Merced Co. sends message to cell providers on property taxes

Four major communications companies made the request on the basis that they were taxed at a higher rate than allowed by the state constitution.

Cellular service providers will not receive a requested refund in property tax payments to Merced County. 

The Merced County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny the requested refunds to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, which were made for fiscal year 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. . 

The backstory: All four companies claim that the property tax rate applied to their land violates the California Constitution. 

  • The State Board of Equalization determines the total assessed value of utilities, which includes communication providers, and delivers a roll of the assessed value of the portion of the assessed property and assets to each county auditor.
  • Each county applies a legislatively mandated tax rate to the board’s enrolled values, and Merced County stands by the mandated tax rate calculations imposed on the communication companies. 

By the numbers: In total, Merced County denied nearly half a million dollars in property tax refund requests. 

  • AT&T requested $189,332 for fiscal year 2017-2018 and $158,962 for fiscal year 2018-2019. 
  • Sprint requested $12,240.68 for fiscal year 2017-2018 and $13,006.72 for fiscal year 2018-2019. 
  • T-Mobile requested $26,350.56 for fiscal year 2017-2018 and $24,697.53 for fiscal year 2018-2019. 
  • CenturyLink requested $17,347.47 for fiscal year 2017-2018 and $21,110.14 for fiscal year 2018-2019.
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