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Property Tax Resources

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California Property Tax Updates

UPDATED MARCH 2019

Court Upholds Tax Exemption for Airport Concessionaire’s Exclusive Use

In late January, the California Court of Appeal upheld the tax exemption for property owners who have exclusive use of government-owned property. In DFS Group, LP v. County of San Mateo (No. A150162), the appellate court ruled that a duty-free retailing concessionaire’s exclusive right to operate at San Francisco International Airport was not subject to property taxation. The court’s decision was based on California laws that exempt intangible assets and rights from property taxation. The statute relied upon by the court provides that the exclusive nature of a concession, franchise, or similar agreement is an intangible asset that must not be considered in valuing taxable real property. The Court of Appeal also held that, after the taxpayer makes a prima facie showing that the value of an intangible asset/right has been subsumed in the assessment, the burden falls on the taxing authority (assessor) to determine the value of the intangible asset/right and remove that value from the assessment. A petition for review has been filed and is currently pending before the California Supreme Court.

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Greenberg Traurig, LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

Arizona Property Tax Updates
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American Property Tax Counsel

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