Seibold v. County of Los AngelesAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff challenged the Appeals Board's denial of his application for a refund of property taxes paid to the County relating to a ground lease and a hangar at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The trial court granted summary adjudication with respect to the hangar and subsequently ruled in favor of plaintiff with respect to the ground lease. The County appealed. The court concluded that, with respect to the ground lease, the lease affords plaintiff a private benefit - the exclusive right to store his aircraft and equipment on the leased premises - that is sufficiently independent of the interests retained by Santa Monica to constitute a taxable possessory interest. In regard to the hangar, Revenue and Taxation Code section 107, subdivision (b) defines possessory interests to include “Taxable improvements on tax-exempt land.” Therefore, the court concluded that the trail court improperly granted summary adjudication because the County’s evidence raised a triable issue as to whether the hangar fits this definition. The court reversed and vacated the post-judgment orders.