Property used exclusively for a church, college, cemetery,
museum, school or library may qualify for an exemption that
will reduce the owner’s property tax liability. Properties owned
and used exclusively by a non-profit religious, charitable,
scientific, or hospital corporation may also be eligible.
The church exemption is available for buildings, land on which they are situated including parking lots, equipment, whether owned or lease which, as of the lien date on January 1st, are used exclusively for religious worship. Areas used for non-worship activities or living quarters are not eligible for the exemption. Religious organizations that own real property most commonly file the Religious or Welfare Exemption claims because of the broader scope of the exemptions. For more information click Welfare, Church and Religious Exemptions.
The religious exemption is available to property owned and operated by religious organizations. The exemption applies to property used for worship, fellowship, religious counseling, offices, parking and school grades 12 and under. Buildings under construction, which will be used for the purposes stated above, are eligible for the exemption. Living quarters are not eligible under this exemption, but may be eligible under the welfare exemption. For more information click Welfare, Church and Religious Exemptions.
The welfare exemption is available for real and personal property owned and used exclusively by non-profit organizations formed for religious, scientific, hospital or charitable purposes. The welfare exemption is jointly administered by the Board of Equalization (Board) and the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division. The Board determines whether the organization is eligible to receive the exemption and the Assessor determines whether the use of the property is eligible for the exemption. Before the Assessor can approve the exemption, the organization must apply for and the Board must issue an Organization Clearance Certificate. Property owned by a limited partnership must also obtain a Supplemental Clearance Certificate from the Board. For more information click Welfare, Church and Religious Exemptions.
In addition, supplemental affidavits and/or a property use report may need to be filed:
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Housing-Elderly or Handicapped Families, form BOE-267-H
Elderly or Handicapped Families, Family Household Reporting Worksheet, form BOE-267-H-A
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit Housing-Lower Income Households Eligibility Based on Family Household Income (Yearly Filing), form BOE-267-L
Lower Income Households Family Household Income Reporting Worksheet, form BOE-267-L-A
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Housing-Lower Income Households (Limited Partnership) Eligibility Based on Family Household Income (Yearly Filing), form BOE-267-L1
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Housing-Lower Income Households-Tenant Data, form BOE-267-L2
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Households Exceeding Low-Income LImits-”Over-Income” Tenant Data (140% AMI), form BOE-267-L3
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Organizations and Persons Using Claimant’s Real Property, form BOE-267-O
Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Rehabilitation-Living Quarters (Yearly Filing), form BOE-267-R
Public School Exemption
The public school exemption is available for public schools, including charter schools. Public schools use the exemption for lease real or personal property. Charter schools must submit a copy of the charter when applying for this exemption.
The college exemption is available for buildings, land, equipment and securities, whether owned or lease which are used exclusively for educational purposes by a non-profit educational institution of collegiate grade.
The cemetery exemption is available to real and personal property which is used or held exclusively for the burial or other permanent deposit of human dead or for the care and maintenance of the property or the dead, except when used or held for profit.
The Lessees’ Exemption is available to organizations who lease property used exclusively to operate public schools, community colleges, state colleges, state universities or University of California. A copy of the lease is required to be submitted with the first claim.
The lessors’ exemption claim is available to property owners of either real or personal property that lease to free public libraries, free museums, public schools, community colleges, state colleges, state universities, the University of California, churches and non-profit colleges and universities. Both the owner of the property and the exempt organization are required to sign the claim.
The benefit of this 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.
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