RELEASE: Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris’ First Bill Signed by Governor Newsom - AB 608 Enhances Efficiency in Property Tax Administration

Monday, July 15, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris’ first bill. Assembly Bill 608 will go into effect January 1, 2020 and will save money for both local governments and small business owners.

“Holding government accountable to ensure our taxpayer dollars are spent prudently is my top priority as a State Representative,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), Chair of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. “When the Orange County Assessor told me the taxes generated from small businesses are often less than the cost of assessing and collecting those same taxes I immediately sought a legislative fix. AB 608 will eliminate government waste and inefficiency, and is a common-sense fix that has received bipartisan support from my colleagues in the Legislature.”

Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, Orange County Business Council said, “Orange County Business Council, the leading voice of business, commends Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris for her bill AB 608, signed by Governor Newsom, and now law. This bill helps reduce the tax burden on many businesses while freeing resources for the County of Orange Assessor’s Office and County Assessor departments statewide. The bill increases efficiency, utilizes taxpayer money more effectively and provides businesses with much-needed tax relief.”

Leslie K. Davis, President, California Assessors’ Association said, “The California Assessors’ Association is happy to have had the opportunity work with Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris to improve our efficiency when dealing with possessory interests. AB 608 provides the option to increase the low-value ordinance for all possessory interests. This will benefit taxpayers and assessors.”

County Assessors, who are nonpartisan elected officials, have discovered that the current low-value ordinance exemption threshold is too low, and thus assessing possessory interests is time consuming and ends up costing local government more to assess the tax than the revenue generated. A possessory interest is privately controlled public property, such as a food and beverage concession at a city, state or federal park; a car rental kiosk at a public airport; a vendor at a farmer’s market on a city street; or a restaurant patio located on a public sidewalk.

AB 608 rationalizes existing law governing low-value ordinance exemptions by not over-burdening small businesses with regressive taxes, while also improving the productivity within the County Assessor’s operations by better utilizing staff resources. AB 608 is supported by: California Assessors’ Association; California Apartments Association; California State Association of Counties (CSAC); California Taxpayers Association (CTA); Orange County Assessor, Claude Parrish; Orange County Business Council; and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).