Signed Bills Help Business on Tax, Accessibility Issues

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SupportGovernor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently signed two California Chamber of Commerce-supported bills that improve fairness in the tax law administration process, and a third bill that will help businesses assess whether commercial rental property complies with disability access laws.

AB 2201 (Brough; R-Dana Point) maintains fairness with regard to the computation of interest on a late electronic payment to the Board of Equalization (BOE) by reinstating the authority of the BOE to compute interest on a daily basis instead of a monthly basis if listed circumstances are satisfied.

• AB 2476 (Daly; D-Anaheim) ensures that a property owner has sufficient time to potentially challenge the parcel tax if necessary by providing notice and information of a parcel tax to a property owner who does not reside within the jurisdiction of the agency or legislative body.

AB 2093 (Steinorth; R-Rancho Cucamonga) ensures that owners and tenants are aware of any construction-related access violations and therefore have the opportunity to resolve any violation before a lawsuit is filed by requiring clarity in commercial property leases regarding whether the property has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) and any CASp reports. AB 2093 took effect immediately upon being signed by the Governor on September 16.

AB 2201: Tax Administration

Until January 1, 2016, the BOE had the discretion to modify the interest assessed on a late electronic payment to a daily rate instead of a monthly rate. The BOE was allowed to modify this assessment if it determined that the assessment of one month of interest was inequitable as the taxpayer satisfied the following factors:

• the payment was only one day late;

• the taxpayer was granted relief from all penalties; and

• the taxpayer filed for an oral hearing with the BOE.

On January 2, 2016, the discretion of the BOE to modify the interest assessed to avoid an “inequitable” result expired. AB 2201 corrects this by allowing the BOE to utilize its discretion to determine if assessing one month of interest on an electronic payment that is one day late is inequitable.

AB 2476: Parcel Tax Notice

AB 2476 requires a local agency to provide notice to property owners that do not reside within the jurisdiction of a taxing agency, of its vote to place a parcel tax on the ballot as well as information regarding the parcel tax.

Timely notice of a proposed parcel tax to affected property owners is important so that the property owners may voice their concern, inquire into the amount or purpose of the parcel tax, or even prepare for the potential tax increase. AB 2476 requires notice and provides necessary information to the property owner so the owner may take action, if desired.

AB 2093: CASp Program

California runs a voluntary CASp program that offers access to experienced site inspectors to help small businesses comply with the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These specialists inspect buildings for compliance with applicable state and federal accessibility laws and regulations.

AB 2093 mandates that tenants receive copies of any relevant CASp inspection reports that have been completed for a property, so that all parties are aware if ADA violations have been identified. The bill provides transparency to give businesses the opportunity to correct violations and avoid costly litigation.

For more information on CASp, visit dgs.ca.gov.

Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera

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Jennifer Barrera
About Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera, senior policy advocate, works with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy and represents the CalChamber on labor and employment, taxation and legal reform issues. Before joining the CalChamber in September 2010, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense. She also advised small and large businesses on compliance issues, presented seminars on employment-related topics, and authored articles in human resources publications. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law.