There are a number of ways individuals and businesses can reduce their property tax assessments. The following information is provided to help you learn more about these programs. Please contact our office if you need any additional information.
DECLINE IN MARKET VALUE
Proposition 8: The Assessor has an obligation to recognize declines in market value and to temporarily reduce assessments, when warranted. California Statute, (Proposition 8), provides that your assessment must be the lesser of its factored base year value, or its current market value as of the lien date. Once an assessment has been reduced under Proposition 8, it will be subject to annual review and adjustment, in accordance with the market value. Once the market value exceeds the factored base year value, the assessment will be restored to its factored base year value. If you feel the assessed value of your property exceeds the market value as of January 1st, you are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s Office and request a review of your assessment. A Value Review Form is available from July 2 to December 31 each year. It should be filled out and submitted to request a review for a reduction based on Proposition 8.
If, after review and discussion, your assessment is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right of appeal to the County Assessment Appeals Board. In order to appeal an assessment, you must file an Assessment Appeal Application with the Clerk of the Board, between July 2 and November 30 (or the next business day if the 30th falls on a weekend or holiday). For Supplemental Assessments you must file within 60 days of the date of Notice of Supplemental Assessment.
Applications and additional information pertaining to assessment appeals are available from the Yuba County Clerk of the Board at 915 8th Street Suite 109, Marysville, CA 95901, by phone at (530) 749-7510 or by visiting the Clerk of the Boards website.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. Is the Assessor required to restore my factored base year value even if its more than a 2% increase?
A. Yes. Just as there is no limit to the amount of reduction, there is no limit to the amount being restored up to the factored Proposition 13 base year ceiling amount.
Q. If I have been granted a reduction for the current year will I have to request another review next year?
A. No. Once you have been granted a reduction pursuant to Proposition 8 your next year’s value will automatically be reviewed.
Q. Why isn’t the reduction due to Decline in Value permanent?
A. Proposition 8 (now California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 51) requires the Assessor to compare each property’s factored base year value with the current market value, and enroll the lesser or the two each year.
Q. What will happen to my assessment if values start to rise?
A. Here is an example of that situation (assume a 2% inflation factor for all years concerned). Property is purchased in 2004 for $400,000. For 2008 the factored base year value is $432,972 ($400,000 x 1.08243, the factor of 1.08243 was arrived at by compounding 2% over four years). However a Decline in Value reduction is made at $415,000 as of the January 1, 2008 market value and the lower of the two figures.
Later in the calendar year 2008 the market improves and the January 1, 2009 market value of the property in this example is $450,000. The factored base year value for 2009 would be $441,631 (2% higher than the previous year’s factored base year value). Under Decline in Value guidelines for the 2009 fiscal year we would be required to assess the property at $441,631 which is lower than the $450,000 market value. In this example your property would be raised from $415,000 to $441,631 and you would no longer be under Decline in Values guidelines.
Q. What if my January 1, 2009 market value is $425,000 rather than $450,000?
A. Using the same example, we would raise your value to $425,000, which is lower than the factored base year value of $441,631. Again, the rule for any given year is to enroll either the factored base year value or the market value, whichever is lower.
In this example, your property would still be under Decline in Value review as the market value of $425,000 is less than the factored base year value.
TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Base Year – Under Proposition 13 the assessment year 1975-76 serves as the original base year value. Therefore, any assessment year thereafter in which real property or a portion thereof changes ownership or is newly constructed shall become the base year used in determining the assessment for such real property or portion thereof.
Factored Base Year Value – If you owned your property before March 1, 1975, the “full cash value will be the value as it appeared on the 1975-76 assessment roll increased a maximum of 2 percent per year in accordance with Proposition 13. If you acquired or constructed the property since March 1, 1975, “assessed” value is the value at the time you took title or completed construction, plus a maximum of 2 percent each year thereafter.
Fair Market Value – As defined in Revenue and Taxation Code Section 110, “The amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and seller have knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable restrictions upon those uses and purposes.”
Line Date – January 1, beginning in 1997, March 1 prior to 1997.
DECLINE IN VALUE – IMPORTANT POINTS
- The Assessor can only consider the market value as of the lien date, January 1st.
- Our office will determine the market value of your property by analyzing sales of comparable properties in the area and other pertinent data.
- When supplying information the comparable sales must be no later than 90 days after the lien date. Thus a sale cannot be beyond March 31st of the lien date in question but there is no limit as to how far backwards in time a comparable sale may be.
- Decline in Value relief (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 51) is specific to the January 1 fair market value and does not allow for relief pertaining to other dates. As a result supplemental assessments are not addressed when Decline in Value relief is sought.
A property owner may claim a Homeowners’ Exemption on a residence they own and occupy as their primary residence at 12:01 a.m. on January 1; or qualifies within 30 days of change in ownership or new construction for which a Supplemental Assessment is levied. The exemption reduces your assessed value by $7,000 and reduces the tax bill by approximately $70 if filed timely. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to apply for the exemption. To receive the full exemption, you must file with the Assessor’s Office on or before February 15, or within 30 days of a Notice of Supplemental Assessment. A late filing is accepted from February 16 to December 10 for 80% of the exemption. The exemption continues each year as long as the property is owned and occupied as the primary residence. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to terminate the exemption when no longer eligible.
SENIORS TAX POSTPONEMENT
California's Property Tax Postponement Program allows senior citizens and disabled persons with an annual household income of $35,500 or less to apply to defer payment of property taxes on their principal residence. Please visit the State Controller's website for applications and more information regarding this program.
Learn more about tax saving programs and benefits available to you by downloading the California State Board of Equalization's Tax Tips for California Seniors brochure, or by visiting www.boe.ca.gov/seniors.
DISABLED VETERANS EXEMPTION
The Disabled Veterans’ Exemption provides tax relief to qualified veterans or their unmarried surviving spouse.
There are two types of exemptions available:
- Basic – This exemption provides tax relief to qualifying veterans and has no qualifying income limitations. No annual filing is necessary to remain in effect.
- Low Income – This exemption provides greater tax relief, but requires qualifying veterans to meet income limitations. A filing must be submitted each year to claim this exemption.
If you qualify, you may lower your total assessed value by the amount of the exemption. A reduction in your assessed value will lower the amount of your property taxes.
Both types of exemptions are adjusted annually for inflation. Qualifying income levels are subject to change. The Disabled Veterans’ Exemption form (BOE-261-G ) provides instructions and examples for each of these exemptions.
Important: A property owner may not have more than one exemption, such as the Homeowners’ or Disabled Veterans’ exemption, on the same property.
- The property must be the principal place of residence of a qualified disabled veteran or their unmarried surviving spouse.
- The veteran or their spouse must be on title to the property (including ownership in a corporation).
- The Veteran must be rated as 100% disabled or compensated at 100% due to employability as a result of their military service, is blind in both eyes, or has lost the use of two or more limbs.
Eligibility Requirements for a “Surviving Spouse”
The principal place of residence of an unmarried surviving spouse of a deceased veteran may qualify for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption. The benefits are extended to the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who:
- Qualified for the exemption during his or her lifetime;
- Would have qualified if he or she had been alive on January 1, 1977; or
- Died from a service-connected injury or disease.
To apply for this benefit, an application claim must be filed for both the basic and the low-income Disabled Veterans' Exemption. Exemption claims must be filed annually by February 15th to receive a full exemption. Partial exemptions may be available if you file past this date.
When filing the Disabled Veterans' Property Tax Exemption Form (BOE-261-G ) you must attach the following documentation with the completed form:
- Basic Exemption:
- Complete ratings decision from the Veterans Administration
- Low Income Exemption:
- Complete ratings decision from the Veterans Administration
- Disabled Veterans' Household Income Worksheet (PCA-703 )
- Surviving Spouse Exemption:
- Dependents Indemnity Compensation Letter from Veterans Administration
- Marriage Certificate
- Death Certificate
Real and personal property used exclusively by a church, college, cemetery, free museum, public school, or free public library may qualify for an exemption from property taxation. Properties owned and used exclusively by a nonprofit religious, charitable, scientific, or hospital corporation may also be eligible. An application must be filed with the Assessor's Office. The application forms can be found in the FORMS section of this site. If you have further questions, call (530) 749-7820. For more information regarding Institutional Exemptions please read Publication 149, Property Tax Welfare Exemptions.
PARENT/CHILD CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION (P58)
Transfers of real property from parents to children (or children to parents) may be excluded from reassessment if a claim is filed and certain requirements are met. This exclusion applies to a principal residence and up to $1,000,000 (taxable value) of additional real estate. This provision of the law is called “Prop 58”.
A claim for this exclusion must be filed within 3 years of the date of transfer in order to receive this benefit as of the transfer date. If a claim is eligible, but not filed timely, the exclusion will begin with the calendar year in which the claim is filed. The exclusion benefit applies to parent/child transfers made on (or after) November 6, 1986. The 3 year filing period applies to transfers occurring on (or after) September 30, 1990. Claims filed more than 60 days after the date of the second notice of potential eligibility for exclusion from change in ownership will be subject to a $175 processing fee. (Ref. R & T Code Sec.63.1)
For more information see the California State Board of Equalization California State Board of Equalization FAQs. You may also call the Assessor’s Office at (530) 749-7820.
HUSBAND/WIFE (INTER-SPOUSAL) CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION
Transfers of property between spouses during marriage are excluded from reassessment. Transfers between former spouses after marriage (in connection with a property settlement agreement or dissolution) are also excluded. No form is required. However, additional documentation may be necessary. (Ref. R & T Code Sec. 63)
For more information see the California State Board of Equalization FAQs. You may also call the Assessor’s Office at (530) 749-7820.
GRANDPARENT TO GRANDCHILD CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION (P193)
Transfers of property from grandparents to grandchildren (one direction only) occurring on (or after) March 27, 1996 may be excluded from reassessment if a claim is filed and certain requirements are met. One of the limiting conditions to this exclusion is that all parents (of the child(ren) to whom the property is being transferred) who qualify as children of the grandparents transferring the property, are deceased as of the date of transfer [R & T Code Sec. 63.1(c)].
For more information see the California State Board of Equalization California State Board of Equalization FAQs. You may also call the Assessor’s Office at (530) 749-7820
Refinancing a real estate loan is not considered a change in ownership, and should not result in a reassessment as long as additional information from the property owner is provided to verify that the transaction was for refinancing purposes only. (ref. Revenue and Taxation Code 62(c)) There is no form to complete for this exclusion. For further information contact the Assessor at (530) 749-7820
REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERS CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION
Beginning January 1, 2006, transfers of real property between registered domestic partners (as defined in Section 297 of the Family Code) are not considered assessable changes in ownership. There is no form to complete. However, documentation will be requested. (ref. Revenue and Taxation Code 62(p))
This exclusion includes (but is not limited to):
- A transfer in (or out) of a trust for the benefit of a partner.
- The addition of a partner on a deed.
- A transfer upon the death of a partner.
- A transfer pursuant to a settlement agreement.
- A transfer pursuant to a court order upon termination of the domestic partnership.
For more information see the California State Board of Equalization California State Board of Equalization FAQs. You may also call the Assessor’s Office at (530) 749-7820.
CO-TENANCY CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION
Transfer of a cotenancy interest from one cotenant to another due to the death of one cotenant (and after January 1, 2013) may be excluded from reassessment if certain conditions are met. (Ref. R & T Code Sec. 62.3)
This exclusion is explained in the State Board of Equalization Letter to Assessors 2013-21.
You may also request the form (or ask questions) by calling (530) 749-7820.
PROPORTIONAL INTEREST TRANSFER CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP EXCLUSION
Any transfer between an individual and a legal entity (or between legal entities) that results solely in a change in the method of holding title (the proportional ownership interests of the transferors and transferees remain unchanged) is excluded from reassessment under Proposition 13. No claim form is required. However, additional documentation may be necessary. (Ref. R & T Code Sec. 62(a)(2))
For further information contact the Assessor at (530) 749-7820.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM NEW CONSTRUCTION EXCLUSION
The active solar exclusion will remain in effect until January 1, 2025, unless extended by legislative action. Active solar energy systems that qualified for the new construction exclusion prior to January 1, 2017 will continue to be excluded after that date, until there is a subsequent change in ownership.
The addition of an active solar energy system to an existing structure is excluded from property tax assessment under Revenue and Tax code section 73, which defines the term 'active solar energy system' as any system that uses solar devices which are thermally isolated from living space or any other area where the energy is used, to provide for the collection, storage, or distribution of solar energy.
Active solar energy systems may be used for any of the following: (a) domestic, recreational, therapeutic, or service water heating; (b) space conditioning; (c) production of electricity; (d) process heat, (e) solar mechanical energy.
Pipes, ducts, tanks, and other auxiliary equipment used in a solar energy system that also carry or use energy from sources other than solar energy are assessable at 75% of their market value. Excluded from this benefit are solar swimming pool heaters, hot tub heaters, passive energy systems and wind energy systems.
As of September 2008, this exclusion was modified further to include the construction of an active solar energy system in a new building where:
- Owner-builder incorporates an active solar energy system in the initial construction of the new building.
- does not intend to occupy or use the new building.
The exclusion from “new construction” provided by this subdivision also applies to the initial purchaser who purchases the new building from the owner-builder, but only if:
- Owner-builder did not receive an exclusion under this section for the same active solar energy system and
- Initial purchaser purchased the new building prior to that building becoming subject to reassessment to the owner builder.
The initial purchaser must file a claim with the Assessor and provide any documents necessary to identify the value attributable to the active solar energy system included in the purchase price of the new building. The claim shall also identify the amount of any rebate for the active solar energy system provided to either the owner-builder or the initial purchaser.
Active Solar Energy Systems are NOT excluded from reassessment when property changes ownership after the initial purchase.This program remains in effect until January 1, 2025. An application for this exclusion must be filed with the Assessor. If you have further questions you may call our office at (530) 749-7820.
RAIN WATER CAPTURE SYSTEM EXCLUSION
The new construction exclusion for a rain water capture system was approved by voters in 2018 and implemented by Revenue and Taxation Code §74.8.
Section 74.8(b) provides that a “rain water capture system” is a facility designed to capture, retain, and store rain water flowing off a building rooftop or other manmade aboveground hard surface for subsequent onsite use. A “facility” is something designed, built, or installed to serve a particular purpose. The exclusion is not applicable to portable rain water capture systems, since they are items of personal property.
The new construction exclusion is available when the construction of the rain water capture system is completed between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2029. Improvements that may be excluded from assessment include items such as above- or in-ground tanks, piping, pumps, or filtration systems. A rain water capture system does not include the roof of a building.
To receive the rain water capture system exclusion, the initial buyer must file a claim with the Assessor and provide any documents necessary to identify the value attributable to the rain water capture system that was included in the purchase price of the new building. The claim must also identify the amount of any rebate for the rain water capture system provided to either the owner-builder or the initial purchaser.
The exclusion is not available if the owner-builder already received the exclusion or the building became subject to assessment to the owner-builder on the lien date (January 1) following the completion of the construction.
A property owner who adds a rain water capture system to an existing structure does not have to file for the exclusion. The exclusion is automatically granted when the assessor receives a copy of the building permit.
Additional information regarding the exclusion is also available at the BOE’s Website
The assessor will evaluate the claim and determine the portion of the purchase price that is attributable to the rain water capture system. The assessor will then reduce the new base year value established as a result of the change in ownership of the new building by an amount equal to the difference between the following two amounts:
1. That portion of the value of the new building attributable to the rain water capture system.
2. The total amount of all rebates, if any, that were provided to either the owner-builder or the initial purchaser.
TRANSFER OF BASE YEAR VALUE FOR PERSONS 55 OR OLDER
Proposition 60 (Revenue and Taxation Code 69.5)
Property owners of at least 55 years of age may transfer the base year value of their principal residence to a replacement principal residence. The replacement must be of equal or lesser current market value and located within the same county. Yuba County does not allow base year transfers from other counties.
The over-55 principal residence base year transfer is a one-time only benefit with one exception: if a claimant becomes physically and permanently disabled after transferring the taxable value under the age requirements, the claimant may transfer the taxable value a second time under the disability requirements (Prop 110), if the move is related to the disability. Additional information may be found on the Board of Equalization’s FAQs.
ENVIRONMENTALLY CONTAMINATED PROPERTY
(Revenue and Taxation Code 69.4)
The base year value of qualified contaminated property may be transferred, subject to specific conditions and limitations, to a comparable replacement property of equal or lesser value that is located in the same county and is acquired or newly constructed as a replacement for the contaminated property. For additional information see the Board of Equalization's Letter To Assessors #2007/047.
PROPERTY TAKEN BY EMINENT DOMAIN OR ACQUIRED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY
Proposition 3 (Revenue and Taxation Code 68)
A property owner displaced through eminent domain, public entity acquisition, or a judgment of inverse condemnation may transfer the taken property’s base year value to a comparable replacement property in any county. For additional information see the Board of Equalization Letters to Assessors #2005/007 and #2007/021 and #2016/008.
BASE YEAR TRANSFER FOR SEVERELY AND PERMANENTLY DISABLED PERSONS
Proposition 110 (Revenue and Taxation Code 69.5)
Severely and permanently disabled persons who meet certain specific requirements may transfer the base year value of their principal residence to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser current market value in the same county. There is no age limit. This is a one-time only benefit. Please note that this benefit requires a different form than the age-55 base year transfer. More information may be found on the Board of Equalization’s FAQs.
HISTORICAL AIRCRAFT EXEMPTION
Aircraft of historical significance may be eligible for an exemption if displayed at least 12 days per year. The Historical Aircraft Exemption Claim form (Board of Equalization-260-B (PDF)), provides details on how to file for this exemption. There is a one-time $35 filing fee. Exemptions claims must be filed annually by February 15th to receive a full exemption. Partial exemptions are available if you file between February 16 and August 1.
View the State Board Explanation Letter (PDF)