In plaintiff's action against a county seeking a tax refund claiming that, when she received a life estate interest in a residence, no change in ownership occurred within the meaning of Article XIII A, section 2(a) of the California Constitution to trigger reassessment, judgment of the court of appeals' is reversed where: 1) under governing statutes, plaintiff had to apply for assessment reduction even though her claim presents a pure question of law; 2) the futility exception to the exhaustion requirement is inapplicable; 3) the county is not estopped from relying on plaintiff's failure to exhaust remedies; and 4) there was a change in ownership within the meaning of Article XIII A, section 2(a).
Filed February 4, 2010
Opinion by Judge Chin
For Appellant: Terran T. Steinhart
For Appellee: Raymond G. Fortner, Jr., County Counsel, and Richard E. Girgado, Deputy County Counsel