Lower My Taxes
California property tax law provides 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.
|Seniors: 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 on the California State Board of Equalization's Tax Tips for California Seniors website.
- Market Value Decline
- Homeowners' Exemption
- Disabled Veterans'
- Welfare Exemption
- Transfer of Base Year Value
- Historical Aircraft Exemption
- Builders' Exclusion
- Solar Energy
- Misfortune or Calamity
Recognition of Market Value Decline
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 (PDF) with the Clerk of the Board, between July 2 and September 15 (or the next business day if the 15th 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:
Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board
175 Fulweiler Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
Homeowners' Exemption Qualifications & Claim Form
A property owner may claim a Homeowners’ Exemption (PDF) 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.
Disabled Veterans' Exemption
Exempts a portion of taxable value for a totally disabled veterans’ primary residence based on the basic or low-income exemption amounts that are adjusted annually for inflation.
View more information on Disabled Veterans' Exemption.
If property is used exclusively for (1) religious, hospital, or charitable purposes, and (2) owned or held in trust by nonprofit organizations operating for religious, hospital, or charitable purposes, it may qualify for the welfare exemption.
If you/your agency is filing for the first time, please fill out the Board of Equalization-267 Claim for Welfare Exemption (First Filing) form (PDF).
For more information on this exemption, please go to the Board of Equalization website.
Transfer of Base Year Value
Persons 55 or Older
Persons 55 or older who sell their primary residence, and within two years, buy or build a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value in the same county may transfer their factored base year value from the original home to the new home.
View more on Over 55 Base Year Value Transfer.
Property Owners Who Are Severely & Permanently Disabled
Property Owners who are severely and permanently disabled who sell their primary residence, and within two years, buy or build a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value in the same county may transfer their factored base year value from the original home to the new home.
Find more information about Severely and Permanently Disabled Base Year Value Transfer.
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).
Completed new construction may be excluded from supplemental assessment under certain circumstances. The property must be intended for sale and the builder must file the necessary Builder's Exclusion form (PDF) with the Assessor’s Office prior to, or within 30 days of, the start of construction. If the exclusion is approved, an appraisal is not made until the next lien date or until the property is sold, leased, or occupied. For more information, or to obtain an application, please call the Assessor’s Office at 530-889-4300.
Solar Energy New Construction Exclusion
The construction of an active solar energy system may qualify for a property tax exclusion. The State Board of Equalization has created a Solar Properties page that lists available reference material on this topic.
To apply for this benefit, please complete and return a Solar Energy New Construction Exclusion form (PDF).
Misfortune or Calamity
If your property is damaged or destroyed under circumstances beyond your control, such as by fire or flood, and the loss in value exceeds $10,000, you may be entitled to a reduction in your assessment and subsequent property tax obligation. Please fill out an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity (PDF).