Agricultural Preserve Contracts

 
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  • AGRICULTURAL PRESERVE CONTRACTS

    State law allows owners of agricultural land to reduce their property taxes by placing their property into agricultural preserve contracts. ​

  • What is an agricultural preserve?

    Agricultural preserves are areas designated by the county or certain cities that are used for farming, grazing or orchards, and where the preservation of open space and agricultural use is in the public’s interest. Property owners in those areas can enter into contracts with the jurisdictions to limit the use of their land for a minimum of 10 years in exchange for reduced taxes. ​

  • What is the advantage of placing my farmland under an agricultural preserve contract?

    The property will be assessed only on the basis of the income produced from the land. This generally creates a smaller assessment than if the land were not under contract.​

  • What is the minimum parcel size to qualify for an agricultural preserve?

    A minimum of 10 acres in groves or crops, 80 acres in grazing or 40 acres in mixed use.

  • If I sell part or all of my property, does it remain under contract?

    Yes. All of the property remains under contract, and there will be no reappraisal for property tax purposes except for the dwelling unit and the accompanying lot.

  • If my property is under an agricultural preserve contract and my nephew inherits it, will it be reappraised?

    Only the dwelling unit and the accompanying lot will be reappraised. The land used for agriculture will not be reappraised.​

  • Who do I contact to learn more about placing my land in an agricultural contract?

    The Zoning Section of the County Department of Planning and Land Use is responsible for administering the agricultural preserve program in San Diego County. Call them at (858) 565- 5981.

     
    The cities of Oceanside at (760) 966-4770, Carlsbad at (760) 438-1161 and Escondido at (760) 741-4671 also participate in this program.

     

 

 

 Disabled Veterans Exemptions

 
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  • DISABLED VETERANS' EXEMPTION
  • What is a Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

    The Disabled Veterans’ Exemption is available for qualified veterans or the unmarried surviving spouse of the veteran to reduce their property taxes. The exemption amount is adjusted annually due to inflation.​

  • Who is eligible for the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

    Veterans of the United States military who are rated 100% disabled as result of a service-connected disability, or who are compensated at 100% due to unemployability ​

  • Are surviving spouses eligible for the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

    Yes. An unmarried surviving spouse may qualify if:

    • The disabled veteran was eligible for the exemption during the veteran’s lifetime or whose death was service-connected, or
    • The veteran died on active duty as the result of a service-connected disease or injury.

  • Are there different levels of the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

    Yes. The two levels are basic and low-income. The basic exemption is available to a qualified veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse regardless of income.

     
    The low-income exemption is dependant upon the annual household income of the veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse.
  • What determines the amount of the exemption?

    The exemption depends on the assessed value of the property, percentage of ownership, timeliness of filing a claim for the exemption and household income of the veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse. ​

  • How do I qualify for the low income exemption?

    To qualify for the low-income exemption, the household income of the qualifying veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse must not exceed the state’s annual income limit. Low-income exemptions require an annual filing.​

  • What is necessary in order to file for the exemption?

    You must submit the following information:

    • A Disabled Veterans’ Exemption claim, available at the Assessor’s Office by calling (619) 531-5773, by clicking here: CLAIM FOR DISABLED VETERANS PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FORM. This document is in PDF format.
    • A copy of the veteran’s DD214 stating honorable discharge.
    • The complete rating decision letter from the Veterans Administration indicating 100% service-connected disability and effective date of rating.
    • Gross income sheet (only for low-income applicants).
  • What is necessary for the surviving spouse to file for the exemption?

    In addition to the items listed above, the unmarried surviving spouse must submit the following information:

    • A copy of the marriage certificate.
    • A copy of the death certificate.
    • Additional documentation may be required.

  • When should I file for the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

    A qualified applicant must file by the end of the calendar year for the tax year in which they wish to seek relief. For example, an applicant acquiring property in March 2009 must file an exemption claim by December 31, 2009 in order to be considered timely.

     
    Claims received after that date are still eligible for exemption, but will only receive 85% of the appropriate exemption for that year. Applicants will then receive 100% of the appropriate exemption every year thereafter.

     

  • Must I file for the exemption every year?

    Claims for the basic exemption require a one-time filing. The exemption will then be applied automatically every year thereafter until no longer eligible.

    Claims for the low-income exemption require an annual filing. The annual filing deadline is February 15.​

  • May I file for this exemption retroactively?

    Yes. California State law allows retroactive filings in some cases, subject to late-filing penalties.​

  • Where may I get more information?

     

    You may obtain more information by calling the Assessor’s Disabled Veterans’ Exemption Section at (619) 531-5773, by downloading the application by clicking here, or by writing to us at:

    County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk
    Disabled Veterans’ Exemption Section
    1600 Pacific Highway, Room 103
    San Diego, CA 92101

 

 

 Historical Properties

 
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  • HISTORICAL PROPERTIES

    Historical buildings might qualify for a property tax reduction. State law provides for an alternative method of calculating property taxes for qualified historical buildings whose owners have entered into an agreement with their city or the County for unincorporated areas. If your questions are about the valuation of these historic properties, call the Assessor’s Office at (619) 531-5002. If your questions are about applying and qualifying for these historic landmark preservation agreements, contact your local jurisdiction. ​

  • What is a historic property?

    Historical properties are usually examples of recognized architecture or skilled craftsmanship that have been designated by local, state or Federal governments to be of historic importance. ​

  • How can I qualify for this program?

    The property owner must enter into a binding 10 year agreement with the city or the County to restore, maintain and preserve the historic landmark property in its historic form. ​

  • How does this tax reduction work?

    Upon notice from the city or County, the Assessor’s Office will revalue the historic property beginning the next full tax year, taking into consideration the restriction in the historic landmark agreement. ​

  • What is the benefit of this program to the property owner?

    This program may provide property tax reductions to owners of properties designated as historical landmarks, who have entered into historical landmark property preservation agreements.​

  • What is the public benefit of this program?

    This historic landmark preservation program provides a way to save buildings that are historically significant. ​

  • Do I have to allow the public access to my home to qualify?

    No. Recent state law does not require public access: however, the individual contract will specify the property owners’ requirements. ​

 

 

 Homeowners Property Tax Exemption

 
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  • HOMEOWNER’S PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION

    A homeowner’s exemption is a free service that homeowners can apply for themselves through
    the Assessor’s Office.

    Homeowner's Exemption Brochure​
  • What is the Homeowner’s Property Tax Exemption?

    The Homeowner’s Exemption provides for a reduction of $7,000 off the assessed value of your residence. This results in an annual property tax savings of approximately $70.​

  • Who qualifies for this program?

    Property owners who occupy their homes as their principal place of residence on January 1, and each year thereafter, are eligible for the exemption.​

  • How do I obtain a Homeowner’s Exemption application?

    Whenever there is a purchase or transfer of residential property, the Assessor’s Office automatically mails a Homeowner’s Exemption claim form. You may also download the application from our web site by CLICKING HERE, or request that one be mailed to you by calling our office at (619) 531-5772.​

  • Is there a fee for filing a Homeowner’s Exemption application with the Assessor’s Office?

    No. This is a free service provided by the Assessor’s Office.​

  • How can I determine if I am already receiving the Homeowner’s Exemption?

    To verify that you are receiving your Homeowner’s Exemption, review your latest property tax bill. The exemption is shown on the upper right section of your bill. ​

  • When is the filing deadline for the Homeowner’s Exemption?

    The regular filing deadline is February 15 to receive the full exemption of $70. Late filing is from February 16 to December 10 to receive 80% of the exemption ($56). Late-filed exemptions will receive the full $70 exemption after the first year.​

  • If I miss the Homeowner’s Exemption deadline, is there any provision for granting the exemption for prior years?

    No. According to California State law, Homeowner’s Exemptions cannot be granted for prior years.​

  • Do I need to file each year for the Homeowner’s Exemption program?

    No. Once you have filed and been granted the Homeowner’s Exemption and you continue to own and occupy the same residence, you will automatically receive the exemption in future years.​

  • If I own a manufactured home, do I qualify for a Homeowner’s Exemption?

    If you pay property taxes on your manufactured home and it does not have State license tags, you may be eligible for the Homeowner’s Exemption. For more information, please call the Assessor’s Office at (619) 531-5772.​

  • If I receive a Disabled Veteran’s Exemption, may I also apply for a Homeowner’s Exemption?

    No. The Disabled Veteran’s Exemption results in a substantially higher savings than a Homeowner’s Exemption.​

  • If I own more than one residence, may I receive a Homeowner’s Exemption for each property?

    No. California State law permits only one Homeowner’s Exemption per resident.​

  • Why must I submit my Social Security number when applying for the Homeowner’s Exemption?

    State law requires Social Security numbers in order to ensure that homeowners receive only one exemption.

    Property Tax Assistance

    If you are blind, disabled, or 62 years of age or older and on limited income, you may be eligible for one of the following programs:

    (1) Property Tax Postponement
    If have a limited annual income, you may defer the property taxes on your house, condo, or manufactured home. This deferred payment is a lien on the property and generally becomes due upon sale, change of residence, or death. For more information and the necessary application, call the State Controller's Office (toll free) at 1-800-952-5661 or visit them on the web at www.sco.ca.gov.

    This program has been suspended by the State Controllers’ Office.

    (2)Homeowner’s Assistance
    If you have limited annual income, the State provides for partial reimbursement on the property taxes on your home. Filing for this program will not result in a lien being placed on your property. For more information and the necessary application, call the State Franchise Tax Board (toll free) at 1-800-868-4171 or visit them on the web at www.ftb.ca.gov.

    This program has been suspended by the State Franchise Tax Board.

 

 

 Living Trusts

 
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  • TRUSTS

    Real property is frequently placed into a trust for income tax or inheritance purposes. Generally,
    the creation of a trust does not cause a reassessment for property tax purposes. For more information
    concerning the possible property tax consequences of a trust, please call the Assessor’s Office at (858) 505-6262. ​

  • What is a trust?

    A trust is a legal arrangement whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another (beneficiary) for a specific length of time.

  • Does placing real property into a trust cause a reassessment for property tax purposes?

    Generally, placing real property into a trust is not a change in ownership that causes a reassessment as long as you are the sole owners, the trust is revocable or the beneficial interest is not transferred. ​

  • What is meant by a transfer of beneficial interest?

    A transfer of beneficial interest occurs immediately whenever the use or the benefit of the property is transferred to someone else. ​

  • What is a revocable trust?

    A revocable trust is one that can be withdrawn, changed or canceled during the term of the trust agreement. These are often called "living trusts".​

  • What is an irrevocable trust?

    For property tax purposes, an irrevocable trust is one that cannot be canceled, changed or withdrawn for a period of 12 years or more.​

  • If my wife and I put our home into a trust for our own benefit and then one of us passes away, will it be reappraised?

    No. Interspousal transfers of property are exempt from reappraisal regardless of whether or not it is in a trust. However, a reappraisal may be required upon the death of the last surviving spouse unless it is transferred to the children and the necessary parent/child exclusion application is filed and approved with the Assessor’s Office. ​

  • If I transfer my home into an irrevocable trust with myself as the present beneficiary and my daughter as the next beneficiary, when will the property be reappraised?

    The property will be reappraised when the ownership transfers to your daughter unless she applies for and receives a Parent/Child Exclusion from reappraisal at that time. No reappraisal will occur so long as you continue to receive the benefit of the property.​

  • If I have questions on the income tax or legal ramifications of a trust, what should I do?

    For questions concerning the income tax provisions or legal ramifications of a particular trust arrangement, you should discuss this with your legal representative and financial adviser.​

 

 

 Non-profit Property Tax Exemptions

 
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  • NON-PROFIT PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION

     

    Institutional property tax exemptions are available for real and personal property used for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes. The property must be owned and operated by funds, foundations, or corporations organized and operated for religious or other charitable purposes. These exemptions require annual filings.

     

    Under State law, property used for fundraising purposes is not qualified for exemption.

    View / print the brochure

  • Church Exemption

    This exemption may be used by religious organizations for either owned or leased real or personal property. The exemption applies only to areas used exclusively for worship or parking. The exemption does not apply to areas used for fellowship or other non-worship activities. The Church Exemption is most often used for leased real property. Religious organizations that own real property most commonly file the Religious or Welfare Exemption claims because of their broader scope of exemption.​

  • Religious Exemption

    This exemption is available to religious organizations for real property they own, as well as owned or leased personal property. The exemption extends to property used for worship, fellowship, religious counseling, offices, parking, and schools grades 12 and under. Once claimed, the exemption remains on the property until the status of the organization or use of the property changes. The Assessor’s Office annually sends an exemption renewal statement which the organization returns verifying that the use and ownership of the property have not changed.​

  • Welfare Exemption

    This exemption is available to religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable organizations, including low-income housing limited partnerships. It may only be used for owned real or personal property. The following information must be submitted when filing a claim:

    The Assessor and State Board of Equalization jointly administer this exemption and both parties must grant the exemption.

  • Low-Income Housing

    Housing for low-income tenants may be exempt if owned by a non-profit organization or a limited partnership with a non-profit as managing general partner.
    Properties may qualify if they meet one of the following conditions:

    • The property is financed with tax-exempt revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, or is financed by local, state, or federal loans or grants. Rents may not exceed the deed restriction or regulatory agreement limits.
    • The owner of the property receives low-income housing tax credits.
    • Properties owned by non-profit organizations are occupied by tenants, 90% or more of which qualify as low-income households.
      Low-income housing exemption requires filing the Welfare Exemption.

  • Housing for Religious Personnel

    Housing for religious personnel may be exempt if the housing is owned by the religious organization. Only housing incidental to the primary exempt activity of the organization is eligible. Housing for religious personnel requires filing the Welfare Exemption.

  • Public School Exemption

    This exemption is used by public schools, including charter schools. Public schools most often use the exemption for leased real and personal property. The property may be used for a variety of purposes, including education, administration, and administrative support functions. Charter schools must submit a copy of the charter when applying for this exemption.​

  • College Exemption

    The College Exemption is available to private four-year colleges and may be used for owned or leased real and personal property.

  • Cemetery Exemption

    The Cemetery Exemption is available to both non-profit and for-profit cemeteries. Restrictions exist regarding the exemption of for-profit cemetery property. For further information, please contact the Assessor’s Office at (619) 531-5763. ​

  • Lessor’s Exemption

    The Lessor’s Exemption is available to property owners who lease real property to free public libraries, free museums, public schools, community colleges, State colleges, State universities, University of California, Churches, and non-profit colleges. Both the owner of the property and the exempt organization are required to sign the claim. The benefit of the exemption must go to the exempt organization in the form of a rent reduction or direct refund, unless otherwise stated in the lease. A copy of the lease is required to be submitted with the first claim.​

  • How do I receive an application for one of these programs?

    Claim forms are available on the Assessor’s web site, or by calling the Exemption Section at (619) 531-5763.​

 

 

 Parent/Child Exclusion

 
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  • PARENT/CHILD EXCLUSION

    Children can inherit their parent’s property without a property tax increase. The executor of
    the estate should notify the assessor’s office promptly to ensure timely processing of a parent/child
    exclusion from reappraisal.

    View / print the brochure​
  • Must the assessor’s office be notified upon the death of an owner?

    Yes. The administrator or executor of the estate is required by state law to notify the assessor’s office of a death of a property owner.​

  • Can property be reappraised upon the death of the owner?

    Yes, according to state law, death is considered a change of ownership, and the property can be reassessed as of the date of death for property tax purposes.

  • Are all properties reappraised as a result of death?

    No. If the property is transferred to the surviving spouse, there is no reassessment of the property. In addition, if the property is inherited by the children, a reappraisal may not be required. ​

  • What is a parent/child exclusion?

    The Parent-Child Exclusion applies to any real property purchases or transfers between parents and children, which occurred on or after November 6, 1986.

  • What is the purpose and benefit of the Parent-Child Exclusion?

    This exclusion prevents an increase in property taxes when real property is transferred between parents and their children.​

  • What is the definition of a “child” for the purpose of this exclusion?

    Natural children, children adopted before the age of 18, stepchildren (as long as the parents are still married), and sons- and daughters-in-law are considered children under this exclusion program.​

  • What type of property can be transferred without a tax increase?

    A parent may transfer their principal residence and any other property valued up to $1,000,000 to their children. The properties will not be reappraised providing that the proper Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal form is filed and approved by the Assessor’s Office.​

  • What is a Grandparent-Grandchild Exclusion?

    California State law allows property to be excluded from reappraisal when transferred between grandparent and grandchild, providing that a Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal form is filed and approved by the Assessor’s Office. This exclusion is available only when both parents of the eligible grandchildren are deceased. ​

  • Can a transfer of real property between grandparent and grandchild qualify for this exclusion if the parent disclaims any interest in the grandparent’s property?

    No. The parent must actually be deceased prior to the transfer to the grandchildren.​

  • Will I get the exclusion automatically?

    No. A Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal form must be completed and filed with the Assessor’s Office. Failure to file a claim will result in a reassessment of the property. You will receive the exclusion after your claim is approved.​

  • When must the claim for the exclusion be filed?

    To prevent a supplemental tax bill from being issued, a claim must be filed as soon as possible after the transfer or date of death. ​

  • Is there a filing deadline for this exclusion?

    A claim must be filed within three years of the date of transfer or death, or prior to the sale or transfer to a third party. In addition, a claim may be filed within six months after the mailing date of the supplemental notice or escape assessment.​

  • Is there anything I can do after the deadline?

    If a claim is filed after the legal deadline, the exclusion may be granted but no refunds will be issued for prior years. It will be granted for the year the claim is filed as long as the property has not been sold to a third party.​

  • We have already sold the property we inherited from our parents. May we still file a claim?

    Yes. A reappraisal will occur for the period between the date of the death and the sale to the third party. A supplemental bill will be issued unless the heirs or beneficiaries apply and qualify for this exclusion.​

 

 

 Property Taken by Government Action

 
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  • PROPERTY TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT ACTION (Proposition 3)

    State law allows a property owner to transfer their Proposition 13 base-year value to a comparable replacement property when the original property is acquired by a governmental agency through eminent domain, purchase, or inverse condemnation. The program can result in significant property tax savings when the owner purchases the replacement property.

    View / print the brochure
  • How can the property owner benefit from the program?

    The property owner can transfer the taxable value from their former property to their replacement property with no increase in their property taxes.

  • Are there any restrictions on the type of replacement property that can be purchased?

    Yes. The replacement property must be similar in size and use of the property taken. Also, the market value of the new property may not exceed 120% of the government’s purchase price of the original property.​

  • Can I still qualify for the program if my replacement property exceeds 120% of the government’s purchase price of the original property?

    Yes. You will receive your prior taxable value on the amount up to 120% of the purchase price, and will be reassessed on only the amount exceeding the 120%.​

  • How soon can I purchase my new property?

    The replacement property can be purchased any time after you receive notice from the governmental agency that your property has been approved for acquisition.​

  • When should I apply for this exemption from reappraisal?

    You should apply immediately after you acquire your replacement property, and no later than four years from the date the original property was acquired by the governmental agency.​

  • Does the exclusion apply only to residential property?

    No. The exclusion from reappraisal applies to any property taken by a public agency as long as the replacement property is similar in size and use.​

  • If the property I am leasing is acquired by a governmental agency, can I qualify for the program?

    No. You must own the property being taken by a governmental agency in order to be eligible for the program.

  • Does the program apply throughout California?

    Yes. The program applies throughout the State so long as both the original and replacement property are within California.

  • If I purchase a property that has both a store and a residence, will the replacement property qualify for the exclusion?

    Only the portion of the replacement property that is similar to the original property will qualify for the exclusion. The remainder of the property will be assessed at the current market value. ​

  • CALTRANS has a proposed freeway project that has been planned for many years that will include taking my property. Can I purchase a replacement property before it is actually taken?

    No. You cannot purchase the replacement property before the date of a written offer or the date a court declares that the property was taken.

  • I am in a redevelopment project area and a private developer has approached me to sell my property. Will I be able to use the exclusion if I sell directly to the private developer?

    No. The property must actually be acquired by a public entity in order to qualify. The threat of condemnation is not enough to qualify for the exclusion. ​

  • My original property was taken and I was paid $350,000. I purchased a replacement property for $300,000 and wish to add a bedroom and bath. Will I be assessed for new construction?

    No. The new construction will not increase your assessed value as long as the value does not exceed 120% of the value of the property taken. You must complete the new construction within four years from the date the property was taken as well as file the necessary application.​

  • I had a 50% interest in a property that was taken by a public entity. How do you determine the assessed value to be transferred to my replacement property?

    Your relief under the exclusion is limited to 120% of the one-half of the purchase price of the property taken.​

  • Is the program similar to the benefits granted by the Internal Revenue Service?

    Although the relief granted under the program is similar to the relief granted by the Internal Revenue Service, there are important differences. The requirements for property tax relief are generally much more restrictive.​

 

 

 Property Tax Relief for Seniors and Disabled

 
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  • PROPERTY TAX SAVINGS FOR SENIORS AND THE DISABLED

    State law provides property tax savings for those 55 years or older who sell their home and
    purchase another one of equal or lesser value. There are many other property tax relief
    programs available to help senior citizens on limited income, legally blind and disabled.

  • Is tax-payment assistance available to senior citizens, and those who are blind or disabled?

    Yes. The insert mailed along with your annual tax bill explains the two programs that offer such tax savings: the property-tax postponement and the property-tax assistance programs.

    Both of the programs supported by the State Controllers’ Office and the State Franchise Tax Board have been suspended.

 

 

 Reappraisal Exclusion Program

 
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  • What does the Reappraisal Exclusion Program for senior citizens provide?

    This program provides one-time property-tax relief for seniors over 55 by preventing a property valuation increase when they sell a home and purchase another home of equal or lesser value.​

  • Are there property value limits on this program?

    Generally, the value of the replacement property must be equal to or less than the market value of the original property.​

  • If I buy a replacement home with a much higher value than my present home, can I qualify for a partial exclusion?

    No. Partial exclusions are not allowed under this program: it is either all or nothing.​

  • Is there an age requirement to qualify?

    The property owner must be 55 or older at the time the original property is sold in order to qualify. For married couples, only one spouse must be 55 or older.​

  • Can a taxpayer apply for and receive the benefit of Prop 60/90 more than once?

    No. You are not eligible if you have been previously granted this benefit.​

  • Is there a time limit that applies to this program?

    You must buy your replacement home within two years of selling your original property in order to qualify.​

  • Must the property be owner-occupied?

    Both properties must qualify for a homeowner’s exemption, which requires that a property be the owner’s principal place of residence.​

  • If I live in another California county, can I sell my home there and buy a replacement home in San Diego County, and still qualify for this program?

    You can move from any county in California to San Diego County and qualify.​

  • If I decide to build my own replacement property, would it qualify under this program?

    New construction qualifies for this program, but there are specific requirements that must be met. It is recommended that anyone wanting to pursue this option contact the assessor’s office first to go over these requirements at (619) 531-5481.​

  • How do I apply?

    In order to qualify, you must complete and submit the necessary application form within three years of the date you buy your replacement property. You may request an application by calling (619) 531-5481 or Click here for REAPPRAISAL EXCLUSION FOR SENIORS APPLICATION, PROP60/90 or the REAPPRAISAL EXCLUSION FOR DISABLED APPLICATION, PROP110 and CERTIFICATE OF DISABILITY. These documents are in Acrobat PDF format.​

 

 

 State Property Tax Postponement Program

 
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  • What is the Property Tax Postponement Program?

    A qualified homeowner can defer payment of all or part of his or her property taxes on your house, condo, or manufactured home. This deferred payment is a lien on the property and becomes due upon sale, change of residence, or death.

  • How do I qualify for this program?

    If you are blind, disabled, or 62 years of age or older and on limited annual income.

    For more information and the necessary application, call the State Controller's Office (toll free) at 1-800 -952-5661 or visit them on the web at www.sco.ca.gov.
    This program has been suspended by the State Controllers’ Office.

 

 

 State Property Tax Assistance Program

 
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  • What is the Property Tax Assistance Program?

    This state program is a once a year cash reimbursement for a portion of the property taxes paid. This amount will not have to be repaid and will not result in a lien being placed on your home.

  • What are the qualifications to receive this reimbursement?

    If you are blind, disabled, or 62 years of age or older and on limited annual income.

    For the necessary claim form and further information, please contact the State Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-868-4171 or visit them on the web at www.ftb.ca.gov.
    This program has been suspended by the State Franchise Tax Board.

     

 

 

 Property Tax Relief from a Calamity

 
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  • PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FROM A CALAMITY

    State law allows the Assessor’s Office to temporarily reduce the assessed value of a property that was damaged or destroyed through no fault of the property owner. The damage must exceed $10,000 and an application must be filed within 12 months from the date the damage occurred.

    View / print the brochure
  • What type of property tax relief is available?

    The current property taxes will be reduced for that portion of the property damaged or destroyed. This reduction will be from the date of the damage, and will remain in effect until the property is rebuilt or repaired.​

  • After my property is rebuilt or repaired following the damage, will my property taxes be increased over what they were before?

    No. Property owners will retain their previous taxable value if the house is rebuilt in a like or similar manner, regardless of the actual cost of construction. However, any new square footage or extras, such as additional baths, will be added to the base-year value at its full market value. ​

  • What are the requirements to qualify for this tax relief?

    In order to qualify, the damage must be in excess of $10,000 in value, and a claim should be filed with the Assessor’s Office within 12 months from the date the damage occurred.​

  • If my mobilehome is severely damaged by fire, do I qualify for this tax relief?

    Yes. You qualify for this property tax relief if your mobilehome was assessed for property taxes and is not on State license fees.​

  • If my furniture was destroyed, can my property taxes be reduced?

    No. Household furnishings are not assessed for property taxes and, therefore, do not qualify for property tax relief.​

  • Do boats and airplanes qualify for this property tax relief if they were damaged by a storm or fire?

    Yes. Tax relief is available for all taxable property, including boats, aircraft, and business personal property.​

  • Do I qualify for property tax relief if a storm damaged my avocado or citrus grove?

    Yes. Tax relief is available if the damage to your grove exceeds $10,000. The fruit, however, is not assessed for property tax purposes and, therefore, is not available for property tax relief.​

  • I have an avocado grove and, due to the fruit fly infestation, my entire crop was lost. Can I qualify for a calamity reduction?

    Although the Assessor’s Office values the trees and irrigation system for property tax purposes, the actual fruit is not assessed. Therefore, there can be no reduction in property taxes.​

  • My house has a cracked slab. Does this qualify as a calamity?

    No. Although any construction defect will adversely affect the value of the property, it does not qualify for relief under this program. A court decision has determined that since the damage occurred over time and not as a sudden event, an exact date cannot be established. Therefore, there can be no reduction under this provision.​

  • How does the Assessor’s Office determine the amount of property taxes to be refunded if my house was partially destroyed by a fire?

    The appraiser determines the market value of the house before and after the damage. The percentage of the loss is then applied to the assessed value of the house and a refund is issued. The land value will remain unchanged.​

  • Once I file my application, what is the process?

    After the application is processed by the Assessor’s Office, a notice of proposed new assessment will be sent to the taxpayer. After the owner returns this notice to our office, a separate supplemental refund will be made based on the amount of reduction. The refund will be prorated from the date of destruction to the end of the fiscal year. You must still pay your regular tax bill.​

  • What if I disagree with the value as determined by the Assessor’s Office?

    If you disagree with the value established by the Assessor’s Office, you must file an appeal within six months from the date on the notification of proposed values. A hearing will be scheduled by the Assessment Appeals Board.​

  • How can I qualify for this property tax relief?

    In order to qualify for this property tax relief, you must file a claim form with the Assessor’s Office.​

  • Where do I get the necessary claim form?

    You may obtain an application by calling the Assessor’s Office at (858) 505-6262, by downloading the application from our website, by visiting any of our locations, or by writing to us at:

    County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk
    1600 Pacific Highway, Room 103
    San Diego, CA 92101