increases, the needed sample size expressed as a percentage of the population
decreases. A sample consisting of far less than 1 one percent of the population is often
appropriate for large populations
25
26
27
28
29
The most important factor in determining the appropriate sample size is the variability (or
variance) within the population of the characteristic being sampled. The larger the variability, the
larger the sample size needed. For example, a particular sample size could be satisfactory for the
study of one population, but be quite inadequate for the study of a second population with a
substantially larger variance than the first.
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
One aspect of applying sampling to the field of valuation that will tend to increase needed
sample size is that many populations are effectively comprised of subpopulations, each of which
requiring a separate finding. For example, in conducting a sample to establish a table of
valuation factors to apply to a particular type of equipment, a sample size of n might be sufficient
to estimate the average value of all such equipment as a percent of its original cost. However, the
resultant value estimate would have no usefulness since (1) it would be an average across all
years of acquisition and (2) factors are needed for each year of acquisition. Establishing a
327
Inferences may be drawn from a biased sample, but it must be remembered that the conclusions will be based on
the assumption of a random sample model and will not reflect the influence of the bias.
AH 504
180
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
2
3
4
5
6
reliable table would require for each year a sample size large enough to allow one to draw
meaningful conclusions regarding that year. The variance of each of the subpopulations of
individual years would not be as large as the variance of the population of all years considered
together. Therefore, the needed sample size for each of the individual years would be something
less than n. However, the total needed sample size for all of the years would probably be much
larger than the n that would be sufficient to estimate the population when considered as a whole.
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Due to large variances within some subpopulations subject to sampling and the scarcity of
sample item observations, results that are not completely consistent among subpopulations may
occur. Raw data indicating 60% depreciation after 3 years, 40% after 4 years, and 50% after 5
years, for example, would not be reasonable. A 60% - 59% - 49% pattern, although not as
inconsistent, would not be acceptable either. When such inconsistencies occur, there will be a
need to fit a nonlinear curve to the findings for the subpopulations by selecting the appropriate
standard curve or set of curves or by constructing a best-fitting curve.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
If the general form of the curve is known, or can be assumed, in advance, it may be reasonable to
establish a table of factors by fitting a curve to a sample of individual data points rather than
formally dividing the population into subpopulations. However, in order for the curve to yield
reliable estimates for each year, the sample would need to contain a sufficient number of items
for each year. The effect could be close to the same as dividing the population into
subpopulations to begin with, although some reduction in sample size will result from being able
to utilize the relationships among years as an indicator for any given year.
21
STRATIFICATION
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
Stratification is the segregation of a population into smaller homogeneous groups, with the
expressed purpose of improving sample efficiency and/or sample reliability. For populations
with a large variance among their elements, sampling efficiency and reliability may be increased
by dividing the population into strata, sampling the strata separately, projecting the sample of
each stratum to estimate the entire stratum, and combining the projections of the strata based on
the weight each stratum contributes toward the total population. This process can often be
effective by ensuring that infrequently occurring items are represented in the sample in the same
proportion as in the population.
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
It should be noted that although separating a population into subpopulations (discussed under
Sample Size) and dividing it into strata appear to be similar, the two actions are quite different
and are done for different reasons. Subpopulations are formed when a separate estimate is
needed for each of the subpopulations. Taking this action increases the total number of sample
items compared to what would be required if a single estimate for the population as a whole were
needed. Stratification is used in order to increase the efficiency and reliability of a sample that is
being used to make a single estimate for the overall population. It tends to reduce the standard
error of the sample in contrast to the resultant errors that would occur with stratification.
Stratification also allows one to make an estimate for the population, using a smaller sample than
would be required without stratification, but still achieves the same degree of confidence.
AH 504
181
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
MEASUREMENT
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
A random sample of adequate size with improperly measured observations would be of no more
validity than a biased sample of inadequate size. It is quite possible that the observable value for
the items in a sample will not be the value that is the true focus of the study. The true focus of
many studies will be the market value of a certain type of equipment. The observable value may
need to be adjusted for factors such as trade level or quantity discounts to estimate this market
value. Although adjustments may be appropriate in some circumstances, care needs to be taken
in making any such adjustments. For example, if retirements are not promptly reflected on an
assessee's books, then those records may be a poor reflection of economic life. However,
attempting to adjust those records for non-recorded retirements could reduce the study to a level
little better than guesswork. Similarly, when studying the retirement pattern of equipment that is
of a type so new that the length of time period studied is less than the total useful life of the
equipment, substituting someone's opinion as to when a piece of equipment will be retired would
be of questionable validity.
15
OUTLIERS
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
One of the most difficult areas of judgment in the practical application of statistics is the
handling of outliers. Outliers are sample items with extreme values that do not appear to be
representative of the population from which they were drawn (or at least not in the same
proportion as indicated by the sampling frequency). Various guidelines for the identification of
outliers can be found in statistical texts. Sometimes those guidelines are expressed in terms of
statistical parameters (e.g. more than three standard deviations from the sample mean). These
guidelines give the appearance of providing a precise means of identifying outliers; however, this
is somewhat illusory. Identifying outliers is always a question of judgment. Rejecting a sample
item as an outlier means that the sample that will be projected is not random. A truly
unrepresentative item that seriously distorts the projection of the sample needs to be rejected, but
the number of such occurrences should be very small. If more than just a few observations have
to pass the test of being representative in the eyes of the party conducting the sampling, the entire
sampling process is reduced to a question of judgment.
29
VALIDITY OF RESULTS
30
31
32
33
34
Whether the sampling is performed by an assessor, an assessee, or another party, it is important
that all the involved parties have confidence in the results. To this end it is desirable that there be
a discussion among the parties before the sampling is started. Methodology should be discussed
and, to the extent possible, agreed upon. A clear audit trail must be maintained in order that all
parties can be satisfied that the sample was selected and projected properly.
35
36
37
38
The party conducting the sampling study should be prepared to make a confidence statement,
which consists of both a confidence level and a confidence interval. The interval estimate of a
parameter is called a confidence interval, and the lower and upper values of the interval are the
confidence limits. The confidence level indicates the probability that the interval will contain the
AH 504
182
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
2
true value of the parameter. (If the sample is not random, these will not be true confidence
intervals. However, they will serve to indicate the relative variability within the sample.)
3
4
5
6
7
8
Because of large differences among populations it is difficult to recommend a particular degree
of confidence that must be reached in order for the results to be considered meaningful. A
finding that a class of property had depreciated by 50% after five years with an 80% confidence
level and an interval bounded by 0% and 100% would have little meaning. On the other hand, a
confidence interval bounded by 49.5% and 50.5% would be of almost remarkable precision.
Actual results will tend to fall between these two extremes.
9
10
11
12
13
14
The confidence interval is a measure of the variability of the units included in the sample. In and
of itself, it is not a measure of whether a sample is acceptable or unacceptable. However, the
smaller the interval the more reliable the results of the sample will be. When a large interval is
disclosed the assessor, assessee, and/or a third party must make a decision regarding the
acceptability of the sample based upon the best information available. Some of the options to be
considered in making this decision include:
15

Accept the sample
16

Increase the sample size
17

Stratification
18

Do not accept the sample
19
SUMMARY
20
21
22
23
This appendix is provided to afford the reader with a basic understanding of sampling and its
possible application in the context of property tax. For further information on sampling theory
and application, it is recommended that an interested reader consult a textbook on statistics. The
following are among the books offering further information and additional examples:
24
Cochran, William G., Sampling Techniques, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1977.
25
26
Freund, Rudolf J. and Wilson, William J., Statistical Methods Revised Edition, Academic
Press, 1997.
27
28
Arkin, Herbert, Handbook of Sampling for Auditing and Accounting 2nd Edition,
McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1974.
29
30
Arens, Alvin A. and Loebbecke, James K., Applications of Statistical Sampling to
Auditing Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1981.
AH 504
183
August 2010October 2002
Appendix BG
1
2
3
Neter, John and Loebbecke, James K., Behavior of Major Statistical Estimators in
Sampling Accounting Populations: An Empirical Study, American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants, New York, New York, 1975.
4
5
Also recommended, as an example, is the Sales and Use Tax Audit Manual, California State
Board of Equalization, Department of Business Taxes, Chapter 13: Statistical Sampling.
6
AH 504
184
August 2010October 2002
Appendix C H
1
APPENDIX C H: APPLICATION OF THE MARKET METHOD
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
As stated in Chapter 4, the market method is any method of calculating value factors (and/or
developing depreciation tables) which relies on market data, with adjustments made for relevant
property characteristics incorporated in the data. 328 Using a variation of this methodology, an
appraiser may gather market data for identical or similar property to compare the price of a used
asset to the original price new of that same asset. Market data (i.e., prices new and/or used) may
come from actual invoices, other reliable records of sales of used equipment, or reliable price
guides (blue books, etc.) in some cases, with adjustments as appropriate. The price used and
original price new of the asset is used by the appraiser to estimate the value factor (used price /
new price = value factor) 329 at the age it was at the time of sale. The estimates are reduced to a
table of value factors (similar to a depreciation table and/or the percent good tables published by
the Board) and arrayed on a scattergram. A best-fit curve, passing through the entire mass of
points, estimates average value factors at each age and the average decline in value per year. (It
is usually, but not always, set to 100% at age 0 in order to correspond with the assumption that a
new asset is purchased at its market value when new.)
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
This appendix does not include all the possible opportunities and problems involved in
developing valuation factors by any methodology. Thus, the examples provided should not be
deemed the only proper models. The models do not represent methods that are appropriate, and
necessarily complete for all circumstances. A large group of representative assets or an explicit
random sample of assets can be used to develop the depreciation factors. Sound judgment and
accepted statistical methods should be used in developing and applying the methodology in each
individual situation where a market method is considered appropriate.
24
The following list is provided to illustrate the basic methodology.
25
26

Obtain the sales prices of used assets that are similar to the assets to be valued (for
example, assets of the same type, age and price range), on or close to the lien date.
27
28

Obtain the average selling prices new for the same asset during each previous year (or
quarter, if available).
29
30

Adjust selling prices new and/or used as required to account for such factors as features,
upgrades, trade level, volume discounts etc.
31
32

Calculate the percent good of this used asset as a fraction of its price new for each of the
ages represented.
328
Sampling should be used when gathering market data, see Appendix C G on sampling.
Using the market method, a combined factor may be estimated similar to the result of multiplying the index
factor and the percent good factor used from AH 581 tables discussed in this chapter 4.
329
AH 504
185
August 2010October 2002
Appendix C H
1
2

Perform these same steps for as many assets as possible to obtain a database of prices of
used versus new assets.
3
4

Reduce the data to a single schedule of value factors that relate age to value as a percent
of price new.
5
DEVELOPING COMBINED FACTORS
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
A combined factor, as used in this text, is (1) the product of multiplying the replacement cost
index factor and the percent good factor, or (2) can be derived directly, without computing the
replacement cost index and the percent good factors individually, using a market method. When
such factors are derived directly, one arithmetic step is saved. A combined factor is a product of
the replacement index factor and percent good factor. Examples of methods to compute
combined factors directly from a market method are included below. These methods create
several data points for each asset in the sample or group of assets to be studied. All data points
combined for all assets should then be reduced to a single schedule.
14
15
METHOD 1: COMPUTE CHANGES BETWEEN CURRENT LIEN DATE AND PREVIOUS
YEARS
16
17
18
The methodology illustrated in the example below is the most theoretically accurate method for
developing combined factors; it is the method used to develop percent good factors for real
property. It requires annual updating to be useful and reliable.
19
Example
20
21
22
A rapidly depreciating item of equipment was selling used on January 1, 1998 2009 for $1,000.
The average selling prices new of comparable equipment were as follows in previous years, and
the resulting factors deriving from this data are shown:
YEAR
19982009
19972008
19962007
19952006
19942005
19932004
SELLING
PRICE NEW
FACTOR
(%)
100
83
67
53
43
33
$1,200
$1,500
$1,900
$2,300
$3,000
(1000/1000)
(1000/1200)
(1000/1500)
(1000/1900)
(1000/2300)
(1000/3000)
23
24
25
Note that for this item, selling prices new declined over time as technological improvements
occurred.
AH 504
186
August 2010October 2002
Appendix C H
1
METHOD 2: COMPUTE HISTORICAL CHANGES IN PRICE
2
3
4
5
Factors derived using the methodology illustrated in the example below are easily verifiable
when prices can be determined at specific points in time and data are available. Care must taken
when applying factors derived using this method in subsequent years. These markets are not
static. Several problems that may occur when this method is used include the following:
6
7
1. When value is measured over a long period, the earliest data points are several years old and
possibly inaccurate.
8
2. It may be difficult to locate data for one-year-old equipment.
9
10
3. If the equipment is of the type that is subject to rapid technological changes, it is difficult to
find old equipment that is functionally identical to new equipment.
11
Example
12
13
14
An item is selling new for $1,000 on January 1, 19932009. Following are selling prices of
comparable used equipment on the same date in subsequent years, and the resulting factors
derived from this data:
DATE
AGE
(in years)
SELLING
PRICE USED
01/01/9309
01/01/9408
01/01/9507
01/01/9606
01/01/9705
01/01/9804
0
1
2
3
4
5
$1000 (new)
$900
$790
$720
$670
$580
FACTOR
(%)
100
90
79
72
67
58
(1000/1000)
(900/1000)
(790/1000)
(720/1000)
(670/1000)
(580/1000)
15
16
SUMMARY
17
18
19
20
The foregoing discussion does not include all the possible opportunities and problems involved
in developing valuation tables for machinery and equipment for use in the cost approach to
value. This appendix is meant only to give a basic background on different methods that may be
used to develop cost approach tables using current market data.
AH 504
187
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
APPENDIX D I: LIFING STUDIES
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
As discussed generally in Chapter 4 and more specifically in Assessors' Handbook Section 582
(AH 582), Explanation of the Derivation of Percent Good Factors, an average service life
estimate is necessary in order to effectively utilize equipment index and percent good tables.
Mortality studies are statistical studies, typically based upon a sample of a population, which
estimate a percentage of items that live at any given age and their life expectancy at any given
age. A mortality study identifies a group of items, records the life term of each term in the group,
and averages the life term or probable life expectancy of the items when new, by summing the
life terms of all items in the group and dividing that number by the total number in the group.
The probable total life expectancy of survivors of the group is similarly calculated by summing
their total life expectancies and dividing that number by the number of survivors at that age. The
result is a "forecast" of the total life expectancy as time passes.
13
14
15
Mortality studies may come in many forms. Actuarial tables compiled by insurance companies to
predict the life expectancy of humans at all ages are probably the most common. Similar studies
of personal property and various types of equipment are often referred to as lifing studies.
16
17
18
19
20
21
The Iowa State University, Department of Engineering mortality (or lifing) studies, published in
the form of a series of graphs and tables for various types of industrial machinery and equipment
are useful for assessment purposes. 330 However, other studies and/or methods of conducting
lifing studies may also be appropriate for assessment purposes, provided that they are timely,
properly designed, appropriately conducted, and carefully evaluated. In such circumstances these
studies may, in some cases, provide extremely accurate results.
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
The following is a general discussion of lifing study methodology. Although not intended to be
directly applicable to any one fact situation, this information may be helpful in evaluating lifing
studies submitted by assesses in various circumstances. In contrast to the Iowa State University
study discussed in AH 582, the methodology explained here is modeled after a brief treatise set
forth in Engineering Valuation and Depreciation. 331 In practice, those designing and conducting
a lifing study using the concepts of this methodology may employ numerous variations of it,
either expanding upon it, or interposing other methods deemed more appropriate for the
particular property involved.
330
331
A brief discussion of the Iowa State University study is included in AH 582.
Marston, Winfrey, and Hemstead, McGraw-Hill, Engineering Valuation and Depreciation (1953), p 154-155.
AH 504
188
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
DATA SOURCES
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Every lifing study reflects the particular data sources inputted. Generally, the most reliable
sources of data for a lifing study are the retirement records of assessees, related to the specific
category of property subject to study. Generally, recorded retirements contain data that are more
complete and verifiable than other data sources. Accordingly, this type of data source should be
given greater weight in the study than a less reliable source, such as, unrecorded retirements. For
example, if one business owner seldom conducts physical inventories and/or has significant
unrecorded retirements, those data should be given little weight, except as in indication of an
upper bound of lifetime, since it is incomplete and unverified.
10
11
12
13
When verifying the accuracy of retirement records or determining the existence of unrecorded
retirements, it may be necessary to conduct a complete inventory or review of all records related
to the property. Relevant data to be reviewed and evaluated consists of the following information
for each asset in the group studied:
14

Original in-service date
15

Original acquisition date
16

Date of retirement, if any
17
18

Proceeds at retirement, if any (if significant proceeds were realized at retirement, the
appraiser should verify that a true retirement occurred).
19
20
21
22
23
While information obtained from Business Property Statements should be considered, it may be
incomplete from the standpoint of the statistical data required here and may not always be
reliable for use in a lifing study. Furthermore, acquisitions and retirements of the property are not
the only events that affect the reported totals on these statements. All of the following may
impact totals for a given category:
24

Transfers in
25

Transfers out
26

Lease buy-outs
27

Purchases of used equipment
28

Reclassifications of assets
29

Consolidations
30

Differences in recording information
31

Conversions of information systems
32
33
34
Only studies based on reliable and complete records specific to individual assets can give reliable
estimates of lifetime. Therefore, a review of the records specific to each asset is appropriate and
generally necessary when such a specific study is conducted.
AH 504
189
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
GENERAL STEPS
1
2
Lifing studies consist of three general steps:
3

Calculating the survivor curve of known assets
4
5

Matching the survivor curve to known standard curves (by average lifetime and shape of
curve)
6
7

Applying the parameters of the matching curve to determine probable remaining economic
lifetime at each age.
8
CALCULATING THE SURVIVOR CURVE
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
As discussed in AH 582, a "survivor curve" expresses the percentage or number of survivors of
an original group of items for each year of existence in the group. From the mathematician's
viewpoint, "Survivor curves and their derived curves expressing the service age in percent of
average life are useful in classifying curves by their shapes, in using standard or type curves for
extending and smoothing original data curves, and in predicting the probable service life of a
particular unit by use of group experience." 332 The objective of this methodology is to find the
curve and its parameters most accurately representing the actual observed survivor curve relative
to the specific property studied.
17
18
19
20
To calculate the survivor curve, the analyst/appraiser conducting the study first computes the
total dollar amount of the original cost of assets and the surviving costs after retirements for each
year assets were put into service. 333 The costs are entered on a spreadsheet with the latest year to
the left (see Exhibit 1).
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
In the second step, the analyst calculates the total dollar amount of dollars the original cost for
the surviving assets and the total dollar amount of dollars the original cost for the assets actually
exposed to retirement for each year (see Exhibit 2). The percentage of assets surviving for each
year is the ratio of surviving costs to exposed costs. The exposed cost at each age is the total
amount of assets for which the survivors are known. The surviving costs at each age are the total
amount of assets for which the exposed costs are known after retirements for that year. (This
calculation combines the totals for all in-service years.)
28
29
30
The plotted points on the survivor curve are determined by multiplying the value for each
preceding point on the curve by the percentage surviving for the succeeding year (see Exhibit 3).
The computer curve is usually not complete and is called a "stub survivor curve."
332
Marston, Winfrey, and Hempstead, McGraw-Hill, Engineering Valuation and Depreciation, 1953, supra at page
149.
333
Item counts may be used in lieu of dollar costs in calculating a survivor curve in certain situations, consistent
with Engineering Valuation and Depreciation, Marston, Winfrey, Hempstead, Ninth supra, (9th printing, 1982), at
page 154. For example, when similar objects with similar costs are studied use of item counts may provide accurate
results.
AH 504
190
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
MATCHING TO KNOWN PATTERNS OF SURVIVAL
2
3
4
5
6
7
There are several well-known families of "standard curves" that are useful for lifing study
analysis. As discussed above, the Iowa State University Engineering Department developed a
series of 18 standard curves with a variety of different characteristics in conducting economic
studies of utility properties. Most survivor curves fit one of the Iowa curves, and lifing studies
traditionally attempt to match the calculated survivor curve to one of the set of the standard Iowa
curves. 334
8
9
10
11
12
13
By matching the known portion of a standard statistical curve with the survival characteristics of
a certain group of assets, the analyst can estimate the remaining economic lifetime at any given
age. This is because the standard curves are well understood and tabulated. This third step of the
appraiser's study rests on the assumption that if survival characteristics of a group of assets
match some standard curve for certain ages, then those characteristics will match the standard
curve for the rest of the ages in question.
14
APPLYING THE PARAMETERS OF THE MATCHING CURVE
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Whatever family of curves is utilized, the final step in the analysis is to find the curve and
parameters that best fit the actual real observed survivor curve. Two methods may be utilized.
The traditional method is known as the "least squares fit method." In this method, various curves
and combinations of parameters are tried and tested, and for each combination, the sum of the
squares of the differences between the known data and the theoretical curve is calculated. The
combination "curve and parameter set." which produces the lowest sum of squared differences, is
said to be the "best fit", i.e., the most reliable complement (see Exhibits 4 and 5). The examples
used for Exhibits 4 and 5 compares two Iowa curves (L-0 and S-0, respectively) to the calculated
survival data, for different lifetimes. In practice, the remaining curves should also be examined
for goodness of best fit, and all curves should be tested to find the best fitting curves for each.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Another method for finding the curve and parameters that best fit the actual real observed
survivor curve is the "maximum likelihood estimation." In this method, the arithmetic
differences are not squared and summed, but the ratios of the real data and the fitted curve data
(i.e., the "likelihoods") are squared and multiplied together. The combination curve and
parameter set that produces the maximum combined "likelihood" is the best fit. Although the
"least squares fitting method" is more easily understood, the "maximum likelihood estimation
method" is more reliable.
334
In cases where two or more Iowa curves provide almost equally good matches to observed data, the
appraiser/analyst should use great care to assure a reasonable result, as use of different curves can give widely
different valuation results.
AH 504
191
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
2
3
4
5
Once the best-fitting standard, matching survivor curve is identified, its characteristics can easily
be determined and employed in the methodology for finding the percent good for the particular
type of property under study. Therefore, the analyst's subsequent steps should follow the
methods discussed in AH 582, Explanation of the Derivation of Equipment Percent Good
Factors.
AH 504
192
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
EXHIBIT 1
2
COMPANY NAME
TOTAL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
ACQ YEAR
REPORTING YEAR
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
98,964,070
153,448,288
182,580,048
96,031,282
57,805,330
56,079,852
51,106,528
37,973,937
23,499,363
8,462,511
4,399,738
169,990,761
208,876,140
110,243,378
69,696,484
70,599,183
63,819,036
44,224,012
29,803,541
9,211,305
5,968,139
231,759,101
118,136,366
87,949,290
82,243,750
69,034,721
47,105,779
31,294,917
10,302,978
9,788,393
132,197,405
91,810,652
85,447,803
78,924,765
50,586,786
41,324,487
11,942,492
10,127,846
104,702,302
92,756,127
83,566,290
58,450,217
48,782,829
12,119,445
11,486,846
95,649,687
84,899,167
61,020,961
49,794,962
16,957,580
13,435,764
87,264,411
64,714,926
50,468,073
17,829,925
13,980,642
83,918,314
56,681,656
21,614,975
16,797,158
60,314,739
27,712,608
18,445,041
29,596,847
20,382,424
20,552,152
TOTALS
770,350,947
782,431,979
687,615,295
502,362,236
411,864,056
321,758,121
234,257,977
179,012,103
106,472,388
49,979,271
20,552,152
AH 504
193
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
2
3
EXHIBIT 2
COMPANY NAME
TOTAL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
AGE:
ACQ YEAR
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
98,964,070
169,990,761
231,759,101
132,197,405
104,702,302
95,649,687
87,264,411
83,918,314
60,314,739
29,596,847
20,552,152
153,448,288
208,876,140
118,136,366
91,810,652
92,756,127
84,899,167
64,714,926
56,681,656
27,712,608
20,382,424
182,580,048
110,243,378
87,949,290
85,447,803
83,566,290
61,020,961
50,468,073
21,614,975
18,445,041
96,031,282
69,696,484
82,243,750
78,924,765
58,450,217
49,794,962
17,829,925
16,797,158
57,805,330
70,599,183
69,034,721
50,586,786
48,782,829
16,957,580
13,980,642
56,079,852
63,819,036
47,105,779
41,324,487
12,119,445
13,435,764
51,106,528
44,224,012
31,294,917
11,942,492
11,486,846
37,973,937
29,803,541
10,302,978
10,127,846
23,499,363
9,211,305
9,788,393
8,462,511
5,968,139
4,399,738
$'s Surviving 1,114,909,789
919,418,354
701,335,859
469,768,543
327,747,071
233,884,363
150,054,795
88,208,302
42,499,061
14,430,650
4,399,738
1,015,945,719
765,970,066
518,755,811
373,737,261
269,941,741
177,804,511
98,948,267
50,234,365
18,999,698
5,968,139
$'s Exposed
AH 504
194
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
1
2
3
EXHIBIT 3
COMPANY NAME
PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
Exposed
Age
Surviving
Year %
Costs
Surviving
Costs
1,015,945,719
765,970,066
518,755,811
373,737,261
269,941,741
177,804,511
98,948,267
50,234,365
18,999,698
5,968,139
AH 504
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1,114,909,789
919,418,354
701,335,859
469,768,543
327,747,071
233,884,363
150,054,795
88,208,302
42,499,061
14,430,650
4,399,738
195
100.00%
90.50%
91.56%
90.56%
87.69%
86.64%
84.39%
89.15%
84.60%
75.95%
73.72%
Survivor
Curve
Curve
100.00%
90.50%
82.86%
75.04%
65.80%
57.01%
48.12%
42.89%
36.29%
27.56%
20.32%
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
Year
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
Test
Data
100.00%
90.5
82.86
75.04
65.8
57.01
48.12
42.89
36.29
27.56
20.32
0
0
0
0
0
0
EXHIBIT 4
Company Name
Data Analysis Percent Surviving
Curve>
LO
LO
LO
LO
Lifetime
AGE
1
2
3
4
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
LO
LO
5
6
100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
44.81
74.74
85.17
89.78
92.45
93.98
7.73
44.81
64.8
74.74
80.95
85.17
0.24
21.53
44.81
59.3
68.51
74.74
0
7.73
29.76
44.81
56.3
64.39
0
1.85
15.78
32.05
44.81
54.31
0
0.24
7.73
21.53
34.44
44.81
0
0
3.18
13.46
25.45
36.08
0
0
0.97
7.73
18.01
28.28
0
0
0.24
4.02
12.13
21.53
0
0
0
1.85
7.73
15.89
0
0
0
0.73
4.02
11.31
0
0
0
0.24
1.85
7.73
0
0
0
0.06
0.73
5.07
0
0
0
0
0.24
3.16
0
0
0
0
0.06
1.85
0
0
0
0
1.02
Data Fit Sum of Least Squares
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
AH 504
100.00%
90.5
82.86
75.04
65.8
57.01
48.12
42.89
36.29
27.56
20.32
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
0.00%
20.87
56.44
55.95
43.3
32.5
23.15
18.4
13.17
7.6
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.00%
2.48
14.47
28.63
33.72
30.43
22.92
18.4
13.17
7.6
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.00%
0.28
3.26
9.14
12.99
17
16.31
15.77
12.47
7.46
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.00%
0.01
0.66
2.48
4.4
6.23
7.07
8.66
8.15
5.54
3.41
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.00%
0.04
0.04
0.43
0.9
1.49
1.87
3.04
3.34
2.38
1.58
0.16
0.03
0
0
0
0
Total
275.51% 175.95% 98.81%
46.61%
15.30%
4.31%
Avg.
Square Root
16.21%
40.26%
2.74%
16.55%
0.90%
9.49%
0.25%
5.00%
10.35%
32.17%
196
5.81%
24.10%
0.00%
0.12
0.05
0
0.02
0.07
0.11
0.46
0.64
0.36
0.2
1.28
0.6
0.26
0.1
0.03
0.01
August 2010October 2002
Appendix D I
Year
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
Test
Data
100.00%
90.5
82.86
75.04
65.8
57.01
48.12
42.89
36.29
27.56
20.32
0
0
0
0
0
EXHIBIT 5
Company Name
Data Analysis Percent Surviving
S0
S0
S0
CURVE>
Lifetime
1
2
3
AGE
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
S0
S0
S0
4
5
6
100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
50
82.54
90.98
94.44
96.18
97.17
0
50
72.51
82.54
87.85
90.98
0
17.45
50
67.1
76.68
82.54
0
0
27.48
50
63.76
72.51
0
0
9.01
32.83
50
61.49
0
0
0
17.45
36.23
50
0
0
0
5.55
23.31
38.43
0
0
0
0
12.14
27.47
0
0
0
0
3.81
17.45
0
0
0
0
0
9.01
0
0
0
0
0
2.8
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Data Fit Sum of Least Squares
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
AH 504
100.00
90.5
82.86
75.04
65.8
57.01
48.12
42.89
36.29
27.56
20.32
0
0
0
0
0
Total
Avg.
Square Root
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
16.4
0.63
0.002
68.66
10.79
1.07
56.31
33.17
6.27
43.3
43.3
14.68
32.5
32.5
23.04
23.16
23.16
23.16
18.4
18.4
18.4
13.17
13.17
13.17
7.6
7.6
7.6
4.13
4.13
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
283.63% 186.85% 111.52%
17.73% 11.68%
6.97%
42.10% 34.18% 26.40%
197
0.00%
0.15
0
0.63
2.5
5.85
9.41
13.94
13.17
7.6
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
57.38%
3.59%
18.95%
0.00%
0.32
0.25
0.03
0.04
0.49
1.41
3.83
5.83
5.64
4.13
0
0
0
0
0
21.97%
61.37%
11.70%
0.00%
0.44
0.66
0.56
0.45
0.2
0.03
0.2
0.78
1.02
1.28
0.08
0
0
0
0
5.70%
0.36%
6.00%
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
APPENDIX E J: SUMMARY OF COURT CASES
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Allstate Insurance Co. v. County of Los Angeles (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 877, 891-892. The Court
of Appeal held that "standardized off-the-shelf, general purpose computers and computer
components, placed in general purpose office buildings, and connected to a power source by
means of standardized plugs, and to each other by means of standardized cables, are and remain
personalty regardless of whether or not use of a computer is essential to efficient and competitive
operation of the business in which they are employed." "The key factors determinative of
whether a computer system is personalty are that the system can be removed from the realty
without damage to itself or to the realty and without diminishing the value of the realty, and the
objective reality is that ownership of the computer is unrelated to ownership of the land or a
leasehold interest in it."
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Amdahl v. County of Santa Clara (2004) 116 Cal.App. 4th 604. Spare computer parts, used for
replacements parts under extended service contracts and for diagnosis and troubleshooting with
particular computer equipment, were not eligible for the business inventory exemption because:
(1) the assessee treated the parts as fixed assets rather than as business inventory, (2) customers
were not charged for the replacement parts, and (3) the spares parts pool was not reduced when
Amdahl swapped a good part for a defective one. Such spare parts were not held or intended to
be held for sale or lease in the ordinary course of business.
20
21
22
23
Beckman Instruments, Inc. v. County of Orange (1975) 53 Cal.App.3d 767. Interdivisional
transfers of manufactured goods with an accompanying markup in value, for purposes of
delivery or to facilitate marketing, result in a trade level increase and corresponding increase in
value in accord with Property Tax Rule 10.
24
25
26
27
28
29
Bell v. Bank of Perris (1942) 52 Cal.App.2d 66. "The mere fact that pumps annexed to realty
were removed on one occasion for the purpose of being overhauled and then put back in place
does not show that their installation was not intended to be permanent. In order to make an
article a permanent accession to land its annexation need not be perpetual; it is sufficient if the
article shall appear to be intended to remain where fastened until worn out or until it is
superseded by another article more suitable for the purpose."
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
Brock & Co. v. Board of Supervisors (1937) 8 Cal.2d 286. The term "situated" connotes a more
or less permanent location or situs and the requirement of permanency must attach before
tangible property which has been removed from the domicile of the owner will attain a situs
elsewhere. Thus, where personal property was removed from the state shortly prior to the first
Monday in March (the lien date for the purpose of sale and of reducing the owner's personal
property tax and returned shortly thereafter, it remained taxable as its permanent situs in the
Sstate. The Sstate's jurisdiction was not lost by virtue of the temporary excursion out of the
Sstate.
AH 504
198
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
Clunie v. Siebe (1896) 112 Cal.593. The taxpayer is not required to affix a valuation to any part
of his property.
3
4
5
6
7
Coe v. Errol (1885) 116 U.S. 517. Delivery of California-grown rice to, and its storage in, the
port district's elevators were no part of the process of exportation which begins when the goods
cross the water's edge. Delivery to a common carrier and subsequent handling of the rice at the
port was not part of the export process. Coe v. Errol makes it clear that it is only entry with a
common carrier for transportation to the goods' ultimate destination, that will suffice.
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Crocker National Bank v. City and County of San Francisco (1989) 49 Cal.3d 881. The
California Supreme Court held that bank electronic data processing equipment not physically
attached to the building by permanent connections, but merely by standardized "quick
disconnect" plugs inserted into the power source, was not a fixture but personalty where: (1)
neither the equipment nor the building was designed or modified for each other and factors
showing a lack of annexation; and (2) adaptability were not outweighed by other objective
manifestations of permanence (i.e., the interrelation between the purpose and structural form of
the building and the capacity and physical characteristics of the equipment, and the equipment's
weight and size.
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
De Luz Homes Inc. v. County of San Diego (1955) 45 Cal.2d 546. The absence of an actual
market for a particular type of property does not mean that it has no value or that it may escape
from the mandate of Constitution, article XIII, §1 of the California Constitution, that all property
shall be taxed in proportion to its value, but only that the assessor must then use such pertinent
factors as replacement costs and analyses for determining valuation. In valuing a leasehold
interest in exempt lands and improvements by the capitalization of income method, it is
improper, in computing the anticipated net income to be capitalized, to deduct from anticipated
gross income the lessee's charges for rent, amortization of his or her investment, or payments of
principal and interest on his or her mortgage debt. The proper method of valuing a taxable
possessory interest in a housing project at a permanent military installation is to deduct from
annual anticipated gross income the operating and maintenance expenses and the amount
required by the leased to be deposited to in a replacement reserve, and to capitalize the difference
for the remaining years of the lease at a rate which that will allow for risk, interest, and taxes.
30
31
32
33
Dennis v. County of Santa Clara (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1019. Under section 110, an arm's
length, open market sale for a price that is not influenced by an exigency of either buyer or seller
permits the assessor to presume fair market value from the purchase price, but the presumption
may nevertheless be rebutted by evidence that the fair market value of the property is otherwise.
34
35
36
37
Flying Tiger Line Inc. v. County of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 314. Taxation of aircraft
owned by a domiciliary airline and used in the Korean airlift was found to violate the federal
constitution since taxable situs was not established. The decision was rendered by the California
Supreme Court without a majority opinion.
AH 504
199
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
3
General Dynamics Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 59. A possessory interest in
government-owned personal property is not a taxable possessory interest in the absence of
legislative authority.
4
5
6
7
8
GeoMetrics v. County of Santa Clara (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 940. A county may not impose an
unapportioned tax on aircraft located physically in foreign countries and engaged in foreign
commerce for all or part of a tax year, as such a tax is barred by the Commerce Clause of the
United States Constitution. Taxation of the aircraft according to the number of days the aircraft
was located in the county is permissible, however.
9
10
11
12
13
GTE Sprint Communications Corp. v. Alameda County (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 992. Unit taxation
of public utilities and railroads is properly characterized as the taxation of property as a going
concern, not as the taxation of real property or personal property, or even a combination of both.
Under the unit taxation method, the Board considers the earnings of the property as a whole, and
does not consider, less still assess, the value of any single real or personal asset.
14
15
16
17
18
Hahn v. State Bd. Of Equalization (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 985. The Board's 1996 amendment to
Property Tax Rule 152, which clarified what constitutes a computer's basic operational program,
as opposed to other, separate programs, was a legitimate exercise of the Board's rulemaking
authority, and was consistent with the Legislature's intent in enacting this section to exempt basic
computer programs from taxation.
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Hughes Aircraft Company v. Orange County (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 540. Title of personal
property, including manufacturing supplies, expensed equipment and office space partitions,
used by Hughes Aircraft Company (Hughes) serving as a defense contractor in the performance
of its contract with fixed-price the United States Government (Government) contracts with
progress payments, was deemed vested in the Government because the overhead property, in this
case, was consumed or used in the performance of the contracts. Thus, the property was not
subject to the county's ad valorem property tax.
26
27
28
29
Ice Capades Inc. v. County of Los Angeles (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 745. Where the movable
property of a domiciliary corporation engaged in interstate commerce has acquired an out of state
tax situs, the county of domicile must apportion the tax by excluding such property values that
are subject to potential out of state taxation.
30
31
32
33
34
35
Japan Line, Ltd. v. County of Los Angeles (1979) 441 U.S. 434. "If a state tax is applied to an
activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing state, is fairly apportioned, does not discriminate
against interstate commerce, and is fairly related to the services provided by the state, no
impermissible burden on interstate commerce will be found; however, a more elaborate inquiry
is necessary when a state seeks to tax the instrumentalities of foreign rather than interstate,
commerce."
36
37
Kaiser Co. v. Reid (1947) 30 Cal.2d 610. The lessor's right under a lease to remove shipyard
facilities does not fix their status as personalty for tax purposes and preclude the assessor from
AH 504
200
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
classifying the property as improvements to realty in accordance with the physical facts of their
annexation to the land.
3
4
5
6
7
Lake Forest Community Association v. County of Orange (1978) 86 Cal.App.3d 394. Under
Revenue and Taxation code section 224, personal property owned by a homeowners' association
for use by its members, who were homeowners in a planned residential community, used in
connection with a common clubhouse, was exempt from taxation as personal effects and
household furnishings.
8
9
10
Lyons v. Estes (1969) 6 Cal.App.3d 979. The county assessor is a tax official of the state within
the meaning of section 19286 of this code and may inspect income tax returns to assist him in
assessing taxpayer's property. 335
11
12
13
14
Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. City and County of San Francisco (1982) 129 Cal.App.3d
876. The court held that in light of the purpose and objective of former article XII, § 14-4/5, the
"in lieu" tax exemption should not and did not apply to personal property owned by an insurance
company but used in an unrelated business.
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Mayhew Tech Center Phase II v. County of Sacramento (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 497. Land and
improvements occupied by the Franchise Tax Board under a lease-purchase agreement were
exempt under California Constitution, this Aarticle XIII, section 3, since, despite the lease
agreement, the state held the essential indicia of ownership. The financing arrangement closely
resembled the financing of a purchase through a loan secured by a deed of trust on the subject
property, most of the property rights were vested in the state, and the lease provided for
automatic vesting of title in the state at the expiration of the lease if all rental payments were
made. The state thus occupied the property as a beneficial owner and would eventually hold all
incidents of ownership if it so chose. State property is not to be taxed unless there is express
authority for taxation.
25
26
27
28
29
Minnesota v. Blasius (1933) 290 U.S. 1, 10. Under the Commerce Clause of the United.States.
Constitution, "where property which has come to rest within a sState, being held there at the
pleasure of the owner, for disposal or use, so that he may dispose of it either within the sState, or
for shipment elsewhere, as his interest dictates, is deemed to be part of the general mass of the
property within the sState and thus subject to its taxing power."
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
Mobilease Corp. v. County of Orange (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 461. Since 1935, the Legislature has
expressly declared that there shall be no local ad valorem taxation on vehicles subject to
registration under the Vehicle Code. Section 10758, Revenue and Taxation Code, provides in
pertinent part, as follows: "The license fee imposed under this part is in lieu of all taxes
according to value levied for state or local purposes on vehicles of a type to registration under
the Vehicle Code whether or not the vehicles are registered under the Vehicles Code section
4000..." Local taxation of vehicles as personal property under the Revenue and Taxation Code is
335
Revenue and Taxation code section 19286 was renumbered to 19551.
AH 504
201
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
3
4
authorized by finding that they are special mobile equipment and, therefore, under Vehicle Code,
section 4010, exempt from registration by the DMV. In this case, however, the court held that
relocatable office trailers leased to various companies and registered with DMV were not subject
to property tax.
5
6
7
8
9
10
Morse Signal Devices v. County of Los Angeles (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 570. In determining
whether an article is a fixture, there are three tests under Rule 122.5: the manner of its
annexation, its adaptability to the use and purpose for which the realty is used, and the intention
of the party making the annexation. The manner of annexation and the use to which the realty is
put are relevant in determining the crucial element of intention to make the article a permanent
part of the realty. Great expense or difficulty in removal is indicative of intended permanence.
11
12
13
14
15
16
Mutual Life Insurance of New York v. City of Los Angeles (1990) 50 Cal.3d 402. The Court ruled
that by virtue of the "in lieu" provision of subdivision (f), section 28, article XIII of the
California Constitution, the personal property owned by insurance companies is exempt from
property taxation regardless of whether the property is used for insurance related business or not
and that the controlling factor in determining whether the exemption applies is ownership of the
personal property.
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
M.P. Moller Inc. v. Wilson (1936) 8 Cal.2d 31. Whether an article has lost its character as
personal property and becomes a fixture is a question of fact and whether the article is or was
physically affixed to the building is only one of the criteria in determining whether there was an
intention to make it a permanent accession to the real property; and annexation by weight and
gravity is not always alone a sufficient indication of an intent to make the article a permanent
fixture and part of the realty, but it must appear from the nature of the chattel that if used for the
purpose for which it was designed it would naturally and necessarily be annexed to and become a
permanent and integral part of some realty, in that it would become essential to the ordinary and
convenient use of the property to which it was annexed."
26
27
28
29
30
31
People v. Niles (1868) 35 Cal. 282. "To authorize the taxing of personal property in any other
county than that in which the owner resides, it must appear that such property is kept or
maintained in such county, and is not here casually, or in transit, or temporarily, in the ordinary
course of business or commerce."Rinaldi v. Goller (1957) 48 Cal.2d 276. "A building need not
be physically anchored to the land to be considered realty; it may be found to be a fixture though
it is secured to the realty by force of gravity alone."
32
33
34
35
Rosasco v. County of Tuolumne (1904) 143 Cal. 430. Permanent situs, as distinguished from
place of temporary sojourn, is the controlling force in the assessment of property in transit,
migrating herds, or rolling stock. When cattle are brought permanently into one county, they are
to be assessed there irrespective of the residence of the owner.
36
37
San Diego County v. Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2 (1983) 140 Cal.App.3d 52. Under the trade
level theory of assessment, if the owner of property at the consumer level is subject to
AH 504
202
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
application of a sales tax element in the valuation of the property, the lessor of the same kind of
property at the consumer level is subject to the same sales tax element.
3
4
5
6
7
8
San Diego County v. Lafayette Steel (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 690. In determining whether an
article is a fixture, there are three tests: the manner of its annexation, its adaptability to the use
and purpose for which the realty is used, and the intention of the party making the annexation.
The manner of annexation and the use to which the realty is put are relevant in determining the
crucial element of intention to make the article a permanent part of the realty. Great expense or
difficulty in removal is indicative of intended permanence.
9
10
San Diego Trust & Savings Bank v. San Diego County (1940) 16 Cal.2d 142. Bank vaults and
vault doors, including those installed by lessees, have been held to constitute improvements.
11
12
13
San Francisco v. Talbot (1883) 63 Cal. 485. "Plying" the waters in a particular location implies
regularity, and is not the term used to express the character of the irregular and transient
visitations of a ship to a port.
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Sea-Land Services, Inc. v. County of Alameda (1974) 12 Cal.3d 772. Cargo containers used
exclusively for transportation of cargo for hire in interstate and foreign commerce are subject to
an apportioned local tax. The habitual presence of such containers creates a taxable situs, even
though the identical containers are not within the county every day and even though none of the
containers is continuously within the county. Note: all ocean-going cargo containers of 1,000
cubic feet or more are now exempt under section 232. This exemption does not affect the
principle of tax situs due to habitual or average presence.
21
22
23
24
Seatrain Terminals of California, Inc. v. County of Alameda (1978) 83 Cal.App.3d 69. Exclusive
use of two 750 ton cargo cranes, mounted on rails specially installed on the wharf, constitutes a
taxable possessory interest. The cranes were properly classified as fixture since they were
intended to be a permanent part of the wharf.
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Security Pacific National Bank v. Los Angeles County (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 877. In
determining whether an article is a fixture, there are three tests under Rule 122.5: the manner of
its annexation, its adaptability to the use and purpose for which the realty is used, and the
intention of the party making the annexation. The manner of annexation and the use to which the
realty is put are relevant in determining the crucial element of intention to make the article a
permanent part of the realty. Great expense or difficulty in removal is indicative of intended
permanence.
32
33
34
35
36
37
Seegmiller v. County of Nevada (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1397. A taxpayer requested the
apportionment of the property tax on his machine shop, which he had moved from Truckee
(California) to Reno, Nevada, subsequent to July 1st on the new fiscal year. The court held that
the situs of this property (movable business personal property) on the lieu date was controlling
for the assessment of the entire year. The taxpayer is not entitled to apportionment based on the
actual amount of time the property was located in California because the lien date is the method
AH 504
203
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
adopted for determining that the taxpayer has enjoyed the benefit of governmental services
during the year preceding the assessment.
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Simms v. County of Los Angeles (1950) 35 Cal.2d 303. In determining whether articles constitute
fixtures, and therefore improvements, within the meaning of section 105, the determining factor
is whether there was an intention to make a permanent accession to the real property as
reasonably manifested by outward appearances. Neither the status of the party by whom the
articles have been installed, nor the length of the lease under which party is in possession of the
property, is controlling. The fact that the fixtures are removable pursuant to express or implied
contract between the landlord and tenant does not necessarily negate the element of permanence,
nor is the contract binding upon the taxing authority.
11
12
13
14
15
Southern California Telephone Co. v. State Board of Equalization (1938) 12 Cal.2d 127. The
central office equipment of a telephone company installed in a building owned by the company
and especially designed for its use constitutes an improvement. This includes such items as
headsets, operators' stools, etc., which although readily detachable, are usable only with the
attached items with which they constitute a single unit.
16
17
18
Specialty Restaurants, Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 607 (Queen Mary
case). The use of a special wharf area, developed as a tourist attraction by the city, manifested
the intent to make a vessel (the Queen Mary) a permanent addition to realty.
19
20
21
22
Tele-Vue Systems, Inc v. County of Contra Costa (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 340. A permanently
affixed interior household connection to a cable television system installed by the system owner
who neither owns nor controls the connection constitutes a fixture and is assessable to the owner
of the realty rather than to the system owner.
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Trabue Pittman Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (1946) 29 Cal.2d 385. For purposes of taxation,
the definitions of real property in the revenue and taxation laws of the state control irrespective
of whether they conform to definitions used for other purposes. In determining whether articles
constitute fixtures, and therefore improvements, within the meaning of section 105, the
determining factor is whether there was an intention to make a permanent accession to the real
property as reasonably manifested by outward appearances. Neither the status of the party by
whom the articles have been installed, nor the length of the lease under which party is in
possession of the property, is controlling. The fact that the fixtures are removable pursuant to
express or implied contract between the landlord and tenant does not necessarily negate the
element of permanence, nor is the contract binding upon the taxing authority. Bank vaults and
vault doors, including those installed by lessees, were held to constitute improvements.
Similarly, tellers' cages, partitions, coupon booths and counters installed by a lessee bank have
been held to be improvements taxable to the owner of the building in which they were installed.
36
37
Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Colonial Ins. Co. (1966) 242 Cal.App.2d 227. "Not all motor vehicles
are required to be registered and exemption of a motor vehicle from registration does not make it
AH 504
204
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
any less a motor vehicle or signify its removal from all other applicable sections of the Vehicle
Code."
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
TRW Space & Defense Sector v. County of Los Angeles (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1703. Federal
government cost-reimbursement and fixed-price contracts, which provided that title to property
acquired in the performance of those contracts passed to the federal government did not establish
federal government ownership of overhead personal property such as consumable supplies and
low-value office and plant equipment, and, thius was not immune from state property taxation.
The title provision in the cost-reimbursement contracts applied only to property subject to
controlling regulations, which did not include overhead personal property wherein the
government acquired title solely because of partial, advance, or progress payments. With regard
to fixed-price contracts, the title provision applied only to enumerated types of property, which
did not include overhead personal property.
13
14
15
Valley Fair Fashions, Inc. v. Valley Fair (1966) 245 Cal.2d 614. An assessment of
improvements to the lessee in possession and control was not erroneous even though the land
was assessed to the landlord and he owned the improvements.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Ventura, County of v. Channel Islands State Bank (1967) 251 Cal.App.2d 240. A sign and a
night depository constituting trade fixtures, owned by a bank and installed on a leased premises
were properly classified as improvements under section 105 and real property under section 104
even though assessed to the lessee and placed on the unsecured roll. The lessee-bank (owning
trade fixtures attached to landlord's realty) was the proper assessee. Where a statement of
separate ownership as provided in section 2188.2 is not filed, the assessor is not required to
assess lessee-owned trade fixtures to the landlord.
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Westinghouse Beverage Group, Inc. v. County of San Diego (1988) 203 Cal.App. 3d 1442.
Reusable containers in which a soft drink manufacturer supplied carbon dioxide gas and
component syrup to its wholesale customers did not constitute business inventory exempt from
property taxes pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code sections 129 and 219. Unlike the
situation with returnable bottles which are sold by the retailer, the syrup and carbon dioxide
containers were not sold to the wholesalers. Rather, the soft drink manufacturer easily retained
control over the containers, and they were subject to retrieval by the manufacturer's salesperson.
Thus, the containers were not intended for sale within the meaning of the inventory statute, and
therefore, were subject to property taxes.
32
33
34
Weyse v. Crawford (1890) 85 Cal. 196. Property in a warehouse is not assessable to the
warehouseman as the person in possession. If the owner is not known, the property should be
assessed to unknown owners and the tax collected by seizure and sale.
35
36
37
Xerox Corporation v. County of Orange (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 746. Under the market value
concept, where price is the basis of value, the sales tax and freight charges are elements of value
(but see Auerbach v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 2 (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th
AH 504
205
August 2010October 2002
Appendix E I
1
2
1428, 1444, distinguishing Xerox, holding that: "Sales tax should not be included as an element
of value in the assessment of a common carrier aircraft, exempt from sales or us tax."
AH 504
206
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
1
2
Term
Definition
Air Taxi
Aircraft used by an air carrier, which: (1) does not utilize aircraft having
a maximum passenger capacity of more than 30 seats, (2) does not have
a maximum payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds in air
transportation, and (3) which does not hold a certificate of public
convenience and necessity or other economic authority issued by the
Civil Aeronautics Board of the United States, or its successor, or by the
California Public Utilities Commission, or its successor.
Aircraft
Also referred to as general aircraft. Any contrivance used or designed
for the navigation of or for flight in the air which has been flown at least
once. It is not a parachute or similar emergency safety device, rockets or
missiles, or certificated aircraft or scheduled air taxis.
Annuity
A periodic series of obligatory payments; an annuity can be level,
increasing, decreasing, or a combination thereof.
Apportionment
Process used to allocate or eliminate, based on the time of presence, the
assessments or the taxes for time spent out of state.
Appraisal Unit
The unit that (1) people in the market typically buy and sell or (2) that is
normally valued separately.
Assessed Value
The taxable value of a property against which the tax rate is applied.
Assessee
Person who owns, claims, possesses, or controls the property on the lien
date.
Assessment Roll
A listing of all taxable property within a county. It identifies, at a
minimum: (1) the property (usually by assessor's parcel number), (2) the
tax-rate area where the property is located, (3) the name (if known) and
mailing address of the assessee, (4) the assessed value of the property,
including separate assessed values for land, improvements, and personal
property, (5) penalties (if any), and (6) the amount (if any) of specified
exemptions (e.g., Homeowners', Church, Welfare, etc.). Distinct
assessment rolls include the locally assessed secured and unsecured
regular assessment rolls, the locally assessed supplemental assessment
roll, and the state-assessed roll (which is added to the locally assessed
secured roll).
AH 504
207
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Audit
Means of collecting data relevant to the determination of taxability,
situs, and value of property.
Audit Program
System used to select and conduct audits.
Average Service Life
The average life term of a group of items.
Base Year Value
In accordance with section 110.1, a property's base year value is its fair
market value as of either the 1975 lien date or the date the property was
last purchased, newly constructed, or underwent a change in ownership
after the 1975 lien date.
Programs that are fundamental and necessary to the functioning of a
Basic Operational
Programs (Software) computer. The part of the operating system including supervisors,
monitors, executives and control or master programs which consist of
the control program elements of that system.
Board Roll
Part of the secured roll, containing Sstate-assessed property.
Book Value
Capitalized cost less depreciation as estimated by the accountant.
Building
Improvements
Improvements to a structure
Capitalization
Any method of converting expected future benefits into an indicator of
present value; the discounting of projected income to a present value.
Capitalization Rate
Any rate used to convert income into an indicator of value; a ratio that
expresses a relationship between income and value.
Capitalized Cost
Recorded cost of asset in assessee's books and records
Capitalized Interest
Cost associated with use of money during construction of an asset
whether the source of funds is debt or equity and whether or not the
interest is actually incurred.
Certificated Aircraft
Aircraft operated by an air carrier or foreign air carrier engaged in air
transportation while there is in force a certificate or permit issued by the
Civil Aeronautics Board of the United States, or its successor, or a
certificate by the California Public Utilities Commission authorizing
such air carrier to engage in such transportation.
AH 504
208
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Change in
Ownership
A transfer of a present interest in property, including the beneficial use
thereof, the value of which is substantially equal to the value of the fee
interest.
Comparative Sales
Approach
An approach to value by reference to sales prices of the subject property
or comparable properties.
Compound Interest
Interest on the sum of principal and the accrued interest, combined at
regular intervals; interest on interest.
Conditional Sales
Contract
Form of sales contract in which seller reserves title until buyer pays for
goods or land, at which time, the condition having been fulfilled, title
passes to buyer. Such contract under Uniform Commercial Code is a
purchase money security agreement. UCC Section 9-105(h). (See also
financing lease.)
Confidence Interval
Describes the limits of accuracy of an inference. This precision interval
is a statistical measure of the inability to predict the true population
error because the test is based on a sample rather than a census.
Confidence Level
An inference from a sample that tells the proportion of times a statement
about the population is likely to be true in the long run.
Confidence Limits
Confidence interval expressed as a range, the lower and upper bound on
the confidence interval.
Cost
The expenditure required to develop and construct an improvement or
acquire personal property.
Cost Approach
A value approach using the following procedures to derive a value
indicator: (1) estimate the current cost to reproduce or replace an
existing property without untimely delays, (2) deduct for all accrued
depreciation, and (3) add an amount to compensate for entrepreneurial
profit (if present).
Data
Factual information used as a basis for analysis.
Depreciation
A decrease in utility resulting in a loss in property value; the difference
between estimated replacement or reproduction cost new as of a given
date and market value as of the same date. There are three principal
categories of depreciation: physical deterioration, functional
obsolescence, and external obsolescence.
AH 504
209
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Direct Billing
Definition
System developed and implemented by an assessor to appraise selected
accounts periodically, in lieu of annual property statements.
Direct Capitalization A capitalization method used to convert a single year's income
expectancy into an indicator of value, either by dividing the income
estimate by an appropriate rate or by multiplying the income estimate
by an appropriate factor.
Direct Costs
Expenditures required for the labor and materials necessary to develop
and construct an improvement (or personal property); sometimes
referred to as "hard costs".
Documented Vessel
Any vessel which is required to have and does have a valid marine
document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States or any
federal agency successor or DMV.
Economic Life
Useful or profitable life of property, which may be shorter than the
physical life.
Economic
Obsolescence
See External Obsolescence.
Economic Rent
The amount of rental income that could be expected from a property if
available for rent on the open market, as indicated by the prevailing
rental rates for comparable properties under similar terms and
conditions; economic rent is distinguished from contract rent, which is
the actual rental income for the subject property as specified in a lease;
economic rent is also referred to as market rent.
Effective Age
The age indicated by the condition and utility of the property.
Effective Gross
Income
The estimated potential gross income less allowances for vacancy and
collection losses.
Equipment Index
Factor
Multiplier used to "trend" the historical cost of property to an estimated
reproduction or replacement cost new.
Escape Assessment
Assessment made after the completion of the regular assessment roll.
Exposed Costs
Cost of property in service at the beginning of each age interval that are
exposed to retirement.
Extended Term
Lease
Lease with duration of more than six months. (Commonly referred to as
long-term lease.)
AH 504
210
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
External
Obsolescence
Form of depreciation. Also referred to as Economic Obsolescence. The
loss in utility and value due to an incurable defect caused by external
negative influences outside the property itself.
Factor
One of two or more numbers that when multiplied together produce a
third number, a multiplier. A capitalization factor is the reciprocal of a
capitalization rate.
Financial
Corporation
Banks and financial institutions exempt from property taxation by the
California Constitution, article XIII, section 28 and section 23182.
Financing Lease
See Conditional Sale Contract.
Fixed Machinery
and Equipment
A type of fixture. Equipment which is physically or constructively
annexed and intended to remain indefinitely with the realty.
Fixture
An item of tangible property, the nature of which was originally
personal property, but which is classified as real property for assessment
purposes because it is physically or constructively annexed to real
property with the intent that it remain annexed indefinitely.
Full Cash Value
See Market Value.
Full Economic Cost
Cost for appraisal purposes. Includes all market costs (direct and
indirect) necessary to purchase or construct equipment and make it
ready for its intended use.
Functional
Obsolescence
Form of depreciation. The loss in utility and value due to changes in the
desirability of the property; attributable to changes in tastes and style or
the result of a poor original design. Functional obsolescence is curable if
the cost to cure it is equal to or less than the value added by curing it.
General Aircraft
Also referred to as aircraft. Any contrivance used or designed for the
navigation of or for flight in the air which has been flown at lease once.
It is not a parachute or similar emergency safety device, rockets or
missiles, or certificated aircraft or scheduled air taxis.
Historical Cost
The total cost of a property when it was originally constructed or
purchased.
AH 504
211
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Improvements
All buildings, structures, fixtures, and fences erected on or affixed to the
land; all fruit, nut bearing, ornamental trees and vine, not of natural
growth, and not exempt form taxation, except date palms under eight
years of age.
Income Approach
Any method of converting an income stream or a series of future
income payments into an indicator of present value.
Indirect Costs
The outlay for items, other than labor and materials, required to develop
and construct an improvement or personal property; includes such costs
as (1) legal fees, property taxes, construction financing, administrative
expenses, appraisal fees, and lease-up expenses for real property and/or
(2) freight, installation, interest on borrowed funds, and testing costs for
personal property. Sometimes referred to as "soft costs."
Inference
Act of passing from statistical sample data to generalizations (as of the
value of population parameters) usually with calculated degrees of
certainty.
Interest Rate
The rate of return on debt capital; the price paid for borrowing money.
Inventory
Exempt items of personalty that become part of the product or are
themselves a product that is held for sale or lease in the ordinary course
of business.
Land
Real estate, or real property, except improvements. It includes: the
possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to possession of land, and
all mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber whether
or not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges
appertaining thereto.
Landlord
Improvements
Improvements made by the real property owner.
Leasehold/Tenant
Improvements
Improvements made by the lessee/tenant.
Lessee
One who has the right to use (or occupy) property under a lease
agreement. (In terms of real property a tenant)
AH 504
212
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Lessor
One who conveys the right to use (and/or occupy) property under a
lease agreement. (In terms of real property a landlord.)
Lien Date
All taxable property (both state and locally assessed) is assessed
annually for property tax purposes as of 12:01 a.m. on January 1, which
is called the lien date. It is referred to as the lien date because on this
date the taxes become a lien against all real property assessed on the
secured roll.
Note: Taxes on the unsecured roll are not a lien on property; they are a
personal obligation of the assessee.
Lifing Studies
See Mortality Studies.
Long –Term Lease
See Extended-Term Lease.
Mandatory Audit
Audits required by law. For taxpayers owning or possessing tangible
business personal property and fixtures with a full cash value of
$400,000 or more, section 469 requires an audit at lease once in each
four-year period.
Market Value
Also referred to as full cash value or fair market value. It means the
amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed
for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor
seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other and both with
knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted
and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable
restrictions upon those uses and purposes.
Mortality Studies
Statistical studies, typically based upon a sample of a population, whose
results estimate the percentage of things which live at any given age the
life expectancy of those things at any given age; (also known as lifing
studies).
Movable Property
All property which is intended to be, and is, moved from time to time
from once location to another.
Net Income Before
Recapture and
Taxes (NIBR&T)
The annual net income remaining after deducting all operating
expenses, but before deducting other charges, such as recapture, debt
service, and property taxes. For property tax appraisal purposes,
NIBR&T is capitalized into an indicator of value using various income
capitalization techniques.
AH 504
213
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
New Construction
Any addition to real property, whether land or improvements (including
fixtures) since the last lien date; any alteration of land or improvements
(including fixtures) since the last lien date that constitutes a major
rehabilitation thereof or which converts the property to a different use.
Nondocumented
Vessel
Any vessel not required to be documented.
Nonmandatory
Audit
Audits not required by law, but authorized by section 470 and Rule
192(e).
Operating Expenses
The periodic expenditures necessary to maintain the real/personal
property and continue production of the effective gross income,
assuming prudent and competent management; sometimes referred to as
"allowable expenses."
Outliers
Sample items with extreme values that do not appear to be
representative of the population from which they were drawn (or not in
the same proportion as indicated by the sampling frequency).
Parameters
Set of physical properties that describes a population such as the mean,
number of transactions in the population, standard deviation, etc.
Percent Good
The complement of depreciation; if a property is 20 percent depreciated,
its percent good is 80 percent. Percent good refers to the portion of
benefits remaining in an asset compared to the total benefits when new.
Personal Property
All property except real property (section 106).
Physical
Deterioration
Form of depreciation. The loss in utility and value due to some physical
deterioration in the property; considered curable if the cost to cure it is
equal to or less than the value added by curing it.
Population
A group of units with some characteristics in common. The total units
from which the sample is drawn.
Potential Gross
Income
The total income of a property before deducting vacancy and collection
losses or operating expenses.
Processing Program
Software used to develop and implement the specific applications which
the computer is to perform. Its operation is possible only through the
facilities provided by the basic operational program (or control
program). It is not fundamental to the functioning of the computer.
AH 504
214
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Property
Property includes all matters and things – real, personal, and mixed –
that are capable of private ownership.
Random Sample
Sample where every unit still remaining in the population has an equal
chance of selection on each draw.
Real Property
The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of
land, all mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber
whether or not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and
privileges appertaining thereto, and improvements; in California
property tax law, the term is synonymous with "real estate."
Recapture
The return of invested capital; in real estate investments, capital may be
returned gradually as part of the annual income; it may be recaptured all
or in part through resale of the property, or through a combinations of
both. The variety of the methods of recapture requires the application of
the various capitalization techniques.
Regular Assessment
Roll
Roll covering the period starting July 1 of the current calendar year to
June 30 of the next year. Assessment period for the regular roll must be
completed on or before July 1.
Replacement Cost
The cost required to replace an existing property with a property that
has equivalent utility.
Reproduction Cost
The cost required to reproduce an exact replica of an existing property.
Reversion
A lump-sum benefit in property that an investor receives or expects to
receive at the termination of an investment.
Sale Price
The amount of money a buyer agrees to pay and a seller agrees to accept
in an exchange of property rights; sale price is based on a particular
transaction, not necessarily on what the typical buyer would pay or the
typical seller would accept.
Sales Tax
A state or local-level tax on the retail sale of specified property or
services. It is a percentage of the cost of such. Generally, the purchaser
pays the tax, but the seller collects it, as an agent for the government.
Various taking jurisdictions allow exemptions for purchases of specified
items, including certain foods, services, and manufacturing equipment.
If the purchaser and seller are in different states, a use tax usually
applies.
AH 504
215
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Salvage Value
The value of property at the end of its economic life in its present use.
Sample
Subset of a given population; any number of units drawn from a
population.
Sampling
Statistical method which that enables one to make observations
regarding an entire group of items (population) based on a study of a
smaller sub set (sample) of this group.
Scarcity
The present or anticipated under-supply of an item relative to the
demand for it.
Secured Property
Property on the secured roll.
Secured Roll
That part of the assessment roll containing state-assessed property and
property, the taxes on which, are a lien on real property, sufficient, in
the opinion of the assessor, to secure payment of taxes.
Service Life
Period of time (or service) extending from the date of installation to the
date of retirement from service.
Short-Term Lease
Lease of property on a daily, weekly, or other short-term basis (defined
as a period of six months or less).
Situs
The place where property is legally situated;, the more or less
permanent location of the property.
Statistical Sample
Sample where the selection of the items to be included is independent of
the sample and one that provides a means of establishing the sample
size objectively and a means of objectively appraising the sample
results.
Statute of
Limitations
Time period during which an assessment can legally be made. See
section 532.
Stratification
Physical segregation of the population into homogeneous groups with
the expressed purpose of improving sample efficiency and/or sample
reliability.
Structure
An edifice or building,; an improvement whose primary use or purpose
is for housing or accommodation of personnel, personalty, or fixtures
and has no direct application to the process or function of the industry,
trade, or profession.
AH 504
216
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Structure Items
Integral parts of the structure. Improvement that has a primary use or
purpose for housing or accommodation of personnel, personalty, or
fixtures and has no direct application to the process or function of the
industry, trade, or profession.
Stub Survivor
Curve
An incomplete survivor curve, that is, one which does not extend to zero
percent surviving because of a lack of retirement data.
Supplemental
Assessment
An assessment of the full cash value of property as of the date a change
in ownership occurs or new construction is completed which establishes
a new base year value for the property or for the new construction.
Supplies
Property used up in the normal operation of a business, but which are
not intended for sale or lease.
Survivor Curve
Curve showing the property surviving in service at successive ages. The
ordinates to the curve give, at any particular age, the percentage (or the
actual number) surviving in service.
Taxable Value
For real property subject to article XIII A of the California Constitution,
the base year full value adjusted for any given lien date as required by
law or the full cash value for the same date, whichever is less, as set
forth in section 51(a). For personal property, the full cash value (market
value) on the lien date each year.
Tenant
Improvements
See Leasehold Improvements.
Trade Fixture
A type of fixture which is "trade-related."
Trade level
Property normally increases in value as it progresses through production
and distribution channels.
Trade-in Allowance
Property used for payment in whole or in part for acquisition of other
property (usually older property used as partial payment for new
property).
True Lease
Agreement under which an owner gives up possession and use of
his/her property for valuable consideration and for a definite term and at
the end of the term, the owner has the absolute right to retake, control,
or convey the property.
AH 504
217
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Definition
Undocumented
Vessel
Any vessel not required to be documented as defined in the context of
property tax. (See Documented Vessel.)
Unsecured Property
Property on the unsecured roll.
Unsecured Roll
See definition of secured roll. Remainder of the roll is the unsecured
roll. The taxes are a personal liability of the owner.
Use Tax
A sales tax that is collectible by the seller where the purchaser is
domiciled in a different state. A tax on the use, consumption, or storage
of tangible property, usually at the same rate as the sales tax, and levied
for the purpose of preventing tax avoidance by the purchase of articles
in a state or taxing jurisdiction which that does not levy sales taxes or
has a lower rate.
A levy on the privilege of using, within a taxing state, property
purchases outside the state, if the property would have been subject to
the sales tax had it been purchased in state at home. Such tax ordinarily
serves to complement sales tax by eliminating incentive to make major
purchases in states with lower sales taxes; it requires resident who shops
out-of-state to pay use tax equal to sales tax savings.
Utility
The capacity of goods to evoke a desire for possession, wantedness,
want-satisfying power.
Value
The power of one commodity to command other commodities in
exchange, a ratio of exchange, present worth of future net benefits.
Vehicle
A device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or
drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by
human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. See
text for discussion of assessable and exempt vehicles.
Vessel
Every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a
means of transportation on water.
Yield
The return on investment.
Yield Capitalization
A capitalization method used to convert future benefits to present value
by discounting each future benefit at an appropriate yield rate or by
developing an overall rate that reflects the investment's income pattern,
value change, and yield rate.
AH 504
218
August 2010October 2002
Glossary
Term
Yield Rate
Definition
A measure of investment return (usually annualized) that is applied to a
series of incomes to obtain the present value of each; examples are the
interest rate, the discount rate, the internal rate of return, and the equity
yield rate.
1
AH 504
219
August 2010October 2002
Bibliography
1
BIBLIOGRAPHY
2
3
American Society of Appraisers. Appraising Machinery and Equipment: American Society of
Appraisers, 1989.
4
5
Appraisal Institute. The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal. 3rd ed. Chicago: Appraisal
Institute, 1993.
6
California State Board of Equalization, Sales & Use Tax Manual, September 1999.
7
8
Ehrman, Kenneth A., Esq. and Flavin, Sean, Esq. Taxing California Property. 3rd ed. 3 vols.
New York: Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1989.
9
Marshall & Swift Publications, Marshall Valuation Service, October 2001.
10
Marston, Winfrey, and Hemstead, Engineering Valuation and Depreciation, McGraw-Hill, 1953.
11
12
Miller, Harry D and Starr, Marvin B., Current Law of California Real Estate, 2nd Ed., San
Francisco: Bancroft-Whitney Co., 1989 and 1998 Supplement.
13
U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. BSL Handbook of Methods. Bulletin 2490, 1997.
14
15
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Glossary of Computerized System and Software
Development Terminology (www.fda.gov).
16
17
18
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Internationally Harmonised Guide for Active
Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), Good Manufacturing Practice, Draft, U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, September 1997.
19
20
21
U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Code of
Federal Regulations, Title 21 – Food and Drugs, Revised as of April 1, 2001
(www.accessdata.fda.gov).
AH 504
220
August 2010October 2002
Fly UP