For the purpose of California property taxation, aircraft are valued at their fair market value each and every year as of the January 1 lien date. Values determined for previous years cannot be used as a factor in determining the current year’s value. Values can increase as well as decrease from year to year because of fluctuations in the market. Aircraft, unlike real property, are not subject to a base year value or a minimum inflationary factor. The fair market value of an aircraft on lien date is unrelated to its net book value (purchase price less depreciation).
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California Constitution Article XIII and Revenue and Taxation Code section 201 state that all property is taxable unless it is stated that it is exempt. Personal property is not exempt.
Sales tax and property tax are two different types of taxes.
The filing of an annual Aircraft Property Statement (PDF) is a requirement of section 441(d) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code. Statements are sent in order to gather the most up to date information on the property so that an accurate value can be determined.
It is important that the statement be returned every year. If you no longer own the aircraft, you are still required to notify the Assessor in writing. If a statement is not returned, an estimated assessment will be made using the best information available, and a 10% penalty on the assessed value will be added for failure to file a statement as mandated per California Revenue and Taxation Code, section 463.
Whenever the due date for filing an Aircraft Property Statement falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the statement may be filed by the close of business (5 p.m.) on the next regular business day with the same effect as if it had been filed on the specified due date.
The aircraft should be assessed where habitually situated. The location where an aircraft is habitually situated is the airport at which the aircraft is usually present when not in flight. If an aircraft spends a substantial amount of time at multiple airports, it is habitually situated at the airport where it spends the most ground time.
The value is determined by reviewing the annual Aircraft Property Statement, confirmed sales of similar aircraft, and value guides such as Aircraft Blue Book.
California Revenue and Taxation Code, Property Tax Rule 10, mandates that the Assessor include within the value all components of the full economic cost of placing property in service. An aircraft value may typically include an adjustment to the average retail base to add sales or use taxes, freight or shipping cost, labor and materials, or after-market additions.
You may call, email, or write to the Assessor’s Office to discuss the value. When making a written request for an informal review, please note that if the value was the result of an estimated assessment made by the Assessor for failure to file a property statement by May 7, you will need to complete and return an Aircraft Property Statement (PDF) with your request for an informal review.
When writing to request an informal review, please provide the following in support of your opinion of value:
You can file an Assessment Appeal Application online or by calling 530-889-4020. In order to appeal an assessment, you must file an Assessment Appeal Application with the Clerk of the Board between July 2 and September 15 (or the next business day if the September 15 falls on a weekend or holiday).
Should your value notice be the result of an escape assessment, you have 60 days from the date of the Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment to file an Assessment Appeal Application.
Either the Assessor’s request to file a valid statement was not received by May 7th or no statement was received. California Revenue and Taxation Code section 463 mandates that a late filing penalty of 10% of the assessed value be added for statements not timely filed by May 7th. The Assessment Appeals Board is the only authority with the ability to abate a penalty for late filing.
Contact the Federal Aviation Administration, and notify the Assessor’s Office in writing with information regarding the sale or file an Aircraft Affidavit (PDF).
Please complete and return an Aircraft Affidavit (PDF) to the Placer County Assessor’s Office. Under California Law, the owner of an aircraft at 12:01 a.m, January 1 (lien date) is responsible for taxes and must be assessed at full value. Sale or disposal of property after the lien date does not relieve the Assessee of the obligation to pay taxes.
Please complete and return an Aircraft Affidavit (PDF) to the Placer County Assessor’s Office. Based upon that affidavit, an informal review of your assessment will be completed.
No. Unsecured bills are never prorated regardless of disposal date. Any proration of taxes should be done between the buyer and seller at the time of sale.
Bankruptcy does not relieve the Assessor of determining a fair market value. Assessed value and payment of taxes are separate issues. You should contact the Placer County Tax Collector at 530-889-4120 for issues regarding whether payment is required after bankruptcy.