San Francisco Tax Preparation / CPA: CA – Statute of limitations barred challenge to special assessments validity

Filed in CCH NEWS FEED by on May 23, 2020

For California property tax purposes, the trial court did not err in determining that the taxpayer’s challenge to the validity of special assessments was barred by the statute of limitations because the 30-day statute of limitation for filing a complaint against the assessments begins on the date of adoption of the resolution imposing the assessment. In this case, a community services district filed a judicial foreclosure action against the taxpayer for failure to pay the special assessments for the construction of water and sewer improvements levied against its property under the Municipal Improvement Act. The trial court found that the taxpayer had no defense to the district’s judicial foreclosure claims because its ability to challenge the validity of the special assessments was barred by the 30-day statute of limitations, and the doctrines of res judicata or collateral estoppel. The taxpayer argued that the trial court erred in rejecting its challenge and the assessments were invalid as the district failed to meet its burden of proving compliance with the requirements of Proposition 218. However, the Court of Appeal noted that the 30-day statute of limitations for filing a complaint against assessments made under the Municipal Improvement Act begins on the date of adoption of the resolution imposing an assessment. Therefore, the trial court correctly determined that the taxpayer’s right to challenge the special assessments had expired 20 years ago and it had no defense to the judicial foreclosure. Further, the Court of Appeal did not address the remaining issues the taxpayer raised because its challenge was time-barred and affirmed the trial court’s decision. Camp David Resorts, LLC v. Rosamond Community Services District, Court of Appeal of California, Fifth District, No. F075518, March 18, 2020

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