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STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

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STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
STA,!f Of CAli fORNIA
STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
O!OIOf R. REILLY
,020 N STRfET, SA,CRA.MENTO, CA,llfORNIA
UN!ST J . DRONENBURO, JR.
Sl'(olld Ditl.iel, So .. D•• , ..
IP,O . BOX 1799, $A.CIlAMENTO, CALIfORNIA 95808)
(916) 445-4982
WILL ' ........ /III. UNNETT
Th'rd D'.'.iel, $con ... f .... 1
RICHARD NEVINS
KENNETH COllY
January 30, 1980
OOUc;I,.lS D. tEll
f." ulive $I'(relory
No. 81/20
TO COUNTY ASSESSORS:
ASSESSOR'S SUBPOENA POWER PURSUANT TO
SECTIONS 441 AND 454 , REVENUE AND TAXATION
CODE UPHELD IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COLNTY
SUPERIOR COURT
On December 12, 1980 , the Superior Court of the State of California in
and for the county of San Luis Obispo ordered that the motion to quash
subpoena duces tectum be and is denied j thus upholding the assessor I s
subpoena power pursuant to Sections 441 and 454, Revenue and Taxation
Code.
The parties t o this action are the assessor, requesting permission to
inspect the books and records of a company holding a leasehold estate
in a sand and gravel quarry l ocated in San Luis llJispo County. Porter
Enterprises is the owner (lessor) of the Land, and Alamo Rock Company
is the operator (lessee) of the sand and gravel quarry.
In accordance with Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 441 , the assessor
requested that a state-prescribed "Mining and Quarrying Production
Report" be filed with his office by the lessor and lessee.
The lessor responded with a partially completed statement and a note
directing that further information would have to come from Alamo Rock
Company.
The agent for Alamo Rock Company responded by returning
statement and a letter which stated, in relevant part:
a bank
"We will make available the requested information at
our principal place of busines s"
Subsequently, the assessor made repeated reques ts t o inspect the books
and records.
The company however, refused to produce, or permit the inspection of,
any company books and records except for weighbills relating to
material removed from subject quarry and depreciation schedules
relating to equipment in use at subject quarry.
The assessor believed
that said company had in their possession records consisting of:
TO COU'lTY ASSESSORS
- 2-
1.
2.
3.
Income statements
Expense
Records of royalty payments
4.
Lease
5.
6.
Production records, and
Inventory records
January 30, 1980
In so far as these records are material to determining whether the
subject qua r ry property has been correctly valued for property tax
purposes, and the proper appraisal method to value mining and quarrying
properties is the income approach value, the information contained in
the records described above is essential to the application of this
method of valuation.
For reasons relating to the examination of the records cited above, the
assessor, on November 26, 1980, issued his subpoena for the production
o f the records noted above . Said subpoena duces tectum was served on
the agent for Alaroo Rock on December 3 , 1980. en December 5, 1980,
said agent for ·Alamo Rock Company filed a motion to quash the subpoena
duces tectum issued by the assessor. In his motion to quash the
subpoena duces tectum, the agent cites the following points :
A.
He has given to the assessor the figures of the royalty
payments on the subject property and the average production
figures and the terms of the lease on the subject property .
8.
They do not have production or inventory records on the
subject property .
C.
The income and expense records of Alamo Rock Co . reflect the
business activi ty of said company and do not reflect
information as to t he value of the Porter property except for
the royalty payments to proper t y which have heretofore been
furnished by the undersi gned t o sai d assessor .
D.
The company records of income and expenses are volumi nous and
contain confidential informa tion .
The assessor therein filed his memorandum i n opposition to Alamo Rock
Company's motion to quash subpoena duces tectum Citing the following
points - (summarized) .
The statutory scheme for the assessment of property gives the assessor
the right t o information and records regarding taxable property and
authorizes the assessor to subpoena and examine business records
relating to such taxable property . (Revenue and Taxation Code Sections
454, 441, 442 and 470.)
I. Under the laws of the State of California, an assessor may issue a
subpoena for the production of records and other information
regarding taxable property.
TO COLNTY ASSESSORS
II .
-3-
January 30, 1980
A court order is not prerequisite to the issuance of an
assessor's subpoena.
The assessor is not required to first make application to t he
court before his issuance of a subpoena .
(Revenue and
Taxation Code Section 454 . ) If the person subpoened fails to
provide the information requested in the subpoena , t he
assessor may :
A.
Based upon the information in the assessors' possession ,
estimate the value of the property and, based upon this
estimate, promptly assess the property. (Section 501,
Revenue and Taxation Code. )
8.
Seek the assistance of the district attorney in t he
issuance of a misdemeanor complaint against the person
refusing to provide the information .
(Revenue and
Taxati on Code Section 462)
C.
Make application to the superior court for an order
compelling the disclosure of the information .
and Taxation Code Section 468 . )
(Revenue
III . The assessor has a right to obtain confidential information
r elevant to the assessment of taxable property.
The assessment process requires the collection by
a great deal of information regarding all taxable
County. Of necessity, the main sources of such
the business records of t hose who have i nterest
property.
the assessor of
property in the
information are
in the taxable
For this reason, the law affords the assessor the r i ght to examine
records which, in other contexts , may be considered confidential
and privileged .
Conclusion
The assessor is authorized under the provisions of the Revenue and
Taxation Code to issue a subpoena to compel the production of rec ords
and other information pertaining to taxable property within the county
of San Luis Obispo. The production of the records and documents
described in the subpoena is necessary to provide information to the
assessor so that he may properly appraise the subject property,
including all interests therei n.
Sincerely,
~//~
Verne Walton, Chief
Assessment Standards Division
AD:b.ib
AL-Gl-G358A
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