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Sales Comparison Approach language undergoes subtle change in California. Lien Date vs. Valuation Date

Published by Lance on

full-changes2There has been a subtle change to the language used in Section 402.5 of the California R&T Code. The code has changed the word lien date to valuation date.  Previously section 402.5 required sales used in the sales comparison approach be sufficiently near in time, and the properties must be similar in size, quality, age, condition, utility, amenities, site location, legally permitted use, or other physical attributes to the subject property.

Effective September 15, 2014, Assembly Bill 1143 (Stats. 2014, ch. 325) updated section 402.5 to replace the term “lien date” with “valuation date” in the sentence that defines “near in time.” (LTA No. 2014/054)

The new section now reads as follows;

When valuing property by comparison with sales of other properties, in order to be considered comparable, the sales shall be sufficiently near in time to the valuation date, and the properties sold shall be located sufficiently near the property being valued, and shall be sufficiently alike in respect to character, size, situation, usability, zoning, or other legal restriction as to use unless rebutted pursuant to Section 402.1, to make it clear that the properties sold and the properties being valued are comparable in value and that the cash equivalent price realized for the properties sold may fairly be considered as shedding light on the value of the property being valued. “Near in time to the valuation date” does not include any sale more than 90 days after the valuation date.

This new change has more to do with clarifying language than changing the law. The lien date can be different with regard to supplemental tax rolls due to construction completion dates and change of ownership dates. While the intent is still the same, the change in the language will hopefully add clarity to the intent of the law.

Click here (LTA 2014/054) to read the full Letter to the Assessor from the California BOE.



Lance is Executive Vice President of Haws Consulting Group. Lance has spent 28 years working in the property tax space and is also a licensed California Realtor. Lance loves working with clients on real estate matters.