BILL NUMBER: AB 703 CHAPTERED BILL TEXT CHAPTER 575 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE OCTOBER 8, 2011 APPROVED BY GOVERNOR OCTOBER 8, 2011 PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 30, 2011 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY JUNE 1, 2011 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 24, 2011 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Gordon FEBRUARY 17, 2011 An act to amend Section 214.02 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation, to take effect immediately, tax levy. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 703, Gordon. Property taxation: welfare exemption: nature resources and open-space lands. Existing property tax law, in accordance with the California Constitution, provides for a welfare exemption under which property used exclusively for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes and owned and operated by funds, foundations, or corporations meeting certain statutory requirements is exempt from taxation. Existing law also provides that property used exclusively for the preservation of specified nature resources or open-space lands meeting other specified criteria shall be deemed to be included within the welfare exemption. Existing law makes the inclusion of this property within the welfare exemption inoperative on the lien date in 2012, which is January 1, 2012, and repeals this provision on January 1, 2013. This bill would extend the January 1, 2012, inoperative date until January 1, 2022, and the January 1, 2013, repeal date until January 1, 2023, of the inclusion of this property within the welfare exemption. Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code requires the Legislature to reimburse local agencies annually for certain property tax revenues lost as a result of any exemption or classification of property for purposes of ad valorem property taxation. This bill would provide that, notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made and the state shall not reimburse local agencies for property tax revenues lost by them pursuant to the bill. This bill would take effect immediately as a tax levy. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 214.02 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read: 214.02. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c), property that is used exclusively for the preservation of native plants or animals, biotic communities, geological or geographical formations of scientific or educational interest, or open-space lands used solely for recreation and for the enjoyment of scenic beauty, is open to the general public subject to reasonable restrictions concerning the needs of the land, and is owned and operated by a scientific or charitable fund, foundation, limited liability company, or corporation, the primary interest of which is to preserve those natural areas, and that meets all the requirements of Section 214, shall be deemed to be within the exemption provided for in subdivision (b) of Sections 4 and 5 of Article XIII of the Constitution of the State of California and Section 214. (b) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to any property of an organization that owns in the aggregate 30,000 acres or more in one county that were exempt under this section prior to March 1, 1983, or that are proposed to be exempt, unless the nonprofit organization that holds the property is fully independent of the owner of any taxable real property that is adjacent to the property otherwise qualifying for tax exemption under this section. For purposes of this section, the nonprofit organization that holds the property shall be considered fully independent if the exempt property is not used or operated by that organization or by any other person so as to benefit any officer, trustee, director, shareholder, member, employee, contributor or bondholder of the exempt organization or operator, or the owner of any adjacent property, or any other person, through the distribution of profits, payment of excessive charges or compensations, or the more advantageous pursuit of their business or profession. (c) The exemption provided by this section shall not apply to property that is reserved for future development. (d) This section shall be operative from the lien date in 1983 to and including the lien date in 2022, after which date this section shall become inoperative, and as of January 1, 2023, this section is repealed. (e) The amendments made by the act adding this subdivision shall apply with respect to lien dates occurring on and after January 1, 2005. SEC. 2. Notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made by this act and the state shall not reimburse any local agency for any property tax revenues lost by it pursuant to this act. SEC. 3. This act provides for a tax levy within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.